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Muhly grass
by State-by-State Gardening - posted 12/03/15

 

Muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)
 - Video Transcript


As a single specimen or planted en masse, muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is dramatic, drought resistant and easy to grow.

Hardy in USDA Zones 5-10, the growing conditions for muhly grass are precise, requiring full sun and excellent drainage for the best results. The optimal time for moving or dividing is during the cooler months, when rainfall or hand watering can be done in abundance – although muhly grass is extremely drought-tolerant once established, it needs copious amounts of water to get the roots settled in to its liking.

Not likely to be noticed in the spring or summer, it puts on quite a show in the autumn landscape. When other ornamental grasses are falling down and showing ragged foliage, muhly grass will be covered with a cloud of wispy flower heads held height above the wiry foliage. This effect is amplified when planted in large masses. By late summer, muhly grass will grow to about 30 inches by 30 inches. The plant will increase in size and flowering capacity each year. Cut back to about 6-8 inches in late winter to allow room for the new season’s growth. Fertilize in early spring. Provide full sun and only minimal irrigation.   

This perennial native of the prairies and coastal barrens, ranges from New England to Mexico. It’s becoming increasingly popular as a colorful, low-maintenance, water-conserving, three-season addition to the landscape.

 

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