Question about Pink Muhly Grass

stillwelljill(7)May 3, 2009

My pink muhly is barely showing signs of life. I have only 2 pieces of tall green grass blades showing above the dead grass (which I cut back in April). Is this normal or is it early in Zone 7 for this grass to be emerging robustly?

I purchased this 3 gal. grass last summer. It did very well throughout the summer and fall with beautiful pink plumes in late summer and fall. We had a fairly normal mild winter in our area just north of Atlanta.

I am new to ornamental grasses. Thanks for any help from gardeners with experience with this kind of grass.

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About all you can do is wait to see if it comes back. The fact there are some signs of growth are a positive, because if it was completely dead, there would be none (if the two blades are Muhly).

It's not easy to generalize about when warm season grasses will spring into growth. I have lots of them, and even within the same cultivar, some start earlier or later than others. There are so many variables, like sun exposure, available moisture and other micro-climate issues, which come into play, they all just move at their own speed.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 11:35AM
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Is pink muhly questionable for my zone? I am just north of Atlanta GA. Just curious as to why there may have been a problem with it this year. If I only get a sprig or two that come up, how should I deal with it? There is a large area that is just dead short stiff grass from the previous season. I won't do anything for some time just to see what happens but lets just say those few blades are all that come back, what will I do? Much thanks.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 2:03PM
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If the two blades are indeed Muhly, chances are good more will follow. If, however, they are some other grass which has self-sown into the clump, then they mean nothing.

Try tugging on some of the dead stumps from last year's growth. If they are firmly held in the crown, it's a good thing. If they come out easily, and are damp/rotten-looking, it may be a bad sign.

It's not possible to say why a grass dies out prematurely, because there are so many factors involved which cannot be diagnosed long-distance. Muhly should do fine in your zone, so it isn't a hardiness issue. Sometimes greenhouse-grown grasses flourish in the season they are planted, but fail to make it through their first winter even though they are rated as hardy. This is one reason why many prefer to buy field-grown mature grasses.

If the clump only comes back partially, I'd wait until next spring, and divide it, discarding the dead portion of the crown.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 4:36PM
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