Grasses Aftercare Advice
Grasses require low maintenance, and add interest to your garden at any time. Give your garden a high-fashion look by planting different types of grasses in your garden. Here's how to keep them thriving/
Sun exposure: Full Sun to Semi-shade to Shade
Although grasses don’t grow flowers, they prefer a sunny site—the sunnier the site, the bright foliage colours. Grasses are versatile plants that need at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.
Grasses aren’t too picky about soil, though they do prefer well-drained soils. Add nutrients to your grounds by mixing in some organic matter. Don’t mix in too much feeding; this can encourage lush foliage at the expense of flowers. Only one application of a balanced fertiliser in spring is enough.
Water needs: Medium
Native ornamental grasses can stand low water. Tropical ornamental grasses need more water. Right after planting ornamental grasses in the ground or a pot they need regular water to help establish a robust root system. Once established, ornamental grasses tolerate more drought.
How to take care of your Grasses
Plant ornamental grasses in spring or autumn, when the ground is still warm and humid. All grasses have different growing requirements-some do best in moist but well-drained soil; others prefer dry or water-retentive soil. Here's a short guide to give your grasses the best possible care.
We divide grasses into two categories:
- Cool climate grasses come into growth in late winter and flower in mid-summer. These grasses need to be planted in autumn for the best establishment. These are Carex, Calamagrstis, Chasmanthium, Deschampsia, Festuca, Hakonechloa, Molina and Stipa.
- Grasses from warm climates come into growth in late spring, flower after mid-summer and cut back in winter. These species are best planted in spring. This category contains varieties such as Arundo, Cortaderia, Imperata, Miscanthus, Panicum, Pennisetum and Phalaris.
Most grasses love an open sunny location. Grasses do best in full sun but also tolerate some shade. When grasses grow in too much shade, they are less vigorous and tend to flop. A little shade during the day is okay. We recommend at least six to eight hours of direct sun per day. Please notice that some grasses grow well in semi-shade.
Most grasses grow in a wide range of soils, from sandy to well-drained clay. Grasses love moist soil as long as the soil is well-drained. Avoid constantly soggy or wet soils; this can be problematic and can cause root rot. Grasses tolerate periods of dry soil when established well. During summer, you only have to water them once a week if the ground is water-retentive.
The rule of thumb with planting grasses is that you have to dig a hole two to three times as wide and as deep or not much deeper than the plant's root ball. The wider the hole, the better. Mix the native soil with organic matter and backfill the ground and firmly press the soil.
After planting, deeply water the area by soaking the soil around the base to remove air pockets. Water newly planted ornamental grasses often for the first few weeks and slowly extend the time between watering. After two to three weeks, watering twice a week should be enough. Except for the water-loving ornamental grasses, most ornamental grasses don't need extra watering once established. Browning leaves or blade tips are a sign that ornamental grasses need water. Water grasses early in the day, so their roots can soak up the moisture when the sun comes up. Avoid overwatering your grasses; this slows down the growth and causes lousy strength.
Ornamental grasses need little fertilizing. You can add a liquid root stimulator to your watering for an extra boost. This stimulates early root formation and more vigorous root development. Root stimulator reduces plant shock and promotes greener, more vigorous plants. If you want to increase the size and the number of seedheads of your ornamental grasses, you can apply just a little fertilizer in spring. Less is more: use ¼ cup per plant as growth starts back up. Ornamental grasses don't need fertilizing, as they can go on a sudden growth and tend to flop over, losing their aesthetic value.
We have divided ornamental grasses into two categories:
- Cut back cool-season grasses in very early spring. As soon as new growth starts to appear, cut them back. Leave about 1/3 of the plant in place.
- Cut back warm-season ornamental grasses in fall or by mid to late spring. You can also leave the seedheads to add interest to your winter garden, as seedheads covered in snow look fantastic. If you've left the seedheads over winter, cut them all the way back to the ground in early spring.
Pests and Diseases grasses
Several pests and diseases can appear on ornamental grasses, like oedema, which can be controlled by avoiding overwatering and improving the flow are of the leaves. Whitish-grey powdery mould can appear or buds, young leaves and twigs. The leaves can crinkle and curl upward. To control this, you can remove and destroy fallen leaves and other debris.