Ornamental grass waving in the breeze is a beautiful sight in any yard. But one question many homeowners have is this: how do I transplant ornamental grasses? It's not only necessary for the health of the grass; it also allows you to bring more beauty to different areas of your yard.
When to Transplant
Ornamental grasses should be transplanted about every 3 to 5 years. The grass clumps grow large and thick over time. The best time to divide ornamental grasses is in the spring (check your zone), though some can be transplanted in the fall. Learn which variety of grass you have by taking a clipping to your garden center. To transplant, you'll need sharp shovels and pruning shears.
First, decide where in your yard you'd like more ornamental grasses. They look great just about anywhere, though many people prefer them for corners or as border plantings. If you don't have enough room in your yard, offer your transplants to a friend or neighbor.
Remove Root Ball
To start, cut the grass back to nearly the ground. Then dig the entire root ball out by spading around it carefully. Remove as much dirt as possible by shaking it and with a garden hose. This will make it easier to cut. Then, lay the root ball on a hard surface, either concrete or plywood. Your deck or patio will do as well. Using a sharp shovel or spade, cut the root ball from the side instead of the top. It will cut easier, and you'll put less stress on the roots versus cutting from the top. Remove dead or diseased sections of root and divide the entire root ball into about 6 inch clumps.
Transplant into rich soil with good drainage. You may need to amend your soil with compost and fertilizer. Water your newly transplanted ornamental grasses liberally, but don't drown them. Keep the soil moist. They need the same type of early care as any other plant.