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How to Take Care of Maiden Grass

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017

Maiden grass's wide, clumping growth makes it a popular choice of ornamental grass. It is most often planted in the landscape as an accent plant or border. But maiden grass also makes an attractive container plant. Once established, maiden grass is quite easy to care for. It is relatively drought-tolerant and disease-resistant. And although it enters a dormant stage in the winter, its tan foliage will remain upright all winter long.

Water newly-transplanted maiden grass whenever the top inch of the soil dries out. After one year, maiden grass will be able to get most of the moisture it needs from annual rainfall. In times of high heat or severe drought, water the plant once weekly until the top 6 inches of the soil are moist.

Begin fertilizing your maiden grass at the beginning of the first growing season after they are transplanted. Fertilize newly-transplanted maiden grass with 1/4 cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer in May, late June and late August. After the first full growing season, increase the amount to one cup and continue fertilizing three times per growing season. Water maiden grass with 3 to 4 inches of water after each application of fertilizer.

Cut back the maiden grass foliage to within a few inches of the ground in late March to make room for new growth. Use a pair of sharp, disinfected hedge clippers.

Divide your maiden grass every three or four years, when the center of the clump begins to die out. The best time to do this is in March after the maiden grass's ample foliage is cut back. Use a shovel to dig up the entire maiden grass clump. Then use a shovel to slice through the center of the plant and split it into two even halves. Split each half again so that you are left with four equal sections. Transplant one clump in the original location (plant at the same depth and fill in any gaps with potting soil). Find other locations for the remaining three clumps, compost them or give them away.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Hedge clippers
  • Shovel
  • Potting soil
  • Water

Tips

  • Maiden grass is well suited to USDA growing zones 5 to 9.
  • Maiden grass grows well in full sun.

Warnings

  • Dry brown dormant maiden grass foliage is highly flammable. Some gardeners prefer to remove dead foliage in the fall if they are concerned about fire hazards.
  • Maiden grass can become an aggressive spreader. Keep its growth in check with regular division.

About the Author

 

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.