Written by Tyner Tew - Partner | Director of Marketing & Sales
Ornamental grasses are a beautiful addition to any commercial or residential landscape. They offer unique texture and movement that can add depth and interest to your outdoor spaces. However, if you want to keep your ornamental grasses looking their best, it's important to perform routine cutbacks.
Cutting back ornamental grasses is a seasonal task that should be done in late winter or early spring. This is because it's best to prune the grasses before new growth begins, as this will encourage healthy growth and avoid any damage to the new shoots. Additionally, cutbacks help to remove any dead or damaged foliage, allowing for new growth to come in full and fresh. For larger grasses, the center will often start to rot if you do not cut the grass back, but be careful not to damage the "crown" of the plant.
To begin, find a sharp pair of garden shears or pruning scissors. Starting at the base of the grass, begin cutting the foliage back to about 6 to 18 inches from the ground. This will encourage new growth and remove any old, dead or damaged foliage. When you have finished cutting back your ornamental grasses, it's important to clean up the clippings and dispose of them properly. If left on the ground, the clippings can mat down, suffocating the new growth and harboring disease and pests.
It's also important to note that not all ornamental grasses should be cut back the same way, and there are two different types of grasses (cool season & warm season), which may require different cutback schedules. Some grasses, such as fountain grass, can be cut back to the ground, while others, like Pampas grass, should only have their dead foliage trimmed. It's important to research the specific type of ornamental grass you have and follow the recommended guidelines for cutting it back. We do not recommend cutting back newly planted grasses, especially if recently planted in plugs.
In conclusion, cutbacks are an essential part of maintaining the health and beauty of your ornamental grasses. They help to remove old, dead or damaged foliage, encourage new growth, and keep your outdoor spaces looking their best. With a sharp pair of shears and a little bit of time and effort, you can keep your ornamental grasses looking great for years to come.
If you would like more information on Winter Landscape Maintenance, please reach out to your local GreenView Partners representative.