We are starting to receive questions on whether it is best to cut back
ornamental grasses in the fall or spring. As a rule, ornamental grasses
should not be cut back while green because they need time to move the energy
found in the foliage into the roots. Even when browned by cold weather, most
gardeners will leave the foliage until spring because of the interest it
adds to winter landscapes. Early March is the preferred time to cut back
these plants. However, dry foliage is extremely flammable and should be
removed in the fall from areas where it is a fire hazard.
Another question we often receive is whether we can divide ornamental
grasses in the fall. Spring is the preferred time because divisions done in
the fall may not root well enough to survive the winter.
By: Ward Upham