Ornamental Grasses
Q.

Pruning Shenandoah switch grass

Zone Albany NY 12159 | Anonymous added on September 4, 2018 | Answered

We live in the Northeast US (upstate NY). What is the best time of year to prune Shenandoah Switch Grass? We planted several 3-4 years ago and they have overtaken the area. Can I divide them in fall or should I wait until spring? And must I remove the entire root to split or can I just insert a shovel into the plant as is and just remove half while still in soil? Thanks.

A.
A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Downtoearthdigs
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 6, 2018

nspect your switchgrass plants periodically during watering time to look for troubled areas. Remove any broken, dying or otherwise damaged blades or stalks throughout the growing season as you spy them. Place the cut at the base of the blade or stalk just above the crown of the clump and pull the cutting clean from the canopy.

Shear down the dead top foliage in winter after the first hard frost or leave the drying grass in pace to provide visual interest in the garden during winter. Cut back all of the dead grass in the early spring down to the crown to make way for fresh green growth. Discard or compost the cuttings.

Prune lightly to tidy the switchgrass that successfully overwinters in warmer climates. Remove only the damaged or unattractive individual blades by cutting them off at the crown and pulling them out. Cut back any blades that are lying on the ground from weather damage or have been trampled, in order to preserve the natural fountain form.

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