Carl Forester-no plumes?

rdh1994(z5 IL)September 12, 2005

I planted 5 or 6 Carl's either last Fall or this spring(I forgot because I've planted so many grasses this last year), anyway the grass grew nicely from the little pot I planted. But, they did not get any plumes on them. Why? I have one of the bunches that got 2 little plumes and that was it. They get full sun with the exception of a few hours in the morning. It has been a very dry year here, but all my other grasses grew and performed nicely.


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jake(z4b-5 NE)

This isn't an uncommon happening. It isn't normal either but on occasion we've had grasses that performed (grew) poorly the first year.

I feel confident that you watered sufficiently throughout this dry season as this is a necessity for grasses and all plant material in their first growing season.

Don't give up, just be patient as patience is a requirement to become a gardening expert.

As B-57 (Blackie 57) would say " ... first year sleep, second year creep, third year leap." And of course there is the requirement of " ......grab a chair, a refreshment and watch the grasses grow. Next year in the spring trim them back, grab a chair, a Âfreshment, watch Âem grow, next spring grab a Âfreshment, chair and watch Âem grow, next spring ...."

Ornamental grasses, a manÂs perennial.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 4:47PM
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.....okay.....what about those of us that are pretty darn sure that we drank more than our grasses did, if you know what i mean!!! i may have ever so innocently forgot to water them. now, my grasses are big time brown. there is still green, but definitely more brown. i have been FAITHFULLY watering them for the last week, though. is it too late?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 7:12PM
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blackie57(z5 NY Broome Co)

Lora, My Calamagrostis "Overdam"s I planted last year had no plumes at all, as did my Avalanche's this year. This year the Overdam's have tons of plumes, as I'm sure the Avalanche's will next. Be patient.

Cream , your grasses may be turning a bit because of the weather. Give them some water if you wish. I watered mine about once a week this summer because of the driness and they did not flop one bit. Play it by ear, the grasses will tell you when the need some water, just like they are now !

By the way, I was outside this evening digging the perimeter of one of the two new beds I'm getting ready for next spring..ding the Lasagna thing. Works great !!!

Yo Jake !! I need a refreshment after all that digging... whew !!!


    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 8:49PM
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jake(z4b-5 NE)

Gotcha covered there B57. ... had an extra one chilled and ready just for friends in need and knowing that there are friends like you out there in need I had that 'freshment and it was mighty fine.

I am sure you feel better for it. Glad I could help.

Starting tomorrow I will be off the air for several days as travel time is approaching.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 9:09AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

They bloom very early in the year. With such a young plant, probably wasn't ready to go.

Also, to add a nit-picking note, notice spelling correction of the grass name.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 10:24PM
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Karl Forester or Karl Foerester? Which one of these is the right name? Both can be found on the web.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 9:40AM
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It's Foerster, named for the man who brought it to the market.

"..introduced to the nursery trade and general public in 1950 by Karl Foerster in his book Einzag der Graeser and Fame die Gaerten (The Use of Grasses and Ferns in the Garden), under the name of Calamagrostis epigejos 'Hortorum'. According to Mr. Foerster, the source for the plant was the Hamburg Botanical Garden. The Foerster Nursery also listed this grass in their 1939 catalog but as an annual, not a perennial, grass. It was imported into the United States from Denmark in 1964."

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 10:21AM
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My KFs did not put up plumes last summer either (that was their first year in the ground and in the Texas heat, near Austin). I'm hoping they get reeds this year since they look like pretty healthy plants at this point, but, still none so far...

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Here is how they look right now...

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 3:42PM
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Update - my KFs are almost 2x the size above now (early June, 2014) during their 2nd year in the ground. Again, they look good so far, though it isn't too hot here yet, but still no signs of plumes. Does anyone else around Austin/San Antonio have blooming Karl Foeresters yet??

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 2:21PM
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kidhorn(7a MD)

Be patient. Sometimes it tales a few years before they flower.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 3:16PM
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Seriously? Ugh. OK, but still would be nice to know if anyone this far south has had luck with 'em. Thanks kidhorn.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 3:19PM
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I garden in the Pacific Northwest. Have lots of grasses and Karl Foerster has reliably bloomed for me, even the first year when the plants might be small. One thing I think of is that KF belongs to the group of cool season grasses, as opposed to warm season. Meaning they grow very early spring and again in the fall. All my KFs have been in flower for a few weeks; I don't remember the first date inflorescence appeared. Perhaps in an area like Austin the temps climb too quickly for them; they don't expend much energy to do anything but look pretty in the breezes once it gets warm. Once they have bloomed mine just kind of hang out until cooler fall weather arrives and then you can see new growth again. Warm season grasses like pannicums and pennisetums may be better suited to moderate climates.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:52PM
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