Ornamental Grass Division: When And How To Divide Ornamental Grass

Ornamental Grass Division: When And How To Divide Ornamental Grass

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
Image by Eileen Kumpf

If you have more time than money and like growing your own landscape plants, try ornamental grass division. Most landscapes have an area, or even several spots, where some type of grass would look perfect. With a clumping habit, taller varieties sway in the breeze. You likely won’t find this plant in every neighbor’s yard, so use it to make your landscaping unique.

When to Divide Ornamental Grasses

If you have large areas that would benefit from being filled with ornamental grasses, or walkways and paths that would be attractive if lined by these plants, try growing from divisions. Most ornamental grasses grow easily and quickly from just a small start.

A hollow center indicates when to divide ornamental grasses. Usually division every two to three years is appropriate.

Dividing ornamental grasses is best done in late winter or early spring before growth starts. Divide even a small plant if you want to grow more. As long as roots are present, you can expect a nice clump by autumn.

How to Divide Ornamental Grass

Learning how to divide ornamental grass is simple. Large clumps are best taken from the sides of a growing mound with a square tipped spade or shovel. You may dig the entire plant, split in half, and replant. If it’s been several years since division, you may divide into quarters.

If you have a friend or neighbor with large clumps of grasses, offer to help them out and get some starts that way. Or purchase small plants at the garden center with a growth period before division. Mondo grass, monkey grass and larger types, like pampas and maiden grass, are expensive, especially when purchasing several, so division is practical.

The best growth of these plants usually occurs when planted in full sun, but be sure to check your type. Some ornamental grasses prefer dappled sun or partial shade.

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