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Stipa tenuissima - comb or cut ?

Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

I have a few stipa tenuissima plants that are now 3 years old.  I've been advised to cut them back in spring but yet when I look it up, it says that you just comb out the dead growth.

I did email the Crocus about it and they said cut them as in the summer mine just get all wet and flop where as you don't see that at RHS Wisley. 

Do I just need to be brave and cut them back ?

thank you.



  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,078

    Generally with evergreen grasses you comb them and with deciduous ones you cut off the old growth.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

    mine tend to flop in the summer, even though I have taken out dead material.  Maybe not enough.  How do you stop them from flopping ?

  • BerkleyBerkley Posts: 428

    I have found conflicting advice too. I have over thirty of them dotted through the garden. Like you, I find they flop later in the season. For the last two years I have combed them thoroughly in March, then in June, IF they need it, I cut them back by up to half. They regrow beautifully very quickly and look good again. Hope this helps.

  • Peanuts3Peanuts3 Posts: 759

    Great thank you.

  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,593

    You may get away with that in tropical Cornwall, but up here in the north, it would probably kill them.

    A comb for me.

    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,710

    I cut mine to about 3" and they've never flopped. 

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,078

    Hosta is in Devon, Peanuts is in Camberley, Surrey I think, so cutting should be OK then.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,951

    Very interesting stuff, folks! I'm in Yorkshire so, thanks PD, I think it's combing for me! I often watch GW 3 weeks late and the ' jobs for the weekend' tend to be spot on for up here on that time frame! image

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