Updated at: 21-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

In order to maintain a clean-looking landscape, you need learn how to stop ornamental grass from spreading utilizing three approaches. You can also use this as an opportunity to grow more of your favorite ornamental grasses. Continue reading for additional information on how to put these three techniques into action.

Ornamental grasses get their name from their ability to improve the aesthetics of a space. There are some gardeners who allow them to overgrow, which contradicts the objective. These plants must be kept under control at all times so that they don’t spread.

Keeping Ornamental Grasses Happy | Better Homes & Gardens

Guide For Stopping Ornamental Grass From Spreading

You can prevent ornamental grasses from spreading and taking over an area by using the following three strategies. Running and clumping grasses, as well as cool-season and warm-season grasses, will all be addressed in this article. If you know what grasses you have and how to stop them from spreading, you’ll be better off.

  • The bottom of a huge plastic pot may be easily removed. Using a strong pair of shears or a hefty knife, remove the bottom of the container. Ideally, the pot will be at least 12″ (30.5 cm) in diameter and 8″ (20.3 cm) deep.
  • It’s time to get down to business.
  • The grass should be centered in the pot. Fill the pot with soil from the hole you dug to sink it.
  • If you don’t have a large plastic pot, use a cement drain tile, metal culvert section, or plastic drain tile without perforations buried in the ground.
  • Set pots or other root-containment devices into the soil, leaving about 1″ (2.5 cm) of the rim above ground.
  • To prevent the grass plant from becoming root-bound or shattering the container, you will need to raise the container and divide it every few years.
  • Dig a trench 6″ (15.2 cm) wide and 8″ (20.3 cm) deep at the edge of the area where you want to keep the grass under control. Rhizomes and stolons are usually unable to bridge this air gap.
  • Mow the moat’s edge often in the event that grasses manage to cross it.
  • If you didn’t do it in the fall, you should burn or remove the dried grass leaves from the previous season in the early spring.
  • Take a breather and wait for the grass to start sprouting.
  • Dig around the entire clump of grass while the fresh shoots are still little.
  • To protect the ground, lay down some tarp or sheet of plastic.
  • Place the grass clump on the tarp or plastic and lift it out of the way.
  • Chopping up the clumps of grass roots with a pruning saw or chain saw is all you need to do. Depending on the extent of the root system, you can either cut it in half or quarters.
  • When it comes to smaller root pieces, you can either plant them yourself or give them out.
  • If there are no new grass shoots emerging from the core of the old root system, discard it. In the center, some clumps die out.

How To Stop Ornamental Grass From Spreading - Krostrade

Method #1. Digging

Digging is the most common means of preventing the spread of ornamental grasses. This is more than just a way to maintain the grasses; it’s also a way to grow new ones for transplantation. This manner, you can move them to a new location and maintain the old one tidy.

You begin digging your decorative grass by excavating around the crown’s circumference. Remove as much as possible with the pointed end of the shovel. Instead of digging out the entire cluster, you can continue the technique for up to three years.

Using a shovel, cut the crown into portions for replanting because ornamental grasses have strong root systems that are suitable for this operation. You may make numerous portions of this for enormous grass clumps. Some grasses, especially larger ones, necessitate the use of an ax to divide.

Method #2. Trimming

Trimming ornamental grasses is another option for keeping them from spreading. For grasses that are still controllable and haven’t grown out of control, this is an effective method to use. Be aware that trimming isn’t a long-term solution, especially during the spring and summer months when plants are at their most active.

Gardeners who have slow-spreading grasses may want to employ this strategy. Use sterile shears to ensure a clean cut when trimming ornamental grasses. You don’t want to harm your plants’ foliage or spread disease.

How to take care of Ornamental Grass in spring garden - YouTube

Method #3. Transplanting

Lastly, you can try transplanting your decorative grasses to stop them from spreading. After you’ve gotten rid of your grasses, you can use this strategy in conjunction with the first one. Some gardeners, on the other hand, do not transplant their grasses for the purpose of reproduction.

If you’re looking to slow the growth of your ornamental grasses, you might try transferring them into new locations. Utilize low-light-loving ornamental grasses as an illustration of this strategy in action. Even if some of the plants you replanted take a while to mature, they will still be able to contribute to the beauty of the area.

How To Keep Running Grasses From Spreading

You can also control ornamental grasses by restricting their root systems. The rim of the container is normally kept an inch above the ground by experienced gardeners. After a few years, you’ll still need to divide the grass in the container so that the container doesn’t become too crowded.

Using an air moat is another option for containing fast-moving grasses. Because you’ll need to excavate a trench, this may involve some effort. Mowing will be required to keep the grass from crossing the moat edge after that.

How To Keep Clumping Grasses From Spreading

Clumping grasses, like their running counterparts, can spread just as easily as running grasses. Once the new branches appear, divide the bunches to keep them under control. Divide the clump for replanting by lifting it off the ground.

Using less water and fertilizer will also decrease the growth of your lawn. It’s best to just give them out when absolutely necessary Be aware of the health of your grasses, though, when reducing these influences.

Maintaining Cool And Warm Season Grasses

Cool season grasses need to be divided or dug up and transplanted in order to remain healthy. Because of this, you might expect them to look untidy. It’s possible to remove the brown parts of some chilly season grasses in the spring because they aren’t entirely harmed.

Warm-season grasses, on the other hand, don’t need to be divided as frequently. When it comes to keeping your plants healthy, the best thing you can do is prune back in the spring. This will allow you to remove any fallen leaves that have turned brown and maintain them looking their best all year round.


Without regular care, ornamental grasses can soon beyond their boundaries. For this reason, it is imperative that you learn how to prevent the proliferation of ornamental grass. Digging around the crown or transplanting grasses are options, however cutting the grasses can also be an option.

Even if you don’t plan to grow decorative grasses, it’s a good idea to learn about their growth habits and requirements. Keep an eye out for measures to keep them from outgrowing their current location. Finally, when designing your landscape, think about how much space the plants will need and whether you can grow part of them in a greenhouse if that’s an option.