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Old 04-11-2011, 11:58 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
1,214 posts, read 4,356,117 times
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I cut down my decorative grasses as I have read online. But it appears I have cut them down too short. I have cut them down to about 2 inches from the ground. It appears I should have cut them down to about 1 foot.
So what will happen to the new growth that I expect later this spring? Also should I fertilize them? Will they grow taller and thicker?
One is a morning glory and the other two are maiden girl variety.
Thanks
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:32 AM
 
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I'm by no means an expert on ornamental grass but you have me stumped since I haven't heard of any of the varieties you listed. The only Morning Glory I know of is a vine with flowers, and it is possible you are thinking of Maiden Grass (aka Miscanthus sinensis).

Without knowing much about what you really have here is some general advice:
There is no hard an fast rule as to how much you *should* cut them back or even when! Cutting them back allows some space and light to penetrate the center of the plant so that new growth has an easier time coming through. Some people don't even cut it back and still have new green blades find their way out eventually. Some advocate cutting it back in the fall to within 6 inches to make things neat and other wait until spring when they can see a green shoot or two and leave the seed heads and brown grass as decoration for winter "interest". If you didn't trim back anything green or pull out thing at the root level more than likely no harm has been done and as soon as it warms up in your area you will see a new batch of grass growing. I trim mine back to a neat ball shape, depending on the grass anywhere from 3-4 inches high to 10-12 inches on the bigger grasses.

Ornamental grass, like regular grass and other garden plants requires some fertilizer to grow at its best. I've found one of the easiest ways to do so is with a slow release fertilizer early in spring. There are several brands out there, I use Osmocote. You shake out the amount according to the directions and work it into the soil around each plant. Each variety will have a maximum height and no amount of fertilizer will make it taller, but it will grow in more thickly and look healthier with a little fertilizer and water. They are hard to kill outright unless there is a drought and no one waters them.

You could makes sure to add mulch around each grass clump. Mulch around the grass helps keep moisture in and protects the roots a bit from the hottest sun, which in turn makes for a healthier and thicker grass.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:08 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
1,214 posts, read 4,356,117 times
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Thank you. I guess I was mistaken on the name of the grass. It is called Morning Light.

The other ornamental grasses are your run of the mill "Fountain" grass.

And thanks for the advice of fertizer. I am using ornamental grass to soften or camoflauge those ugly green utility boxes on my front lawn.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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We have Pampas grass to cover our huge gas tank and we cut them down also and they are just starting to come back, very slowly. So I don't think you killed it, it may just take some time. I agree with the previous post, Osmocote does well, at least for me.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:17 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 12,991,545 times
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Decorative grasses

While it is true that in some neighborhoods in this country decorative Marijuana is grown and appreciated, in some other neighborhoods it can get your butt landed in jail.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:23 PM
 
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kcam213 I figured it was something along those lines. I've misnamed enough plants in my time. Good luck with the grass... whatever it is!


I've got some beautiful Miscanthus growing around a couple of ugly spots as well. I've got one type of Pennisetum (fountain grass) just for its looks.


txtoal I think of all the grasses Pampas is the hardest to kill and most likely to spread so don't worry too much about it coming back! I'm amazed actually at how big the Miscanthus already are. There are some untrimmed ones in the neighborhood and I haven't even begun to see green peek out of the old browned growth. Last year once they got going the brown was completely covered to my surprise.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:20 AM
 
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You'll be fine if you get no more frosts. With ornamental grasses its best to wait until after the last frost to cut them to the quick so to speak. Hit them with some liquid miracle grow to jump start the growth spurt.
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