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06/02/2014 at 19:18

I have several varieties in pots.  When should I trim them and by how much?

Many have been in the same compost for years.  Should I repot and when?

06/02/2014 at 19:25

Hello gold croft

Nice to meet a fellow grass grower.

Depends on which grasses you have but don't do it yet.

So, what do you have, what size pots are they already in amd how long have they been there?  Have you divided any yet? Most grasses benefit from division.

06/02/2014 at 20:29


I prune my ornamental grasse pretty hard in December and January.  I cut them back hard to approximately 10 cm above ground level. In my experience it promotes strong new growth. Now is a good time to lift up, if you can and divide established grass plants. They are forgiving and generally easy to grow. Good luck! 


06/02/2014 at 20:44

Have to say that I am with Verdun on this one. First of all you you need to know whether they are evergreen or deciduous grasses. With evergreen types such as Festuca, Ijust comb out the dead leaves in March / April. Deciduous types do need cutting back but Winter is probably not the best time. I would leave it till March time.

If they have been in pots a long time then they probably do need re-potting. Again I would wait till March to do this

06/02/2014 at 20:56

So goldcroft, we need to know which varieties you have.

Some grasses can be killed by winter pruning......even down here where it's mild.  Ditto with division at this time of year.....grasses simply do not make new roots in cold soils so sulk and can rot.  Nothing to lose by delaying for few weeks but everything to gain my opinion 

06/02/2014 at 23:37

Truthfully.  I would be inclined to suggest.  Take a close-up look at your plants, especially the crown...the center.  Judge for yourself.  Now then.  Yes it seems to be a well established plant.  However use your noddle.  Is the ceneter becoming far too closely bound.  The new growth.  Where is it coming from.  Try and look into the future.  Oh my lovely grass.  All of a sudden you seem to have become just a tight center clump.  I would be inclined to split up established clumps, say every three years.  That way you will aid the encouragement of new growth to the original , and at the same time you will be producing the next generation.  Think positive.  You might be able to sell a few new productions.

07/02/2014 at 07:31

Thanks to all. Apart from Tina, all seem agreed.  Wait a few months.

07/02/2014 at 09:08

Few weeks only.  Late march is fine.  

You didn't say what types you have.  Do you  know?  

07/02/2014 at 09:58

To be honest I cannot remember varieties Verdun!  Sorry.  All keep their growth and leaves all winter and the pots are on gravel.  I have one miniature bamboo, one grass stays brown and another is Elija (?) blue, others have trailing variegrated leaves.  I apologise for my lack of knowledge.

07/02/2014 at 18:58


Elijah blue is a blue festuca.  I divide mine in spring.  Dig them up and pull apart and pot up in good compost.  This keeps their foliage looking good and rejuvenated the plant.  And you will have more plamts in early summer to plant out.  Or simply gently combyour fingers through the plant to remove dead stuff. 

The brown one sounds like a sedge ....I cut mine back in spring almost to the ground.  It grows quickly.  Again, you can pull this plant apart and pot up but in this case I usually pull apart in half and replant in the ground. 

13/02/2014 at 17:26

Thanks everyone, especially Verdun.  Doubt that my brown one is a sedge as it trails?

13/02/2014 at 17:34

Could it be Carex buchananii?

14/02/2014 at 14:23

It probably is, it's got more species in its genus than an other grass I can think off. Some very nice ones though.

14/02/2014 at 20:44

Buchanii is upright but could be comans Bronze.  This is great for a container where it does kind of cascade

14/02/2014 at 23:58

I have to admit.  I haven't fully read each post.  Slap my wrist by all means.


I have always thought that Carex is a sedge. Not a grass.


I stand corrected.

However.  Take a close look at your specimems. Especially the crowns...the centers.  Judge for yourselves.  If you were part of this plant.  Truly.  Would you be happy living here.  Translated.  The very center of your plant.  Does it appear far too closely bonded.  In the grass world various species do form clumps.   This is in fact an area within horticulture that has had very little attention paid to it.  Ask yourself.  Does this clump of grass seem to be stifeling its self?  Be drastic.  Chop it in half and replant.

15/02/2014 at 00:29

Mike, sedges are not grasses, you are correct.  However, in this context....and in a general discussion of grasses.....sedges are offen included in the mix.  We were  simply trying to establish which carex Dove had already mentioned....was the likely variety.  

Many of us here...prob most of know our grasses from our sedges 

15/02/2014 at 14:58

And some people think anything with thin, strappy  leaves is a grass, such as Phormiums, but you can't control what people think.

15/02/2014 at 16:26

..would anyone like to guess what this one is please?  I think I know but would like confirmation.... it seeded in my garden and I've grown it flowered last autumn... remains of which you might be able to see...


15/02/2014 at 16:30

I know it well, half a day might bring back the name

15/02/2014 at 16:34

I think that's Uncinia rubra.

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