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When To Transplant Ornamental Grass?

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For a formal yet natural look in your garden, ornamental grasses are an excellent choice. It can be a substitute for smaller shrubs and form the center of many gardens.

In addition, you can divide this grass to produce more plants, reduce the size of a clump, and retain their looks throughout the year.

To know the best transplant timing, you must identify whether the grass is a cool-season or warm season. To ensure that your ornamental grass plant has enough time to establish, you must know “when to transplant ornamental grass.” You will get a detailed answer in this guide below. Read on!

The Best Time to Transplant Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grass is a cool-season type grass and the best time to transplant such type of grass is in late fall or early spring.

Cool-weather grasses grow best when the ground is cool and damp, so it’s best to divide these types of ornamental grasses in early spring, just before new growth begins.

In colder climates where winter temperatures do not dip below -20° F (-29° C), the plants can be transplanted any time from fall through early spring. In warmer climates, transplant in late summer when cooler evening temperatures return.

When To Transplant Ornamental Grass

Consider The Following Things Before Transplanting Ornamental Grass

From cottage-like settings near streamside walkways up into large parkland areas, ornamental grass suits any style or setting. In addition, it is an inexpensive option to decorate your garden. Here are the things you should consider before transplanting/dividing/splitting ornamental grass.

  • It is important to divide ornamental grasses, especially large ones, every three or four years.
  • It would help if you had healthy roots from which new plants can grow – so dig up all parts with good root growth on them.
  • Throw away any sections that may be dead
  • Hot weather can make dividing a plant difficult, so don’t do it on hot sunny days.
  • Wait until the day cools off and become more comfortable for work outdoors. It is good for both plants as well as the gardener.
  • Don’t just cut your ornamental grasses down to size; divide them.
  • You can use a knife or even scissors, a sharp shovel, and garden shears.

Transplanting Ornamental Grass – In Detail

If you want to get the best results from your ornamental grass, you must know when to transplant them. It turns out there are two types of seasons in which one can plant these plants: cool or warm-season varieties.

It will affect how much sunlight each type needs and their preferred soil type (both factors impact growth).

Transplant Warm-Season Grasses In Late Spring Or Mid-summer

When dividing plants, be sure to do so while actively growing but not when their blooming phase is finished. A dormant or dead plant won’t get to establish the new root systems when transplanted.

Warm-season grasses actively grow before winter sets on in late spring or early summer. The best time to transplant this type of grass is mid to late summer.

Transplant Cool-Season Grasses In Early Spring Or Early Fall

The best time to divide cool-season grasses is in early spring or fall. However, we recommend dividing all actively growing grass species at either point: any time before they go dormant, i.e., around June.

Transplanting Ornamental Grass: A Step-by-Step Guide

One of the best ways to add flair and beauty to your garden is through ornamental grass. It’s easy, as long you know when it’ll be ready for transplanting. The following steps thoroughly discuss the transplantation process.

Step 1 – Cutting Back

First, start by cutting back any top growth of ornamental grass blades from 2-3 inches above ground level. It is best to use hedge trimmers or even a chainsaw if necessary for older plants that are too big.

Step 2 – Cut Out The Root Ball

Dig your spade into the soil by avoiding damaging the roots. Next, circle the shovel around to loosen the root ball with your shovel. Continue the process until the shovel blades cut the soil under the root ball and it is ready to be removed.

Step 3 – Divide the Root Ball

To divide a root ball, start by flipping the plant over and slicing off new sections of roots from behind. A sharp shovel or ax will work best for this process. Grab an edge of your desired size with one hand while holding onto its stem with another.

Make sure not to cut into either side accidentally. Go ahead slightly as needed until all plants have been separated into individual units 3 inches across.

Step 4 – Transplant the Grass

Transplanting is one of the easiest parts of dividing ornamental grass. Dig a hole twice as large and mix in some compost or granulated fertilizer (MARPHYL Organic Liquid Soil Enhancer/Fertilizer with All Natural Marine Phytoplankton) before planting your new seed or cutting.

Then water so that its crown (the part you’re transplanting) comes slightly below ground level. It will help ensure it has enough nutrients to grow properly without any problems.

MARPHYL Organic Liquid Soil Enhancer Fertilizer When To Transplant Ornamental Grass
MARPHYL Organic Liquid Soil Enhancer Fertilizer via

Is Transplanting Ornamental Grass Easy?

Transplanting is a simple but critical step in the process of growing healthy plants. When it comes to dividing ornamentals, it is quite easy. It is best to transplant ornamental species when new growth begins shooting up from their crowns in early spring.

If you don’t transplant them at the right time, they’ll end up rooted in weak soil, leading to stunted or diseased. Water all newly transplanted divisions thoroughly for at least 30 minutes.


You can transplant ornamental grasses to produce more plants or reduce the clump size and prevent plants from losing their vigor. Transplanting is easy if you carry out the process accurately (like mentioned above in the article).

  • The best time to transplant ornamental grass is in late fall or early spring.
  • Split the clumps of ornamental grass just before it begins its period of active growth.

We’re here for all types of questions when it comes down to maintaining healthy turf in any way. So, feel free to stop by our comments section with any inquiries.