Perennial Grass Care

Overview

Nurseries offer homeowners a wide selection of perennial grasses for use in the home landscape. Perennial grasses return each year with fresh foliage and flowers. Grasses serve as a staple in landscape design, offering texture and foliage to enhance ornamental plants or hide unsightly areas of your property. Perennial grass care includes year-round maintenance of these landscape plants. A full range of sizes and colors provide planting options requiring low maintenance and easy care.

Initial Planting

Perennial grasses appear strong enough to tackle any growing environment. Like other perennials, ornamental grasses require a foundation of properly conditioned soil to grow well in the home landscape. Amend soil with peat moss and compost to promote drainage and high-quality organic nutrients for perennial grass roots. Place a layer of mulch on the garden bed around perennial grasses to retain soil moisture.

Location and Watering

Choose a site that experiences no standing water with good drainage. The installation of perennial grasses requires the same care as other newly planted ornamentals. Follow grower recommendations for watering plants during the first establishment year. Always water at the base of the plant to encourage water absorption deeply into the soil. This method promotes healthy roots that use water more efficiently.

Fertilizer

Perennial grasses benefit from a single application of fertilizer during the growing season. Applying too much fertilizer results in a rampantly growing plant. Taller varieties will flop over and defeat the purpose of providing a groomed clumping plant for the landscape.

Pruning

Prune perennial grasses in the spring as soon as new growth appears. Cut off all dead foliage to a height of 4 to 6 inches. Be careful not to top cut new growth if you are pruning later in the season. Strip dead foliage from the center of the plant to open the interior to allow new growth.

Transplant

Like all perennials, grasses require division and transplanting after three to five years in the same planting site. Dig around the perimeter of the grass clump in the spring after shearing and lift the entire plant out of the soil. Tip the plant onto its side and divide into multiple clumps using a sharp shovel blade or utility knife. Each new clump of grass should have multiple roots and at least eight new blades of grass. Transplant into new areas of the landscape using organic materials to improve soil conditions.

Keywords: perennial grass care, ornamental grass care, perennial grass

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.