Photographs of popular grasses that add that special flare to landscaping
A reader asks about transplanting ornamental grass…
Q. Is it OK to divide my ornamental grasses now (end of October)? I am so busy with other gardening chores in spring that I never seem to get around to it, and they are dying out in the center.
A. Most of the ornamental grasses commonly grown in our area are warm season grasses that should be divided and moved only in the spring. The same goes for the native grasses that have become popular in recent years. These include switch grass (Panicum virgatum), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indian grass (Sorghastum nutans).
If you divide and move them in fall, there is a risk of losing them. They are entering winter dormancy, and probably will not have a chance to re-establish their root systems before cold weather shuts down root growth altogether. Another factor is that their energy reserves are low because they have just finished blooming and setting seed. They may not have the vigor to recover if you divide or move them now.