Elisabeth C. Miller Library

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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Transplanting, Schizachyrium, Plant care, Ornamental grasses

Schizachyrium scoparium seems to me to be difficult to transplant. They die on me when moved. What could I be doing wrong? The time of year? Adequately watered?

Answer:

According to the Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses, Schizachyrium scoparium requires full sun, prefers good drainage or sloping ground, does not persist on highly fertile soils or in excessively moist conditions, and suffers if the crowns are crowded by mulch.

Propagate by seed or by division in spring.

Grasses are sensitive to soil level, especially when young. Ideally, the crown of the grass should sit just slightly above the soil surface. Planting too low can rot grasses and planting to high can cause them to dry out and die.

Mulch of all sorts can be an efficient method of controlling weeds and conserving soil moisture. Many species, such as Schizachyrium scoparium, cannot tolerate having mulch pushed up around their crowns, a practice that often promotes rot and disease at the base of the plant.

Source: Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses, by R. Darke, 1999, pp. 121, 276.

Date 2019-11-07
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