When to Divide Ornamental Grasses

Divide Ornamental Grasses
The darker center, where the ornamental grass no longer grows is a sign that it is time to divide this grass plant.

As spring approaches, it is time to start to think about what maintenance needs to be done to the landscape. Spreading new bark, cleaning up debris that blew in over the winter, and cutting down any remaining perennials that were left up over the winter for added interest. When cutting down your ornamental grasses, you may encounter a situation were there is a hole in the base of the grass plant where the grass does not grow. What causes this? And what can be done about it?

As an ornamental grass plant grows bigger, it can only grow wider. When this happens, there is too much competition for space, and the middle of the plant loses out. The grass is not able to make any stalks that are worth the energy and are able to survive. Thus a hole forms in the middle of the plant. The hole does not mean that it is getting weak, it just means that it is too big as a single plant.

When your ornamental grass becomes too big, it is time to split the plant. It is up to you how small you want to split the plant down to. The best time of the year to divide is in the spring or the fall. This is when the weather is cooler, and it is less stress on the plant to be split apart and replanted.

It is up to you what you would like to do with the parts that were split off. The split parts can be used again. They can be planted somewhere else in your landscape. They can be given to friends and family to use at their house. Or you can dispose of them in a yard waste recycling program. This is either through your trash removal company or there is a local municipality that allows their residents to bring that material to a municipal yard waste site

You will know it is time to divide ornamental grasses when they start to lose their middle. A hole forms, and you will know that it is time. Now if you don’t do it right away, it is not going to hurt the plant either. Dividing ornamental grasses just help to keep the appearance neat and clean.

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