Divided Pampas Grass not doing well

l_w_davisMay 15, 2013

In mid march, when i could just start to see green tips growing up from the root ball, i cut back and then dug up a 4 year old pampas grass plant.

it was really big and was blocking sunlight for an adjacent schrub

i quartered it, but 3 sections on another side of the house, then replanted the final section where I had dug up.

the other grasses in my landscape (the ones I did not touch) have all grown almost to full length and are vibrant green and looking great.

the one i divided has barely grown at all, isnt near as deep green, and just looks kind of awful to be honest.

any thoughts? rememdies?

it has been getting plenty of water

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l_w_davis

i guess i should also confess...when i divided it, i didnt really have the right tools.

used a sharpshooter drain shovel, and a another regular shovel

didnt have an axe or a sharp spade.

so i kind of had to beat the hell out of it to get it divided. i suppose this could have an adverse effect

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 12:33PM
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donn_(7b-8a)

First, let's make sure we have the ID of the grass right. Are you sure it's Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)? I ask, because there are very few cultivars which are winter hardy in your zone. I'm a tad warmer, and haven't been able to grow any of them successfully. The few times I managed to maintain one over winter, it was May before I got any new shoots.

Next, I'd say it's unusual for all of your other grasses to be near their full height this early in the year, even if you had an unusually warm spring.

Finally, it isn't uncommon for a grass to suffer a bit of shock from division, under the best of circumstances. It may well be late in recovering.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 7:42PM
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l_w_davis

Donn,

there's a very good chance I have the name wrong. I asked a guy from texas what they were called and that's what he called them.

I'm uploading some pics to the thread.

Also, theyre not full height, but they the ones i didnt divide are looking very good.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:26AM
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l_w_davis

here is one that I did NOT divide. looking nice

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:27AM
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l_w_davis

this is the plant that was divided, and i put the biggest chunk left back in the original spot.

I guess the last time i really looked hard at it was Tuesday, and it has really grown quite a bit since then. so maybe they are recovering.

I have also been pouring liquid mixed plant/shrub food on them (have done a couple of times over the last month.

this looks probably 50% better than it did just two days ago.

also, i need to cut the dead parts back further and earlier in the year - i always wait too long and then get scared that im going to cut too much green part away

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:30AM
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l_w_davis

this is one of the divided pieces that i planted on the other side of the house.

it probably does not get as much sun as the other plants.

but hopefully they will make it

these have also probably had 50% growth since i last really looked at them two days ago.

all these pics were taken this morning

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 9:33AM
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donn_(7b-8a)

Frankly, it looks more like Miscanthus sinensis to me. I've never seen a C. selloana with a single white mid-vein. Do you have a photo of it blooming? That would tell the tale.

I think part of the problem is the fact you didn't cut the old growth down far enough. It should be no more than 6" from the ground. It's hiding a lot of the new growth, but the new growth I can see looks healthy enough.

I'd stop the fertilizer. If you give grasses too much fertilizer, they'll flop. All I give my grasses is a yearly topdressing of compost under the mulch around them. Rake away the mulch, apply an inch or so of well-aged compost, and rake the mulch back over it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 12:45PM
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l_w_davis

Donn,

I bet the common name is maiden grass. they sell that at my local nursery and they are planted all over the place here.

i definitely didnt cut the dead growth down enough. I will rememdy that next year when I'm cleaning up for pre-spring

I will stop the fertilizer also.

thanks for the tips, bro

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 1:04PM
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