feather reed grass dead?

tonya499(6 UT)April 25, 2010

Last summer I bought several feather reed grasses from Home Depot. They were "special purchase" and were not labelled with their true names. I'm wondering if they are dead now. I looked and 2 of the 5 have 2-3 sprigs of new grass on the outside and they seem well rooted. When should I see significant new growth? My DH says they are dead, but I'm holding out hope a little longer.

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If they are Karl Foerester then you should have seen more growth.Im in sone 5 and mine are 18 inches high now, most feather reed grass are cool season and start very early.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:45PM
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When would you normally expect KF to start putting up reeds and seed heads?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:56AM
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Probably any time now in your zone. Mine start blooming in June.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 3:16PM
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Where do you live Donn? Do you have a picture of yours?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 3:19PM
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Still no blooms/plumes on mine here north of Austin. Still hoping they show up this year. Does anyone else in Texas have Karl Foerester reed grass plumes yet? Many things seem to have come back slowly this year...

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:35AM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I do not have the grass in question. I think I read something that KF was not that good a choice for our summers in Central Texas, but nothing about the winters. This winter here should not have fazed it since it is cold hardy WAY UP NORTH but maybe the dryness did. I am west of Austin and I think that cold is not what is slowing your KF but the lack of rain that we had this winter and into the spring. Many things needed that late slug of moisture that we have finally gotten to kick start spring growth. My long established Muhlenbergia dumosa, who was bitten by the cold to the ground was very late in showing itself. That is a much less cold tolerant grass , and a desert grass to boot, and it still needed that slug of water to jump start it. I think it is a grass that grows in the moist canyons of the Chihuahua desert. They do have them. OOPS, I am getting off topic.

Maybe your grasses did not get their roots established enough to deal with the drought. The other problem with our winter was that we had a very wet November and then followed with an extreme drop off to 16F (where I was ) when the ground was still damp. Maybe the roots rotted and then the drought hit and they had nothing to drink deeply with. I find that this often happens with some of my Xeric plants.Cold + damp is a rotter, especially if you are in clay or another non draining soil. We had NO rain here after that November event till April.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Thanks wantonamara. I agree the problem could be a combination of them not being established yet combined with the weird winter we had. I've decided to give them another year, and if they don't bloom next spring (which will be their third year in the ground) I'm going to switch to 'Northwind' (vertical habit, warm season grass). Hopefully that won't be necessary...

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:02PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I also think that some grasses need some mass to bloom. It might be a "patience grasshopper deal".

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:10PM
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