Messages posted to thread:

Patricia20-Aug-05 09:18 AM EST 5b   
Glen T21-Aug-05 10:16 AM EST 7   
Patricia 28-Aug-05 07:48 PM EST 5   

Subject: dividing ornamental grass
From: Patricia
Zone: 5b
Date: 20-Aug-05 09:18 AM EST

I would like to divide my ornamental grass which is 6' tall and need to know should I do this in spring or fall? I don't remember the name of it but it has green leaves with a horizontal yellow stripe every six inches or so. Thanks

Subject: RE: dividing ornamental grass
From: Glen T
Zone: 7
Date: 21-Aug-05 10:16 AM EST

Patricia--sounds like a miscanthus, either porcupine or zebra grass (depending on whether it is stiff or drooping in habit).

I might consider dividing it in fall here, where we have very long mild falls that could allow recovery and root development before freezeup. If you're in Ontario, it is probably safest to wait till early spring to there is less time for damaged tissue to get exposed to infections before they can heal and start growing again.

Only problem is there's so much else to do around the place at the same time, everything wants to be sown, divided, potted, rototilled around about March here. So it's tempting to try and get some stuff done when there's time, even if it's not the absolute best timing...

This grass is not the hardiest in your zone, tho it's obviously doing well for you. Another reason to not stress it by dividing in fall there.

Oh, and with a miscanthus, you may want to have an axe or something like that handy, they can be quite a challenge to split apart when they get big!

Subject: RE: dividing ornamental grass
From: Patricia (
Zone: 5
Date: 28-Aug-05 07:48 PM EST

To transplant perennials, I always use the "old" rule - if it blooms in spring, divide in fall; if it blooms in fall, divide in spring. Fall in this case would mean at that point where things start to cool down a bit, say, late August/early September. And grasses do come in two types: early blooming and late blooming. Miscanthus does bloom late - in fact, mine has yet to show any sign of bloom at all. So - long story short - if this is a miscanthus, then divide it next spring.

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