The most beautiful grasses enchant the garden with deciduous stalks. Some premium varieties adorn the winter bed with evergreen or evergreen leaves. Diverse ornamental grass species thrive from the low cushion to the majestic splendid specimen with a height of 3 meters. Regardless of the multifaceted attributes, a cut is on the maintenance program once a year for almost all grasses. But be careful, the wrong time can ruin the filigree grandeur. In this guide you will find out when you should cut which ornamental grasses. Benefit from practical tips for perfect pruning.

Cut deciduous grasses in late winter

Even before the beginning of winter, the aboveground plant parts of deciduous ornamental grasses die. This process can be recognized by the brown to yellowish and dry stalks that bathe the autumn garden in a sea of ​​warm colors. The dried up leaf heads stop in winter and only collapse under heavy snow pressure. The disheveled, dead appearance disguises the fact that the stalks have an important role to play as winter protection for the plant heart and the root ball. Autumn pruning measures on deciduous grasses are taboo. The following types of ornamental grasses and the varieties that emerge from them are only cut when they start to shoot in spring:

With a height of up to 3 meters, Miscanthus makes itself useful as an imposing eye-catcher and powerful privacy screen. In the summer time, tightly upright, later elegantly overhanging, green stalks set decorative accents. When opulent spike blossoms rise above the eyrie in autumn, the blades of grass turn yellowish-brown to reddish. Summer-green Chinese reed is ideally cut in late winter with two-hand secateurs that have a power-amplifying ratchet gear. The handy Japanese saw, which cuts the stalks from the outside to the inside, is also suitable for pruning.

  • known varieties: giraffe, goliath, malepartus, zebrinus
  • Flowering period: August to October (long-lasting seed heads in winter)

grass (Koeleria glauca) Delicate, fluffy flower panicles are the most beautiful ornament of diamond grass. The noble ears of wheat can be admired above a nest of pointed, deciduous stalks. Diamond grass is popular with beginners in hobby gardening because it is particularly easy to care for. Cutting back in early spring clears the way for fresh shoots.

  • best known variety: Hameln
  • Flowering period: August to September

Feather grass (Stipa)
The wonderful genus of feather grass brings imaginative gardeners with a colorful array of splendid varieties. The biodiversity ranges from silver ear grass to fleece feather grass to giant feather grass. What they all have in common is a growth with deciduous stalks that gradually die off in autumn and winter. This does not impair their important function as a natural protective layer for the plant heart and root disc. You should therefore only note the date for pruning your feather grass in late winter or early spring.

  • known varieties: ponytail, tufted hair grass, Algäu, angel hair,
  • Flowering period: June / July to August / September

Pennisetum alopecuroides (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
The widespread ornamental grass only sprouts late in spring with fresh-green, lanceolate stalks. In autumn the leaves turn yellow-brown and have cylindrical flower spikes that are reminiscent of lamp cleaning brushes. Only when the floral splendor has collapsed at the end of winter do you cut the perennial close to the ground.

  • best known variety: Hameln
  • Flowering period: July to October

grass (Bouteloua gracilis) The ideal ornamental grass for the small garden and balcony tub owes its name to unusually shaped flower spikes. At first glance, the horizontal spikelets appear as if a swarm of mosquitoes are approaching. The loosely clumpy leaf heads reach a height of 20 to 40 centimeters. In autumn the perennial moves in, which can be seen from the dried-up stalks. The dead plant parts protect the root ball from winter damage until next spring. Only then does a cut back close to the ground ensure order and pave the way for the new shoot to light.

  • pure species as the only known variety
  • Flowering period: July to September

Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana)
You tie the stalks together to scoop up pampas grass in autumn. This does not affect the ornamental value of the plumes and the heart is well protected from frost and moisture. In good time before budding, grasp the individual leaf scoops and cut them back to a hand’s breadth above.

  • known varieties: Citaro, Aureolineata, Pumila, Rose Feder, White Feder
  • Flowering period: September to October
Tip: Numerous grasses, such as pampas grass or Chinese reeds, thrive with razor-sharp stalks. To protect against cuts, please wear gloves with long cuffs.

Flat-eared grass (Chasmanthium latifolium)
Upright, broadly lanceolate stalks serve as a decorative background. The real attraction of flat-eared grass is the innumerable, flattened flower spikes from which the ornamental grass owes its name. The fresh green foliage turns yellowish-brown in autumn and dies. However, this is no reason to let the scissors circle prematurely. The retracted stalks do not have to give way until February so that fresh green can find its way to the light.

  • known strain: River Mist
  • Flowering period: August to October

Riding grass (Calamagrostis)
The important German perennial breeder Karl Foerster was the godfather for one of the most popular riding grasses. Of course, the pure species also knows how to convince with picturesque attributes, such as a slim, dense growth and long-lasting fruit decoration. Riding grass enriches the creative garden with natural charm without requiring extensive maintenance. The most important measure for vitality and beauty is pruning close to the ground when winter is drawing to a close. The best way to master the cut on the well-established riding grass with stalks up to 150 centimeters high is with two-handed loppers.

  • known varieties: Karl Foerster, Waldenbruch, Overdam
  • Flowering period: July to August

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)
Deciduous, grass-like stalks with furious autumn colors and extremely delicate spikes make the switchgrass an irresistible ornamental grass. Hobby gardeners appreciate the uncomplicated demands, because the diverse varieties adapt flexibly to the local framework conditions. The linchpin in the care program is a courageous cut back in late winter. Until then, the steady leaf heads will drive away the dreariness of winter from the empty garden.

  • Well-known varieties: Heavy metal, Hänse Herms, Heiliger Hain, Rehbraun
  • Flowering period: July to September

Eyelash pearl grass (Melica ciliata)
The eyelash pearl grass is the premium solution for gardeners with a weakness for easy-care ornamental grasses that are not found in every garden. Although the petite beauty is at home in Europe, among other places, it has so far been a rarity. This is very surprising, because the densely leafed grass with its squat growth does not make any capricious demands. A sunny location in stony-sandy soil and pruning in early spring are sufficient for eyelash pearly grass to present itself from its most beautiful side. As one of the first ornamental grasses, it shines in spring with creamy white, fluffy flower spikes whose magic nobody can escape.

  • Height: 30 to 60 cm
  • Flowering period: May to July

Comb out wintergreen grasses in spring

With fresh green stalks, evergreen grasses bring momentum to the empty garden. Most semi-evergreen ornamental grasses cannot tolerate a radical cut like their deciduous counterparts. You can comb out the following species and varieties with your hands or use scissors or a knife to thin out the heads if the shoot has started in spring:

fescue , blue fescue (Festuca gautieri and Festuca cinerea) Cushion-shaped growth and needle-like, brightly colored stalks characterize the most beautiful fescue species. The ornamental grasses should be combed out manually in spring so that the well-formed habit and the distinctive foliage color are retained. Grasp the eyrie with both hands to pull out dead stalks.

  • known varieties: Bergsilber, Elija Blue, Festina
  • Flowering period: July to September

Blue ray oats (Helictotrichon sempervirens)
Its blue-gray foliage color shines on the blue-ray oat until the end of winter. Ornamental grass is often wrongly offered as an evergreen perennial. In fact, the narrow stalks move in in late winter. The gardener takes this signal as an opportunity to comb out the 40 centimeter high eyrie and cut off dried seed heads.

  • known variety: Saphiersprudel
  • Flowering period: July to August

Schiller grass (Koeleria glauca)
Filigree schiller grass has an aversion to shears. If the evergreen ornamental grass is streaked with dead stalks in spring, you should clean out the forelock. To do this, run a knife through the plant from base to tip and press the stalks against the blade. Dry shoots break off and no longer affect the fresh shoot.

  • known varieties: blue schiller grass as a pure species
  • Flowering period: June to July

Trembling grass (Briza media)
The filigree stalks of the native trembling grass tremble at the slightest breeze. The easy-care ornamental grass has no reason to shiver in fear, because it can rely on a robust winter hardiness. The most important prerequisite for a healthy winter time is that the grass-like leaves protect the plant heart and the rhizome. When dead stalks spoil the pretty grass in spring, simply brush the eyrie with an old hand brush.

  • known varieties: heart trembling grass, trembling zebra
  • Flowering period: May to August

Do not cut evergreen ornamental grasses

Grass species with evergreen stalks are rare in Central European gardens. The climatic challenges are too great for a leafy nest that is green all year round. Even the few survivors among the ornamental grasses do not get through the cold season unscathed without winter protection. The following species and varieties can safely do without pruning:

  • Japanese sedges (Carex morrowii) with beautiful varieties that inspire with striped or variegated stalks
  • New Zealand sedge (Carex buchananii) brings color to the garden with its fox-red stalks
  • Beach sedge (Carex arenaria) stands up to wind and weather all year round with its gray-green stalks
  • Waldmarbel (Luzula) impresses as a native ornamental grass with evergreen leaves

If one of these evergreen grass species is in the limelight in your bed or tub, scissors and garden knives can stay in the shed. Nevertheless, over the years, different varieties tend to have a scruffy growth that cannot be regulated by pruning. Splitting the root ball in spring or autumn simply eliminates the problem.

This guide clears up any doubts about the right time to cut ornamental grasses. For all types of grass, cutting in autumn is not advisable because the stalks act as winter protection. In the late winter, the time window for the pattern maintenance opens. Cut deciduous grasses at ground level. Comb out wintergreen ornamental grasses with your hands or a brush.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *