How to Transplant Ornamental Grass Plants


Ornamental grasses are easy to grow and require little care and maintenance. These grasses appear in different hues of green along with yellow, creamy white and striped varieties. These durable and versatile grasses help control soil erosion, along with decorating a spot and brightening up an otherwise dull landscape. Transplant a young or mature ornamental grass plant to another part of your garden or yard, or to a new location altogether. This procedure does not require any skill or expertise and is performed in spring during the growing season.

Step 1

Prepare the new site prior to transplanting your young ornamental grass plant so the root ball spends minimal time outside the soil. Make sure the new site gets plenty of sun and has well drained soil. Dig a 2-foot wide and 18-inch deep hole in the ground with a shovel.

Step 2

Pour the soil you removed from the planting hole into a wheelbarrow. Add a 5-gallon bucket of peat moss to the soil, along with two or three shovelfuls of compost. Mix well and place this improved soil aside for later use.

Step 3

Cut back the foliage of your ornamental grass plant down to one-third. Use a sharp pair of pruning shears.

Step 4

Insert your spade in the soil and form a circle a foot away from its outer edge of your ornamental grass plant. Put your foot on the shovel and press hard to insert it as deep as you can, at an angle. Also rock the shovel back and forth to loosen the root ball from the soil.

Step 5

Continue pushing the shovel into the soil, directly over the demarcated circle. Also slide it under the root ball and shake it gently. When the ornamental grass plant starts to rock with the rocking movement of the shovel, it means the roots are loose enough to remove.

Step 6

Hold the plant firmly and pull it from the ground. Shake it lightly to remove loose soil pieces from its roots. Remove any diseased or dried sections with an axe or shovel.

Step 7

Lower the plant into the planting hole, spreading the roots around to provide them room to grow. Backfill with the improved soil in the wheelbarrow. Tamp the soil down to remove air bubbles. Water the soil immediately after the transplant, and continue watering everyday for the first two weeks to encourage the roots to establish themselves.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Gloves
  • Wheelbarrow
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Pruning shears
  • Garden hose


  • Grounds Maintenance: How to Divide Ornamental Grasses; Karen L. Kerkhoff
  • Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: Ornamental Grasses
  • Flower Gardening Made Easy: Ornamental Grasses- Growing and Care Tips
Keywords: transplanting ornamental grasses, ornamental grasses, ornamental grass plant

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.