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Pruning grasses: Why ornamental grasses such as Chinese reed, pampas grass and zebra grass need pruning in February.

Ornamental grasses give structure to the flower bed, set accents and are also a real eye-catcher as tub plants on the terrace. Chinese reed, pampas grass and Co. also convince with easy care. They get along partly also without fertilizer or water gifts. Only the regular annual cut must not be forgotten. We explain how to cut the grasses and why the cut must be done in February and March.

Cut grasses: It’s best to do it before bud break in the spring

wintergreen ornamental grasses pruning instructions

Not only shrubs and hedges need to be trimmed in spring, but grasses also need a nurturing cut in February. At that time, most ornamental grasses have not yet sprouted again. The pruning technique differs depending on whether it is for a deciduous or evergreen or evergreen species. Deciduous ornamental grasses require heavy pruning, which encourages resprouting in the spring and accelerates plant growth. Wintergreen ornamental grasses only need maintenance pruning to remove diseased, dead or frostbitten plant parts.

Which ornamental grasses to cut in February? Deciduous species require heavy pruning

What grasses cut in February tips

For now, “deciduous” is the term used to describe those ornamental grasses that have green blades in summer. The shoots die back in the fall, yellowing or turning brown/red or other colors. During the winter months, the dead shoots protect the plant from frost and wind. In the spring, however, they must be removed in order for the grass to sprout. Below, we list the most popular grasses to cut back in February.

Ornamental grasses cutting in February tips and instructions

Cut deciduous grasses:

  • Mountain riding grass
  • different sedge – varieties
  • Flat-ear grass
  • Wood-milfoil
  • Mountain grass
  • ribbon grass
  • monocot pearl grass
  • Pipe grass
  • Flappy grass

Cutting Chinese reed in February

Cut Chinese reed before sprouting tips


Chinese reed, still known as elephant grass, is cut in February. The old shoots are cut back severely, only 30 cm should be left. You can use sharp cordless shrub shears or loppers for pruning. Be sure to wear cut-resistant gardening gloves. First tie the blades together 10 cm above the cut and then cut them off.

What ornamental evergreen grasses to cut in February?

What ornamental grasses cut in February tips

Unlike ornamental grasses, which wither in the fall, evergreen species remain green all year round. Pruning is not an option for them, as it would slow down plant growth. The evergreen species are given a rejuvenation pruning in which only diseased and dead plant parts are removed.

  • Blue Fescue
  • Blue Fescue
  • Broadleaf Sedge
  • Fox red New Zealand sedge
  • Beach sedge

Cut pampas grass in February

Pampas grass cutting in spring instructions and when


Pampas grass is a real eye-catcher for the balcony or terrace. This species reaches a height of over 2 meters. Its culms remain green even in winter and continue to please the eye. The right time for a rejuvenation pruning is the end of February – beginning of March. First remove the fleece and unpack the plant. Then cut back only the old shoots whose fruiting branches have dried up. You should cut these down to the new wood. Also remove all yellowed leaves and dead plant parts. If necessary, you can thin out the plant. If you miss the right time in the spring, you should definitely not prune the plant in the fall. It is best to wait until next spring.

Pruning grasses: Bamboo and zebra grass are two special cases

Cutting grasses in February tips instructions and ideas

Cut zebra grass in February:

Zebra grass is a true survivor. It can adapt perfectly to the climate. In regions with a mild winter, the plant is evergreen. However, when winter temperatures drop below 0 degrees Celius, the above-ground parts of the plant die, providing natural frost protection for the roots in winter. In this country, zebra grass is deciduous and freezes in the fall. Therefore, it is cut back in the spring. When doing so, be very careful to check the grass for new shoots first. In some cases, the plant may sprout as early as mid-February. It is best to use sharp secateurs to cut off the old shoots just near the ground. Young shoots, on the other hand, are cut back to 20 inches above the ground.

Bamboo cutting tips how and when

Pruning bamboo

Many amateur gardeners forget that the bamboo is not a shrub , but a grass. The right time for pruning is mid-February to late March. The exotic sprouts in April, so you should give it a topiary as early as spring. You can thin out the bamboo, shorten it, remove frostbitten or dead plant parts. However, pruning is not an option. However, you must cut back the oldest culms close to the ground every 3-4 years. For tall varieties, it is best to use pruning shears, as the shoots are heavily woody at the bottom.

Ornamental grasses add character to the garden. Tall ornamental grasses are much more than eye-catchers, however: they provide privacy and food or hiding places for small garden animals. To ensure that the grasses are pleasing to the eye for years to come, a caring pruning in spring is necessary.