Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Plant & Care for Ornamental Grass

...
ornamental grass image by Edsweb from Fotolia.com

Ornamental grass needs cutting only once per year, unlike lawn grasses that may need weekly cutting during the growing season. Ornamental grass grows in clumps and can have arching foliage as tall as 15 feet or may have variegated green and creamy white foliage shorter than 1 foot. Some varieties produce flowers. Planting and care of ornamental grass is much like other perennial plants. Ornamental grass can be planted in spring or fall.

Plant

Choose a well-drained location with an appropriate sun level for the plant. Some ornamental grasses, like tufted hair grass and Korean feather reed grass, can grow in partial shade while other ornament grasses, like blue oat grass and palm sedge, prefer full sun.

  • Ornamental grass needs cutting only once per year, unlike lawn grasses that may need weekly cutting during the growing season.
  • Some ornamental grasses, like tufted hair grass and Korean feather reed grass, can grow in partial shade while other ornament grasses, like blue oat grass and palm sedge, prefer full sun.

Dig a hole twice as wide as the container and as deep as the container is tall.

Mix a commercial all-purpose fertilizer with the removed soil at the rate of 1 lb. for every 100 square feet of the planting bed.

Remove the ornamental grass from the container and examine the root ball. If roots are wrapped around the root ball, use a utility knife to make cuts about 1/2 inch deep into the side of the root ball. Make the cut from the center side of the root ball to the bottom and about every 6 inches around the root ball.

Place the root ball in the center of the hole. Adjust the soil in the bottom of the hole if needed so the soil on the top of the root ball is at ground level. Backfill the hole halfway with the amended soil. Water to settle the soil and then finish backfilling the hole. Water again.

  • Dig a hole twice as wide as the container and as deep as the container is tall.
  • Make the cut from the center side of the root ball to the bottom and about every 6 inches around the root ball.

Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch, like wood chips, over the disturbed soil. Keep the mulch about 2 inches away from the base of the plant.

Care

Cut the ornamental grass back to 4 to 6 inches tall in the spring.

Apply an all-purpose fertilizer, if desired, in the spring when new growth appears.

Water regularly, spring to fall, the first two years. Water ornamental grass in sunny locations every 7 to 10 days unless it rains. Ornamental grass in shady locations may need less frequent watering. After two years, water only during long periods of no rain (drought conditions).

  • Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch, like wood chips, over the disturbed soil.
  • Cut the ornamental grass back to 4 to 6 inches tall in the spring.

Divide plants in spring or fall by digging up an established ornamental grass (about three years in the ground) and cutting it into two clumps with the shovel tip. Remove any dead area from the center and then replant the two divisions.

Related Articles

How to Split Ornamental Grasses
How to Split Ornamental Grasses
Pampas Grass Planting in Texas
Pampas Grass Planting in Texas
How to Care for Mexican Feather Grass
How to Care for Mexican Feather Grass
How to Build a Bark Mulch Path
How to Build a Bark Mulch Path
Indoor Growing Tips for Ornamental Grass
Indoor Growing Tips for Ornamental Grass
Ornamental Grass Toxicity in Dogs
Ornamental Grass Toxicity in Dogs
Bermuda Grass Vs. Bahia Grass in Florida
Bermuda Grass Vs. Bahia Grass in Florida
How to Care for Ribbon Grass
How to Care for Ribbon Grass
How to Care for Maiden Grass
How to Care for Maiden Grass
Garden Guides
×