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Mexican Feather Grass Care

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Mexican Feather Grass Care

Other common names for this grass that is native to California, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico, and Argentina: ponytail grass, horsetail grass, horse tail grass, hair grass, angel hair grass, angelhair grass, finestem needlegrass I have grown Mexican feather grass in a large container and did not have a reseeding problem; however, this may be atypical. It appears it will self-sow more prolifically in moist areas and is not as bothersome in dry locations. It mysteriously died sabout 5 years ago. This spring, a new plant emerged in the container in which the old plant had been growing. I am extremely happy that I have been blessed with this gift because I had missed the plant very much after it died.
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Mexican Feather Grass Care

Lore:Mexican feathergrass often self-sows abundantly and may spread out of its designated place in the garden. It is an extremely vigorous grass, and can crowd pasture species as well as native grasses in coastal areas. In Argentina, where Mexican feathergrass is native, it is regarded as an unpalatable grass (Moretto & Distel 1998). The grass forms indigestible balls in the stomach of livestock and, Mexican feathergrass can become dominant under continual heavy grazing pressure with a low frequency of high-intensity fire (Distel & Boo 1995). Monrovia does not ship this grass to California.

Mexican Feather Grass Care

How: Even if you choose a sunny day to prune, wear a long-sleeved shirt and gloves so the blades of grass don’t cut your skin. Start by wrapping a piece of rope around the outside of the grass and tie it into a tight column of foliage. This way, the grass will stay bundled as you prune and not explode into pieces everywhere. Once your grass is tied up, use handheld or powered hedging shears to cut the entire grass to about 10 inches tall. If you’re using powered hedging shears, it’s helpful to have a friend hold up the grass so it doesn’t fall on you as you cut. Just be careful not to trim anyone’s ankles!
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Mexican Feather Grass Care

This feathery, small clumping grass is perfect for the waterwise garden! Plant Mexican feather grass in well-drained soil, near other xeric plants. Give it sun or part shade. It is considered deer resistant.

Mexican Feather Grass Care

Mexican feather grass grows to about 18 inches to two feet tall and a foot or two wide. So, it’s a smaller grass that works well to texturize other plants in your low-water garden. They’re great planted in masses, to add soft texture that sways with every breeze.
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Mexican Feather Grass Care

Your neighbors will hate you for planting Mexican Feather Grass, or Thread Grass. It will be growing all over the place-and is not at all easy to pull up in the dry alkaline soils we have. It may wave in the wind beautifully, but do you really want it everywhere in the landscape?
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Mexican Feather Grass Care

Stipa tenuissima Mexican feather grass RHS Perfect for Pollinators plants This plant will provide nectar and pollen for bees and the many other types of pollinating insects. It is included in an evolving list of plants carefully researched and chosen by RHS experts. Divided into 3 groups these lists, linked below, are maintained by a team of RHS staff and are reviewed annually. Garden Plants Wildflowers Plants of the World
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Mexican Feather Grass Care

Grasses, grasses, grasses. So many kinds, and they all look like…well, grasses. Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima) is a cute little mounding plant worth trying in the garden, especially if you want an easy-to-grow planting that will do the wave all by itself every time the wind blows.

Mexican feather grass highlights one of the quandaries gardeners face when deciding what to grow. It’s one of the good guys in the landscape because it’s easy to grow, drought-tolerant and pest-free – a real low-maintenance gem subsisting on natural rainfall and not requiring pesticide sprays or fertilizers. It’s an excellent choice in xeriscape landscape plantings, too.
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In the garden, Mexican feather grass is best used in mass as an open and airy groundcover, for edging beds or to cover steep banks. It fits well in natural landscape plantings, rock gardens and in conventional borders, where the plant’s fine texture plays off the coarser texture of neighboring plants.
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The plant will reseed in the garden but isn’t aggressive about it, so I don’t think Mexican feather grass will jump from being a garden ornamental to a weed in most areas of the eastern US. It won’t survive the close mowing and frequent watering of the typical lawn, and it’s too shade-intolerant to survive long in shady beds and borders. It could move into waste places along roadsides, where it would have to slug it out with the other weeds – most of which were introduced long ago. And the plant isn’t an aggressive-enough grower in the seedling stage to compete with established pasture grasses.
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Mexican feather grass does best in full sun in a well-drained soil and tolerates soil with a pH range between 5.8 and 8.0. It can be grown from seed (sewn inside in late winter), or new plants can be propagated by springtime division of the clumps. Because the old foliage persists into the new season, shearing plants back in late winter before new growth begins gives a tidier look. If reseeding is a concern, delay the shearing operation until after the flower scapes have emerged.
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Rejuvenation pruning shouldn’t be done more than every 2 to 3 years because small evergreen grasses have slightly less vigor than grasses that go dormant. When you cut off all that foliage, the plant is losing energy stored in its leaves, so it ends up with less energy to put into producing new growth. I like to give the grasses time to recover before subjecting them again to a stern pruning. The exception is Mexican feather grass, which can be pruned back hard any time its foliage clumps into unsightly dreadlocks:

So helpful, thanks! I am wondering…when will I know if my zebra grasses made it through the winter? I’m not seeing any new shoot! I have been growing ornamental’s of all types for years, but last summer was my first planting of zebra grass. They took off and did great and feathered out. I kept them moist through the fall and the winter was pretty mild by midwest standards. My pompus and feather reed grasses are doing great but no sign yet of live on the zebra. (oh, and my beautiful lemon grass looks dead too!) Any ideas?
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Design IdeasBeautifull grown in masses, this is a candidate for rock gardens, dry streambeds and next to landscape boulders. Grow as a single accent or in a small cluster among other drought- and heat-resistant perennials for unique color and texture variation. Excellent choice in Mexican ceramic pots for an artistic statement in Santa Fe-style garden. In California, substitute dwarf fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’), Blonde Ambition blue gamma grass (Bouteloua gracilis), or prarie dropseed (Sporobolus airoides) for a similar effect in the landscape.
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Next Steps Planting and Care Tips for Ornamental Grasses Learn some basic planting, care and dividing tips for growing ornamental grasses. Native Gardening – Why All the Hype? If you want a low-maintenance garden, enjoy the company of wildlife and want plant diversity in your garden – go native! Ornamental Grass Care Basics When properly cared for, ornamental grasses make a wonderful garden addition. Here are some basic care tips to keep your grasses looking beautiful year-round.
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This graceful ornamental grass hit the garden mainstream in the mid-1990s and has proved much more widely adapted than previously thought. (Older plant references list the grass as only being hardy in the Deep South, but the plant has proved to be winter-hardy as far north as Zone 5.) It’s native to parts of west Texas, New Mexico and the north central states of Mexico, where it grows in open, dry woods, on rocky slopes and in dry, disturbed areas.
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No other grass exhibits quite the refinement of texture as this species. Its bright green foliage resembles delicate filaments that arise in elegant, vase-like clumps and spill outward like a soft fountain. All summer it bears a profusion of feathery panicles, which mature from foamy-green to blonde. It is native to the Americas.
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This 1- to 2-foot-tall perennial bunchgrass grows like a cascading fountain. The wiry, slender, hairlike leaves are green and silky in the spring and buff-colored during winter. In spring it also has a more erect habit, as the slender, silvery, nodding panicles emerge above the foliage. The grass may go dormant in dry sites in summer and begin growing again when temperatures cool and rains return in the fall.

If you are hesitant to treat your sedge the same as your maiden grass, it’s for good reason. Unconventional grassy plants can’t be trimmed using generalized pruning rules. They require special timing and techniques on your part to look their best. Start by figuring out which category your grasses fall under: evergreen or goes dormant, large or small. This allows you to select the best pruning method, even if you are not sure of the exact varieties you have.

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