Skip to main content

It’s Time to Prune Warm-Season Grasses

(by Wendy Proud, California Sales Representative at Mountain States Wholesale Nursery)

It’s time, it’s time to prune your warm season grasses!  During the last week of my travels, I’ve noticed some grasses that have been freshly pruned in preparation for spring growth.  Now is the correct time for warm season grasses to be pruned as we start the beginning of the warm season, spring through fall.  Pruning grasses at the right time ensures their future success. Grasses pruned at the wrong time will surely suffer, begin to decline and ultimately give grasses a bad name. Grasses are perhaps one of the easiest plant groups to care for requiring maintenance only one time each year.   

• For grasses, only prune at beginning of growing season when approx. 2-3” of new growth has emerged from the base.  Warm Season: Prune in February-March. Cool Season: Prune in October-November. 

• Only cut flat across the top: NO orbs, domes, rockets or torpedoes! These odd shapes actually cause a slow death of the plant leaving dried “nubs” in the landscape which no one wants to see. When too much old growth is left from the previous season or pruned at the wrong time, sunlight and air cannot get to the base of the plant where new growth starts, leaving the plant unable to regenerate itself properly. For pictures of properly and improperly pruned grasses, click here (all photos by Wendy Proud).  

Grasses are an amazing addition to the landscape providing wonderful texture, color and beauty with years of almost carefree maintenance.  

Let’s all help in keeping grasses beautiful throughout the year by embracing proper maintenance practices. Yay! Love Grasses!