How do I prune this plant?

Hi everyone image my first post image

We just moved into an old house and I'm sorting out the garden. It's got some mature hedges and a mature tree that I'm really pleased about. image

There is this messy plant (see picture), I don't know the name but it looks a bit like those ones you see in Holland. How is one supposed to go about sorting this, should I be carefully cutting out the dead bits (they're quite tough! and hard to get to!) or lopping the whole thing down to its base ready for spring?

What is the best way to remove these dead long leaves from the grass - they don't seem to get picked up by a rake




 Thanks image



  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 499

    It's a grass of some sort - and it should be cut back as far as you can right now. If you leave it you will shear of the tops of new growth that should be on its way by now. 

  • thanks for the replies! I'm so glad to have found this forum.. Interesting to know what it is image

    I googled Elymus magellanicus and it looks like it can grow to 0.5m in height - this is 1.5m! Perhaps its a uber one?

    I am in the south east so quite mild area, would it be ok then for me to chop the whole thing down to the base? I'm tried cutting out the dead bits only but quite tricky

    I got the below image from google but it had similar flower type things on it last year:



  • Hi Verdun,

    Sorry I forgot to mention I cut the dead 'flowers' off, thats why the first picture was without flowers. They had turned to straw, so I just cut them down.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,713

    Bob- Looks a bit like miscanthus 'Morning Light ' to me but treatment would be same as for Pampas Grass anyway as Verdun says. In the picture it looks very close to that conifer hedge (?) so it might benefit from a move to more open/sunny part of your garden -if that's possible-later in the year.Good luck with your project-it's always exciting starting out!image

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,473

    I'd say it's pampas grass, too.  Cut it back hard now, but if you see any small leaves growing at the base, try not to cut the tips off as unlike most plants, grasses grow from the base not the tip, so you'll see damaged tips all year.  Also watch out for this stuff - as well as having the razor sharp edges, I grew one from seed and it eventually became a real monster and grew to 3m x 3m from a base of about 1 square meter.  They are too big to dig out when that size and only a stump-grinder will rid you of the roots, if you ever tire of it and want to plant something else.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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