New Maiden Grass Looking Sick :(

bobby1973September 14, 2012

Hi folks,

I'm not sure what's going on with this new Variegated Maiden Grass I planted about 1 week ago. It looked fantastic the first day. It was robust with healthy blades that flowed in the wind. I planted it on Sunday morning and watered it deeply. I returned to look at it on Wednesday afternoon and I was shocked! It was reduced to probably 1/3 its original size, and the blades are curling up and looking dry. I automatically assumed it needed water. So I gave it a deep watering on Wednesday afternoon and another deep watering yesterday afternoon (Thursday). I looked at it this morning and I'm not seeing any improvement. Anybody have any thoughts on what's going on? Transplant shock? I'm surprised because all grasses I've planted in the past are super reliable and super durable. I've never had to baby them - just plop them in the ground and they do their thing. I heard so many nice things about Maiden Grasses so I figured I would add it to church's landscape. But if it needs to be 'babied' like this, I think I might just dig it up and return it to Home Depot and plant maybe a different OG. Let me know what you folks think I should do. THanks so much!

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I just wanted to add that the plant is getting plenty of 'full sun' in its location.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 11:57AM
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It could be a few things, including transplant shock.

A few questions:

Was it flowering when you planted it?

How was the root system when you took it out of its pot? Was it at all root bound? Did you cut off or otherwise uncoil the roots?

Have you successfully grown other grasses in the same location? Does the soil drain well, or is it full of clay, and holding water in the planting hole?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Hi Donn - No the plant didn't have any plumes at the time of planting. It wasn't root-bound either. However I still teased the root ball a bit prior to planting. I haven't planted any other grasses in this location, but the soil seems to absorb the water quickly when I water the plant. I'm thinking about maybe just digging it up to see what's going on under ground. Like I said, I've never had to baby an ornamental grass like this before.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 1:40PM
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Just wanted to update you on my situation. I dug up the Variegated Maiden Grass and swapped it with a new Maiden Grass with non-variegated leaves (just solid green colored leaves). I lightly teased the root ball and then irrigated deeply. That was 2 days ago, I stopped by to take a peek at it this morning and it's looking fantastic! So I'm not sure what happened to the original variegated variety. All I know is that I'll be returning it to Home Depot later today for a full refund:)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:48AM
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Interesting. How did the roots look when you dug up the sick one? Did you put the new one in the same planting hole?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:35AM
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The roots on the sick looking OG looked fine. Yes, I did plant the new OG in the same hole. To be honest, I'm sure the original OG would have been fine in the long run. It probably would continue to looks dry and curly throughout the fall and winter, but I'm sure it would send up new, healthy shoots come Spring. I just couldn't bear to see it looking so dry and curly every day. It all worked out for the best anyway. I think the new OG with the non-variegated leaves fits into the surrounding landscape better.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 10:42AM
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