Climbing plants

Cutting grasses - our tips

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Grasses in the garden look nice, but sometimes they need a healthy cut to keep it that way. You can find out how to do this in our small grass guide.

Zebra grass - © Substance - Fotolia.com

Grasses in the garden give the little green oasis a very special flair. Although they have been at home for a long time, they still have something exotic about them. If you have various ornamental grasses in the garden yourself, you have got pretty and easy-care plants. One of the few maintenance measures is pruning, which is the subject of the following.

When it comes to pruning, you have to make a clear distinction. Because evergreen grasses have different cutting requirements than deciduous grasses. And also with bamboo, which is one of the ornamental grasses, you have to consider other things again.

Pruning of deciduous grasses only in spring

Cut back after winter - © dima_pics / stock.adobe.com

One of the most popular deciduous grasses in German gardens is pampas grass, Chinese reed or lamp cleaner grass. They all have stalks that turn straw-colored in autumn and die. They then sprout in spring.

Even if the stalks die in autumn, you should not cut them off immediately. There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, the stalks protect the roots from frost. On the other hand, the stalks serve as protection for small animals. In addition, it can happen that water penetrates the cut stalks and the plant begins to rot.

Tip: Tie the stalks of grasses such as pipe grass, zebra grass or the Chinese reed together so that no moisture gets inside the plant and freezes there.

If the grasses sprout again in spring, you can cut the grass just above the ground to make room for the new stalks. In order not to damage them, you should cut back as early as possible.

What do I need for the pruning?

Depending on the size of the ornamental grass, you need different tools. This is how you get along with small specimens with sharp secateurs. For larger varieties, you should use pruning shears. If you want to shorten particularly thick stalks, you won't be able to avoid using an electric hedge trimmer.

Once you have cut your ornamental grass, you can carefully remove the cut stalks from the plant using a leaf broom. However, be careful not to damage the newly sprouted stalks.

Tip: The blades of most grasses are very sharp. Therefore, you should definitely wear gloves and long-sleeved clothing.

For evergreen grasses just a maintenance cut

Japanese sedge - © tamu / stock.adobe.com Evergreen grasses like many species of sedge, the blue fescue or the blue oat grass do not get the same cut as the deciduous ornamental grasses. Rather, in spring they only receive a maintenance cut, in which all leaf tips damaged by frost and dead stalks are removed. Only cut off as much as is really necessary. In contrast to other plants, evergreen grasses are not stimulated to grow by pruning.

Tip: Some grasses tend to self-sow. To prevent this, you can cut off the inflorescences in autumn - preferably before the seeds form.

Cut bamboo

Unlike other ornamental grasses, the stalks of the evergreen bamboo are perennial. A pruning is used less for care than for aesthetics. Because with a targeted pruning you can achieve an attractive appearance, but you cannot stimulate the growth with it. A cut stalk no longer grows.

Tip: Bamboo constantly forms new stalks that grow out of the underground rhizomes. A rhizome barrier is essential so that the bamboo does not spread out in an uncontrolled manner.

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