Ornamental Grasses

When to Prune Ornamental Grasses

farmer chick added on April 13, 2012 | Answered

I have several types of grasses and I let them go last fall and would like to cut them back now. I live in Oklahoma and was told they would winter over and to cut back when new growth appears. No new growth has appeared yet, but we're having an early spring. They are brown and dead looking. Am I ahead of myself? Should I wait till new growth appears or go now?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 14, 2012

When cutting back ornamental grass, you should do so in early spring, as its foliage helps protect the plant throughout winter. However, it is common to have inconsistent growth with these grasses, especially fountain grass. Many of the warm-season ornamental grasses won't start growing until mid to late spring, or even early summer. If there are still no signs of life by late spring/early summer, chances are good that the plants did not survive winter and will need to be replaced.

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