Spring cleanup of Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by donnacanadensis, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. donnacanadensis

    donnacanadensis Member

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    North Saanich, Canada
    Can someone tell me what I should or shouldn't do to Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' in early spring to maintain it looking good? Somehow the general rule "if it's grass cut it right down" doesn't seem appropriate for this plant. I live in Vancouver and despite several snowfalls and cold weather episodes this winter, the grass looks pretty good, with exception of some dead leaves (blades?).

    Thank you
     
  2. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    The leaves on the clumps in our garden die and rot off in the winter. So, that question has never cropped up. But they come back every spring with a fresh new crop of leaves. I would imagine that if you cut off the leaves, they will likely do the same.
     
  3. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Are you sure that this is Hakonechloa, and not some evergreen species like Carex? The top growth of Japanese Forest Grass usually dies back completely in the winter around here, then re-emerges from the roots in spring. Here is how mine typically looks at this time of year, prior to clean-up:


    Japanese Forest Grass.jpg
     
  4. donnacanadensis

    donnacanadensis Member

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    It is definitely Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'. I think this time I'll do a limited clean-up, i.e. remove dead foliage, and next year, in late winter cut it right back. The thing is, it looks great in winter as well, and by late winter/early spring new shoots start to emerge.

    I hope that someone from Vancouver area will reply to my post with information how their plant survived the winter.
     
  5. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    If you are in the city of Vancouver, the leaves of your specimen should not have survived the winter, as there was a relatively prolonged cold spell down to -10C. I live in Coquitlam, which is usually only 2-3C colder than the city of Vancouver.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2007
  6. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Like everyone else around here, my hakonechloa has never even remotely kept foliage overwinter, especially a cold one like this was.

    Anyway, I love the look of the new foliage as it sprouts, and would remove the old stuff even if it had survived somehow, to allow a better view of the gorgeous fresh sprouts.

    This is my fave ornamental grass...especially good as the clump grows real big and is allowed to flow down over a terrace/retaining wall...like a golden waterfall, so graceful.
     
  7. donnacanadensis

    donnacanadensis Member

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    Then mine is either an impostor or a freak. I suspect the former. It wouldn't be the first time I found that a plant was mislabelled when I bought it. Now I have to find out what mine actually is. Thank you all for persisting with correct information.
     
  8. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    You might do a google image search for Carex morrowii, as the variegated forms of this evergreen have at least a passing resemblance to Hakonechloa.
     
  9. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    I have Bowles' golden sedge, Carex elata 'Aurea', which does bear some resemblance to Hakonechola macra. It is in a container, sitting another container, with it's container half submerged in water. It's been left outside all winter, and was frozen solid for days at one point. It's leaves are still great looking. Maybe, what you have is something similar. Most of the Carex are tough plants, and many are evergreen.
     

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