splitting ornamental grass

(14 Posts)
ClarkL Wed 21-Sep-16 14:45:18

I have an ornamental grass, no idea what it is, but I like it!
I planted it about 2 years ago and this year its starting to look really good, except I want more of it.
Can it be split? Is it as simple as shoving a spade through the middle? Is there a good time to do this?

Thank you

shovetheholly Wed 21-Sep-16 14:58:03

Can you post a picture of it or find the old plant label so we can identify? (I'm sure someone can help - my grass identification isn't brilliant!)

The reason I ask is that there are 2 kinds of grass: cool climate grass and hot climate grass. Both can be split. The difference is when. Cool climate ones get divided late winter/early spring, warm climate ones in late spring (May). The reason is that you don't want to shock them just before plunging them into a cold, wet winter and warm climate ones can be just a bit less tolerant of it than cool climate ones.

All that said, I've split cool climate grasses in the winter before with no problem- out of sheer ignorance, though, not calculation!

ClarkL Wed 21-Sep-16 16:13:39

Here it is

ClarkL Wed 21-Sep-16 16:15:42

it isn't clear in the picture but it has a wispy top to it

ClarkL Wed 21-Sep-16 16:17:00

slightly better view of wispy bits

shovetheholly Wed 21-Sep-16 16:28:00

I'm not good at plant ID - hopefully someone will help! (If they don't, you could always start a 'what is this' ID thread, because those get the brilliant spotters in). My best guess from the soft leaves and size and colour would be milium?

I have to say, I don't think it looks like it needs dividing. If anything, I'd let it bulk up a bit more. It's personal taste, of course - I just think grasses often look best in a clump. grin

Your soil looks lovely, btw!

ClarkL Wed 21-Sep-16 16:32:44

I am SO lucky with the soil, lovely Lincolnshire soil. I havent had it tested or anything clever or scientific, but I know most things I plant do really well.
We've had so much rain this last week I have made the most of it and dug the front beds over whilst weeding and pulling out the leggy summer bedding, so its looking far better than it usually does!

It's not so much it needs dividing, more I want more of it sad Do you think I should wait until it's much bigger?

shovetheholly Wed 21-Sep-16 16:58:39

Oh, in that case, I would personally go ahead with the division. However, some grasses are really, really easy to do from seed - so worth getting the ID on it first, because if it's one of those that is easy to propagate, that may the best and fastest way! (I did loads of stipa grass this way this year, and it really was straightforward).

Lincolnshire is such an amazingly fertile part of the world! I sometimes drive to my parents that way and I love seeing all the crops growing. Last time I saw a CABBAGE PICKING AND BAGGING MACHINE! I was very excited.

ClarkL Wed 21-Sep-16 17:11:06

Cabbage machine? You must have been in the posh bit, Usually driving through Boston and Spalding they are all picking by hand. So many days I wonder if I could get by on minimum wage to wonder up and down fields instead!!

We are surrounded by farmland and I am desperate to buy a house with an acre for a big polytunnel and flower garden, maybe another acre for a goat or two.... Until then I shall make do with my patch, hopefully by the time I have the giant polytunnel I'll have some idea of what I'm doing. Tis all very suck and see at the moment.

Grass by seed sounds SO obvious, I have been systematically reducing flower beds (by flower beds I mean bramble patches) and tidying areas with grass seed for the lawn, yet not once did I think of ornamental grass seed!! I shall go look online smile Thank you

shovetheholly Wed 21-Sep-16 17:23:47

Oh, that sounds so perfect. I would be obliged to be insanely jealous if you were able to get a couple of acres. Mind you, DH has banned me from taking on any more right now - I am up to my ears with just a garden and allotment. He just won't listen when I say an orchard wouldn't be THAT much work grin (not that we could afford one, but, you know, a girl's gotta dream). grin

ClarkL Wed 21-Sep-16 18:03:37

I am not brave enough for an allotment. I work from home so quiet patches I can stroll to the garden and potter. I fear with an allotment I simply wouldn't make the time to go, or worse go and spend so long there I get sacked!!
My neighbour often comments that work must be slow/busy depending on how the garden is looking....this week work is slow, much pruning has been done smile

shovetheholly Wed 21-Sep-16 18:19:49

Yes, it is quite different having a space that is not at home - you can't nip in and out in the same way, and it feels like it is both yours and it isn't. It would be a lot more ideal in all kinds of ways just to have a huge garden! grin Not least because veg actually needs more watching.

I laughed at your slow work = maximum pruning! So true!

Ferguson Fri 23-Sep-16 21:07:57

Has the grass not sent up any flower spikes; that might to identify it? OH YES the wispy bits are the flowers - I can see what you mean now!!

There is plenty of it, so if you dig it up you can probably divide it several pieces. As long as there is some root on each piece, it should be OK. Plant pieces in pots with PLENTY OF GRIT or sharp sand, mixed into potting compost, and look after them over winter. Keep watered, but not too wet.

It could be Miscanthus - but there are hundreds of variations:

www.knollgardens.co.uk/product/miscanthus-sacchariflorus/

www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/miscanthus-sinensis-kleine-silberspinne/classid.2023/

www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/foliage/maiden-grass/care-for-zebra-grass.htm

www.saga.co.uk/magazine/home-garden/gardening/advice-tips/winter-garden/tall-grasses-for-winter

Ferguson Sun 25-Sep-16 21:13:01

If you do get some small pieces off it, replant the large portion, and look after it with some grit and a mulch.

There are MANY other ornamental grasses, large and small.

www.alpinesandgrasses.co.uk/06grassesA.htm

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