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Pruning Ornamental Grasses: How to Groom and Control Your Native Grasses

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Grasses Gone Wild: Tame Those Ornamental Grasses
new zealand flax photo san diego

A New Zealand flax in spectacular form at the San Diego Botanical Garden.

Photo © Lisa Hallett Taylor

Ornamental grasses are fairly new on the landscape scene - they've increased in popularity in recent years. In regions experiencing drought, ornamental and native grasses indigenous to the area have become a smart and stunning part of the landscape. Some grasses have been brought from parts of the world that share similar climates, but even landscape professionals aren't completely sure how to handle all of these exotic imports.

Unlike rose bushes or boxwood hedges, there's not really a standard method for pruning or grooming ornamental grasses. And not every landscaper or gardening expert knows how to take care of everything in the garden, including these grasses that can grow quite large -- as in tall and wide. Follow these steps to groom your grasses and get them to looking great. In some regions, that means they have the potential to be beautiful accent plants nearly year 'round.

Most ornamentals are easy to grow, requiring little water and fertilizer and no pesticides. They look equally beautiful planted poolside - blowing in the breeze, in containers on patios, and as accent plants in other areas of the landscape.

See How the Other Grasses Grow


Check out your neighborhood or cruise nearby areas where similar-looking ornamental grasses grow. Bring along your camera or use your cell to take photos of grasses that are thriving. Parks, botanical gardens, and public places like hotels or nice restaurants often use gardeners and landscapers who treat pruning as an art form, and really know how to cut and groom sedges and flaxes. Observe up close, if possible.
Related Video
Cutting Back Ornamental Grass

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