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Ornamental grass help

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Question from Stephen Barker

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Hi there,
Does anyone out there have any experience of hard pruning an evergreen ornamental grass?
I've just taken on a new customer who has several Stipa arundinacea which have been cut back (I would assume last summer/autumn) and into round ball shapes with shears. This obviously means they have lost their relaxed, floaty feel which I would Ideally like to retrieve.
I was thinking of taking the grasses down to 15-20cm and effectively starting again but would like some reassurance that they have a chance of coming back and I am not simply murdering them!
They are not really any good as they are so any other ideas or advice would be appreciated!
Thanks, Stephen

  • Views: 2630
  • Replies: 4
  • Posted: Tue. 19th March 2013 13:33

Re: Ornamental grass help

Reply from Nicki Lewis-Smith

What a shame as only the dead grass should be teased out in spring. I would suggest digging them, dividing and then teasing / scratching all then dead out. It wound be a speedy process. Good luck. They'll be putting out new shoots by now - try to educate your clients to leave them alone!

  • Posted: Wed. 20th March 2013 10:12

Re: Ornamental grass help

Reply from N R Lucas

You can hard prune evergreens if necessary but this should be done during the growing season say april - july not during the winter. Usually a quick tidy through for the Stipa is sufficient but can be cut back by about a half if looking really brown. Bear in mind they are relatively short lived plants so will need replacing when they get tired. At Knoll we find they are one of the few grasses that don't take well to division.
Hope this helps?

Neil

  • Posted: Wed. 20th March 2013 18:02

Re: Ornamental grass help

Reply from Stephen Barker

That's a great help, thanks so much for your advice. I will have a go at teasing out the old dead grass and check for signs of life coming through. Depending on how they look (and how much patience I have!) I will make a decision on weather or not to do something more brutal to them when it warms up a bit. Thanks again, Stephen

  • Posted: Sat. 23rd March 2013 08:44

Re: Ornamental grass help

Reply from Rose Lennard

this grass often self seeds generously, so you may find that you have lots of seedlings - they bulk up pretty fast so in 2 years you will have more than you know what to do with!

  • Posted: Mon. 14th December 2015 15:22