Firstly, cut the ornamental grass down to about 2 inches above the ground. They're among the largest ornamental grasses in Central New York landscapes and all can be divided throughout the growing season. You'll know this happens when you see small, new green shoots beginning to come up. That's great info - just what I wanted to know re cutting back my Zebra grass. Some ornamentals have sharp edges, so make sure you wear gloves to prevent getting nicked. in your garden. How to Know If Ornamental Grass Is Dying? Early spring is the best time to divide and transplant zebra grass. Miscanthus grass is a nice looking ornamental grass, grows 6 to 8 feet tall, provides movement in the garden, great planted as a specimen, or in small groups, sends up feathery plumes in the fall, and is great for winter interest, BUT is hard to divide! When to divide ornamental grass depends on what kind of grass you have and where you live. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Water the plants thoroughly to allow them to come up with easily. And, because the divisions are so small, you can create dozens of new plants from each established clump of Lundman belongs to numerous gardening groups, tends her home garden on 2/3 acre and volunteers with professional horticulturists at a 180 acre public garden where she lives on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. Using your hands, a sharp trowel or a spade, divide the root ball and foliage into as many divisions as you want, depending on the size of the root ball. It reduces the work by at least 50%. How to Care for a Corkscrew Grass Marshland Plant. Without digging and division, they will quickly perish. Zebra grass also has stunning variegated leaves with creamy golden stripes that cut horizontally across the otherwise green blades of grass. If the clump is too large, remove in sections. Dividing ornamental grasses should not be done until the ground has thawed. And, in some instances you run the risk of transporting unwanted Zebra grass, Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’, is an unusual looking grass, named for its bright green foliage decorated by horizontal cream bands. First, because there's no soil around the roots, you won't transport root pieces or seed of unwanted weeds to new locations Clemson Cooperative Extension: Ornamental Grasses & Grass-Like Plants, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Ornamental Grasses, How to Divide Ornamental Grasses for Replanting. Then take a garden hose and wash the roots so that you can see what you are doing. Be ready to escalate to a hedge trimmer on bigger, tougher species. When you begin to see areas in the center of the grass clump that lack new growth, this indicates that the center of the clump has an excess of old growth that is preventing new growth from filling in. For older and larger plants, you may need to dig out the root ball in sections. Zebra grass is a favorite among the ornamental grasses and with good reason. While warm-season grasses typically die back in winter temps, cool-season grasses are often evergreen. How to Divide Zebra Grass. Creeping grasses or smaller clumping grasses divide fairly quickly when you follow these guidelines: Wear gloves, as some grasses have very sharp edges. Zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’) is native to Japan and one of the Miscanthus maiden grass cultivars, all of which are used as ornamental grasses.Zebra grass plants die back in winter, but are perennial and re-sprout in spring. With a spade, loosen and push the soil around the grass. Cut back the leaves of the grass if they interfere with your seeing the roots or digging up the clump. For dividing, dig up the entire plant and cut it into sections with a sharp knife with roots and foliage included in each. A. However, the … Divide these grasses when they begin to grow vigorously in your area. Use a garden spade to dig up the clump. Other common names zebra grass zebra-striped grass Family Poaceae Genus Miscanthus can be deciduous or evergreen grasses with tufted or spreading habit, erect stems bearing arching, linear leaves and terminal panicles of silky spikelets in late summer or autumn A second option to wash all the soil from a good-sized clump and break or cut off individual tillers that have formed roots, Try using a pair of heavy scissors on smaller grasses, or a serrated knife it the scissors won't cut it. Q. I have several clumps of maiden grass that are probably each two feet in diameter. Using a sharp spade, dig all the way around the grass clump, and lift it from the ground. If you are in a warm climate, you could probably also do so in the fall. It typically grows in a substantial clump to 4-6’ tall, but sends up flower stalks to 2’ above the foliage, thus bringing the total height of the grass to 6-8’ tall when in flower. The technique … Susan Lundman began writing about her love of gardening and landscape design after working for 20 years at a nonprofit agency. You should divide these warm-season grasses in spring when they break dormancy and begin their growing season. If you are in a warm climate, you could probably also do so in the fall. Most grasses benefit from divisions done every three to four years to keep them vigorous and to avoid die-backs in the center of the clumps. Breaking it down like this enables you to remove a section at a time. Examples of warm-season grasses include switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), which grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, and fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum), which grows in USDA zones 9 to 10. I love the look of the dried leaves against the snow so I don't cut it back until spring when the new growth starts. Dividing and Transplanting Ornamental Grasses. There are many forms of Japanese Maiden Grass, all of which are members of the genus Miscanthus. Remove the old and dead center, and transplant the sections about 3 – 4 feet apart. It looks lovely in the winter swishing about, and with loads of flowers this past year, but now I look forward to cutting it back! These varieties typically begin a dormant phase in the fall, turning brown after the soil temperatures drop to about 55 degrees. 0 0. Victoria Sponge Wearside Posts: 2,914. popular varieties include `Morning Light,' `Silver Feather,' `Zebrinus' (or Zebra grass), and `Strictus' (or Porcupine grass). Spread the roots of the plant out as much as you can when placing the grass in its new hole or container, and press down gently on the soil to hold the plant in place. Ornamental grasses can be pretty intimidating to divide, given their size. at right. grass in your garden. The most common method of dividing ornamental grasses is to use a very sharp spade to split off large chunks from the edges of well-established plants, at left. Over winter the initially interesting grassy bits get literally weatherbeaten. Although its foliage is its main attraction, it may also bear silky, slender flowers in summer, which last well into winter. It's really hardy and does need to be separated practically every year or it will take over. Spray the root ball with your hose to remove excess soil and reveal the plant's roots. In this video, learn how to divide ornamental grasses from Fine Gardening assistant editor Daryl Beyers. These large divisions, often six or more inches in diameter, will quickly grow into large plants. Remove loose soil from around the root ball by shaking the plant or hosing it off. Just dig the grass out as a clump and make your cuts with the saw. I separate my Zebra grass mid summer when its in full growth. Some grasses have tough roots that may require a sharp knife, saw or even an axe to split them apart. Most perennials can be divided in the spring or fall. Dividing grasses using a reciprocating saw (equipped with a large toothed pruning blade) is an easy way to make clean cuts and maximize divisions with a minimum of damage to the root system. Make each chunk … You may want to divide your zebra grass every 3 or 4 years to keep it from taking over your garden. Add Answer. Cool-season grasses include Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) for USDA zones 4 through 9 and Japanese sedge (Carex morrowii) for USDA zones 5 through 9. If the spread is particularly large, use a sharp shovel to divide the grass into several sections. Some of the more Dig up the entire root ball if possible. I know they can be divided, But it is possible to divide the grasses in early spring as well in areas with mild winters. Asked by JMcWhorter on July 8, 2017 28112. Push the spades together with your hands to divide the grass into two clumps. The most common method of dividing ornamental grasses is to use a very sharp spade to split off large chunks from the edges Spray the root ball with your hose to remove excess soil and reveal the plant's roots. Was this answer useful? Others should only be divided in the spring or in the fall. 0. Divide congested clumps in spring. In early fall, more and more … To read more about how to divide it click… One of the pieces can be replanted in the original hole, and … This involves lifting the tussock with a spading fork. Or, insert a saw into the ground and saw sections of the root ball apart. Split them using two forks inserted back to back in the centre of the clump, and then prize them apart. You can divide them in winter or early spring before growth begins. You may remove all brown material in late winter or spring. Common Name: Zebra grass Genus: Miscanthus ... Time to divide plants: ... Miscanthus is a deciduous, clump-forming, perennial grass. However, the number of divisions you can make are limited. It stands tall (with an arching form) as a green sentinel in your landscape all summer, then it puts out tiny white blooms, followed by a seed head plumes that offers late-season visual interest. Split the clump of grass into pieces using a sharp spade or knife. Alternatively, cut the clump through the middle with a spade. While the resulting plants from these tillers will be quite small, they offer a couple of advantages. Dig up the entire root ball of the plant with a shovel or pitchfork. As a general rule, the best time of year to split the clumps of grass is just before the grass begins its period of active growth. Warm-season and cool-season grasses have different growth schedules, so it's important to distinguish between the two. Q. Zebra grass. February 2015. If not, divide it in half while it's in the ground by inserting two pitchforks or shovels back to back and prying the root ball apart before lifitng it. Water the plant well, ensuring that the water reaches down into the root ball. This allows you to clearly see the plant’s spread. Grasses that have browned in the fall have died down to their hardy roots. Some plants, especially ornamental grasses will begin to die off from the center out. Cut back deciduous grasses in spring and ‘comb out’ dead leaves of evergreen types. These large divisions, often six or more inches in diameter, will quickly grow into large plants. Splitting apart large grass clumps takes a bit more effort than with smaller clumps: Use rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes to clean and steralize your pruning and division tools after each use to minimize the chances of spreading pests and diseases from one plant to another. or potted up or "lined out" in a mini-nursery for a Your pampas grass will tell you when it is time to divide it. Old clumps of Zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’) can have very dense root systems and may require a great deal of “elbow grease” to lift and divide. Keep the soil at the same level it was with the original plant. Dividing is pretty simple by lifting the whole clump and then taking out big hunks each of which can then be planted in a new place. You can use a spade, knife or narrow trowel for this. Zebra Grass is also known as Maiden Grass, Japanese Silver Grass, or Eulalia, ... in colder climates, dividing in spring is appropriate. Pruning them in winter however is a great way to be prepared for when the soil warms enough for dividing. Some grasses will self sow terribly. Early spring is the best time to divide and transplant zebra grass. Help renew pampas grass by dividing it in the spring before the growing season begins. Lift grasses from the ground with a spade. Ornamental grass clumps grow from the inside out. These individual shoots can then be transplanted directly into new spots in your garden, She has written about plants, garden design and gardening tips online professionally for ten years on numerous websites. year or two to gain size before transplanting to a permanent spot in your landscape. Transplant the divisions in the same way you would smaller grasses, by spreading roots out, patting the soil gently around the crown of the plant and watering thoroughly. Once you have chosen the grass you wish to transplant, chop off its stem and leaves, so only one-third of the original length remains. Also, is it already too late to divide them this year? Cut divisions of the plant with a saw or sharp spade, and discard sections that were near the center of the plant that are older and less vigorous than the outer edges. Divide the clump into two or more pieces by using the spade, a sharp garden knife or a small axe to separate roots. Beyers confirms what many fans of ornamental grasses already know: Dividing grasses is not a chore for the faint of heart. Dig up the entire ball of grass, working the shovel around the edges of the plant’s root ball to lift it out. The period of most growth when division is best for your area might be in early fall. Make sure you’re growing the right grass for the right spot. That means new growth is always be on the outside ring of the plant. Zebra grass. Repeat this to divide the two clumps in half. Most grasses do best in sun but some will tolerate shade. invaders to new locations in the soil taken with the divisions. This over-sized clump can easily be divided. Dig around the edges to remove the entire grass clump. Use a sharp knife or pruners to separate the rhizomes into new clumps. The Garden Helper recommends driving one spade into the clump of grass, then driving a second spade in so the two are back to back. They begin new growth in fall or winter and flower in the spring and summer, sometimes going dormant or slowing growth when temperatures rise above 75 degrees. but I don't know how big the divisions need to be to survive? Then discard the dead center and divide the remainder into sizeable chunks. of well-established plants, at left. Water the divisions thoroughly, until water comes out the drainage hole for container plants, and keep new divisions well watered for a few weeks until their roots have established themselves. 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