How do you support your ornamental grasses when they flop?

natal(Louisiana 8b)June 22, 2011

I tried a couple dwarf ornamental grasses last year, but was less than impressed. This year I planted 6 purple fountain grasses and a variegated grass. They look great, but with the recent much-needed rain they've started to flop. Today I tied them up with twine and a stake, but I'm wondering if there's a better solution.

How do you manage yours?

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cindysunshine(5b)

Hmmmmm none of mine flop. I have a couple miscanthus the sinenses "Morning Light" which grows in huge clumps in the pond bed, a big patch of switch grass with is a panicum I think I have the blue one "Heavy Metal "which gets big and gorgeous and some newer patches of the zebra striped miscanthus both a taller and shorter variety. They sprawl a bit as they dry in the fall especially the switch grass but really don't flop. Mine are in very poor soil out by the pond.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 8:31PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

I think grasses in general flop less in poorer soil which is why I get aggravated when I see gorgeous clumps of grasses at the grocery store standing straight and tall and mine flop all over! I have all of mine against my picket fence so I tie them up to the fence. I have also had a shepherd's hook pull double-duty with a decoration and then the grass tied to it.

With my peonies I started using those plastic-covered metal bamboo-like stakes (3 or 4 of them around the peony) and I wrap jute around them and that holds the peonies nicely. That might work for your grasses too and the grass would hide the poles and string.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 9:41PM
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eightzoner

There's a Sydney Eddison article in Fine Gardening (August?) about staking ornamental grasses and other plants. So I guess even super green thumbs like her have to do it sometimes. :-)

Sheri

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:16PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Sheri, I'll have to check that out on the newsstand. Thanks for mentioning it.

Thyme, I wondered about the soil issue. All the grasses planted commercially seem fine.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 12:45PM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

how about a tomato cage painted a greeny-brown? you just
hold the clump tight together at the top and put the cage down over it. i have done that with other things.
min

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 4:20PM
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tinam61

No flopping here either LOL. Maybe it is just all the moisture in the soil and they will be fine once it dries up a bit? I've never staked or tied up any of my grasses. Just recently bought a clump of zebra grass. I love purple fountain grass - in the ground or in a mixed container.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 10:27AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Two stops today and no Fine Gardening on the newsstand.

The twine and stakes seem to be doing the trick for now. We've been in an extreme drought and even though I've been watering religiously that can't compare to the real thing which we finally got this week. Might have something to do with it.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 8:29PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Sheri, picked up a copy today. Thanks again for the heads up! I'll be shopping end of season sales this year for a few grow-through supports.

Btw, any of you who still read books vs. Kindles & Nooks ... Barnes & Noble is having a wicked sale on hardbacks. Dh bought 8 or 9 for under $60 ... cheaper than most paperbacks.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 7:36PM
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