Nasella tenuissima - Mexicain Feather Grass - Care

mira97232September 10, 2006

I am a new gardener, live in Oregon, love ornamental grasses, and my Mexicain Feather Grass looks awful - can anyone help?

We planted ten in a row on a sunny, western facing slope in early June. (Our neighbors had dug them out and put them in a dumpster. We rescued them the same day). They looked green, light, upright and very beautiful for the first week. We then went away for two weeks. When we returned, they were brown. Looked dead. (Had been watered very little while we were away).

Siince then, and now, 2 and 1/2 months later, they are heaps of heavy, golden-brown, straw-like grass blades splayed out across the slope (dragging on the ground). Look like broken brooms, or inverted mops. Interspersed in among the clumps of gold, are some (just a few) green blades. I tried "brushing" them with my hands to lighten them up a bit in July and just ended up with little poofy seeds all over the ground - which are still everywhere looking messy - web-like, hard to clean up without picking up all the soil as well. There are detached stems lying all around the plants as well.

Did water them regularly this summer - (after the trip) but even if that was a mistake (?) - what can I do now, to make them look better?

Thank you very much, in advance, for any advice.

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donn_(7b-8a)

Try giving them a haircut. They tend to go dormant in summer, and put on a flush of new growth in the fall, and should stay green all winter for you.

Those seeds you 'sowed' will probably germinate, as it's known as a prolific reseeder.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 6:28AM
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gardengal48

"prolific reseeder" - yes! So much so, that it is now borderline invasive in some areas of the PNW and I am no longer offering it at the nursery. We have recently joined a state-wide group of horticultural organizations, growers and nurseries that have voluntarily adopted a "code of conduct" that encourages the selection of alternative plantings for those plants that are not officially included on the noxious weed list but demonstrate an aggressive reseeding or invasive nature.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 9:26AM
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achnatherum(z4or3 Ontario)

Mine do well with REALLY good drainage and not too much water.
Donn's haircut suggestion is good!
You might want to do a google search to see what conditions this grass likes when growing as a native rather than cultivated plant. That will give you a better idea of what your grass would like. (sounds like I'm talking about a pet)
a.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 9:26AM
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