dont want it to reseed

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by sweetlou, May 5, 2009.

  1. sweetlou

    sweetlou Member

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    should i just cut the plumes off in the fall so it doesn't reseed its self and spread like wildfire. Then cut it down two feet from the ground in the spring or should i do it all in the fall.i would also like to know is it okay too trim it up in the summer if it grows bigger than my expectations without messing up the plumes if they havent developed yet. thank you i hope sombody has some answers for me
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    What is it that you don't want to reseed?
     
  3. sweetlou

    sweetlou Member

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    the plumes on pampass grass
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thanks!

    Just harvest the plumes in late summer before the seeds mature, and use them for indoor decoration, etc.
     
  5. Skeezix

    Skeezix Member

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    The dried plumes are stunning indoors as part of an arrangement, however be extremely careful. When they are really dry they can kindle a flame from a spark, open flame, etc with the speed of any good accelerant. They pretty much explode!(experienced)

    If that risk is not an issue, enjoy its beauty over the cold season.

    per the topic.
    They look great just left in the garden to dry and stand. They get soggy from the rain but will soon fluff up again as they dry out. In all the years I had it in my yard I didn't experience any seedlings from the plumes left this way. (Pacific Northwest) When they finally get unsightly carefully reach in and cut them off. A good way to get them out is use gloves, grab the stem and push it toward the plant till it snaps, then just jerk it out.

    Here, when the plant looks the most dormant I use a chainsaw to cut it off as close to the ground as I can get without cutting dirt. It regrows just like any other grass. When the roots are ready, they quickly replace the leaves all fresh and new.
    I used to just wait till it dried out and then burn it to the ground, which worked fine but left the messy black ashes to look at till it filled in again.

    The material I removed, I lay in row on the edge of the lawn and run back and forth over a few times with the lawn mower. The chopped up grass in the bag is then used as a straw mulch or ends up in the compost. Did anyone mention razor blades??? ;-)

    Skeezix
     
  6. sweetlou

    sweetlou Member

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    thank you for your response
     
  7. Skeezix

    Skeezix Member

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    sweetlou,

    I notice in other posts, reference to Pampas seeds being a problem. While it hasn't bothered me in the Northwest, it may in your area so I'd suggest checking locally, perhaps a nursery could tell you. We/I propagate the plant by dividing the the root. No small feat in itself for large plants. The roots become woody and treelike.

    I hope this helps,

    Skeezix
     
  8. bambooman

    bambooman Member

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    Not sure about this But I have heard that ornamental grasses are hybrids and the seed they produce is not fertile so they will not spread unless you divide and spread them yourself. Plus I've been growing ornamentall grasses for several years and have never seen any seedlings around them and I don't cut them down until the new growth starts. I hope this calms your fears. They will not take over. They are clumpers and dont have underground rhizomes so they will only spread a couple of inches a year. Thanks for reading.
     
  9. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Most of the ornamental grasses that I'm familiar with are selected forms of a single species, and in some cases the species itself. There are hybrids as well, like some of the feather red grasses. I've got what I believe to be seedlings of Miscanthus sinensis purpurescens in a wild meadow area, and also (I think) baby panicums seeded by either 'Heavy Metal' or 'Northwind.'

    I think what's fair to say is that most of the ornamental grasses in our gardens are being grown in conditions that are quite different from their original native habitat. So as a general statement, they are probably not likely to spread and naturalize in MOST places -- and in practice, I can't remember hearing of this becoming a problem in any of the places I've gardened.

    I'd hate to miss the flowering. With our short summers, the persistent seed heads of many grasses are usually on view for a longer period than the fully-leafed-out plant itself.
     

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