Everyone knows that maiden grasses are beautiful, easy-care plants. But they’re surprisingly versatile, as well. Those graceful leaves can be used for everything from vertical accents in a mixed border, to a soft, green, flowing mass of plants, to a spiky addition to containers. So no matter the size of your garden, you have room for at least one of these magical grasses.
Late-season garden plants
Cold-hardy to zone 5 (‘Purpurascens’ to zone 4!), these grasses really shine in late summer when they open their fuzzy flowers. In addition, they stand well through winter, providing garden interest. To top it off, maiden grasses have few pests or problems — even deer pass them by! (Though a few species can be invasive in some areas, the 6 cultivars you’ll see below are much better behaved.)
Maiden grasses are low-maintenance perennials
The only thing they need is an annual early spring cutting back and division every four or five years if the center of the clump starts to die out. (Do both just as the new growth starts to show.) See an easy way to cut them down below.
How to cut back maiden grass in spring
It’s simple to cut back a maiden grass in early spring. Follow these easy steps below.
- Wrap a length of heavy wire around the clump about a foot above the ground, pull it tight and twist the ends together.
- Add a second wire 6 to 8 in. above the first one if the plant is more than 3 ft. tall.
- Use a fine-tooth saw to cut the stems to about 6 in. above the soil.
- Carry the neat bundle of dried foliage to the compost pile and remove the wire.