Care for Ornamental Grasses


Ornamental grasses often suffer neglect from homeowners who are unaware that the plant requires attention and care to thrive. Their hardy nature does not make them immune to the ravages of neglect. It does, however, ensure that with the most basic care these plants will sprout healthy shoots for years to come. Not only do ornamental grasses help fill in the spaces of a yard or landscape, they are also a favorite of wildlife. Provide the grass with the necessary conditions to ensure both you and your local critters get the most out of the plant.

Step 1

Lay down mulch around the grasses to discourage weeds from taking root and choking them out.

Step 2

Water regularly during the first year of planting. After that make sure to water during droughts or particularly dry spells.

Step 3

Fertilize your ornamental grass whenever they appear to be in failing health, with drooping, yellowed shoots. Fertilize according to the instructions on the packaging, and make sure to water thoroughly afterward.

Step 4

Tie the grass together with rope and cut them back to approximately 5 inches during early spring, before growth resumes. Use sharpened hedge shears for this task. Divide those grasses which have begun to grow together, should you wish to keep them separate. This may require a chainsaw, according to Colorado State University Extension.

Step 5

Water after dividing and cutting back the grasses. This will ensure the plant recovers from the shock of being cut back.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Garden hose
  • Fertilizer
  • Rope
  • Gardening gloves
  • Hedge shears
  • Chainsaw


  • Colorado State University Extension: Spring Care of Ornamental Grasses
  • University of Illinois Extension: Care & Maintenance of Ornamental Grasses

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois Extension: Ornamental Grasses
Keywords: ornamental grass, caring for grasses, taking care of

About this Author

Mark Rhyman has been working as a freelance writer since 2005. His work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, such as "Kotori" magazine and "Inside Lacrosse." He has his bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from the State University of New York at Brockport.