Prune fountain grass? - Knowledgebase Question

Gilbert, Ar
Question by jclahawkins
March 3, 2010
One nursery told us to cut it back, but I forget how much and when in the year. We just planted it last fall. It would be nice if this info was on the plant info page.

Answer from NGA
March 3, 2010


Fountain grass grows so well in our area that you'll probably end up pruning yours back using both of the most common methods: First method - You can cut yours down to about 2" above ground level now, or you wait until new foliage begins to sprout later this month. I cut my ornamental grasses down to soil level each February. The roots produce new blades in the spring, and each clump of grass spreads out a little more each year. Second method - Because the clump enlarges each year you will eventually want to divide yours - not just to control the size but to help renew the plant. After a few years the center dies out and all the new growth is at the edges of the clump. You can renew an overgrown clump by cutting triangle shaped divisions from the edges of the plant to replant elsewhere in the garden, then dig up the old, dead center and toss it. In defense of the info not being on the website, fountain grass is not winter hardy in most areas of the U.S. and since the site is available throughout the nation, placing this information on the page would be helpful only to those gardening in the lower parts of southern California and in Arizona. Best wishes with your fountain grass.

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