Feathered grass - Planting, grooming and cutting

The Content Of The Article:

The feathered grass is very decorative and can enrich a variety of beds. It is also easy to care for and comparatively hardy.

Spring Borstgras

Feather grassgrass, whose Latin variety name is Pennisetum alopecuroides var. Viridescens, is also referred to as lamprey grass. In addition, the grass belonging to the grasses family is also known as Australian Lamprey Grass and is doing very well in the local hobby garden. After all, the herbaceous plant looks very decorative and can enrich a variety of beds. The pink, white and brown flowers finally provide visual accents from August to October, while spring-ridge grass can be very enjoyable for all hobby gardeners as an easy-care and comparatively hardy plant.

While only one species of this grass is widespread in Central Europe, there are 120 different species worldwide. The variety Pennisetum alopecuroides var. Viridescens is particularly widespread in this country and is prized as a frugal grass. From the robust resistance to the decorative appearance, there are therefore a variety of reasons that speak in favor of the lamp cleaner grass in their own garden. For example, as follows:

  • as groundcover
  • as a bedding plant
  • for group planting
  • as a rose companion
  • as a solitaire
  • in planters
  • for later harvest for bouquets

Detailed information about the lamp cleaner grass

Whether in a natural garden, flower garden, in a pot or rose garden or in parks - these overhanging perennials are decorative everywhere. The horstbildende grass can reach it with his stalks stature heights of 30 to 120 centimeters. In addition, the herbaceous plant is characterized by medium to dark green leaves, which are between 10 and 80 centimeters long and only 3 to 10 millimeters wide. In autumn, some of the overhanging leaves of the plant can develop a golden yellow color in the area of ​​the tips and thus provide for more color accents.

Incidentally, the false notes, that is, the inflorescences of the plant, which can show a length of 6 to about 30 centimeters, are responsible for the naming of the feathered grass. They have a yellow-green and partly dark purple color and their bristly-feathery shape makes them look like a brush or a kind of lamp cleaner. The lamp cleaning grass is originally not in Europe, but rather in Japan, Korea, China and Australia.

In its native country, the spring-bird grass grows mainly in fresh meadow landscapes. Meanwhile, however, the local gardeners have discovered the grass for themselves, which has to do, among other things, with the good frost hardness of this plant. By the way, before the grass was widespread in Europe, it took until the second half of the 20th century.

Various lamp brush grass varieties from the garden trade

In the meantime, the local gardening retailer has several types of lampreys available for its customers. These are sometimes cultivars. The following varieties are especially popular:

  • Hameln
  • Moudry
  • Piglet

The variety "Piglet" is characterized by a low growth and white-pink panicles. The variety "Moudry" is also a low-growing lamprey grass species that can visually impress with its rich green leaves and purple to black panicles visually. The variety "Hameln" draws attention with a leaf length of more than 50 centimeters and thus also achieves only lower stature heights than the wild feathered grass.

The advantage of this variety is that the flowering of the white-green ears occurs already in the early summer, so that hobby gardeners do not have to wait so long to fully enjoy the beauty of this ornamental grass.

The perfect location for the lamp cleaning grass

Anyone who would like to plant the feathered grass in their own garden should opt for a location that is as nutrient and humus rich as possible, as the plant only then thrives. In addition, it likes the lamprey grass sunny to semi-sunny and is quite a lime-tolerant plant. With regard to the required soil conditions, the following points can also be stated:

  • the lamp cleaner grass prefers moderately dry to fresh soils
  • The soil should be sandy / loamy
  • a weakly alkaline or slightly acidic pH is ideal

Since waterlogging can be a problem for the pretty ornamental grass, locations with a heavy, compacted soil are absolutely unsuitable when it comes to planting lamp cleaning grass. Soils that are very sandy do not get the grass either. If you do not want to give the ornamental grass a southern location in the garden, you should nevertheless make sure that the lamp cleaner grass can fill up with at least four hours of sun per day.This is also true for planting on a balcony in the bucket or on the terrace, with a southern orientation is ideal even in such a location.

If the springgrass grass has a sunny spot and a soil with a good drainage, the plant is doing well all around. For the grass, even the blazing sun is no problem. However, you must then make sure that you always keep the plant sufficiently moist. Because only older bulbous grass specimens, which have already grown very well, can tolerate drought for a while, without them drowning due to the associated lack of water.

When is the best planting time and how big should the planting distance be?

The ideal time for planting the grass is the spring. The lamp cleaner grass can be planted both in a bucket and in a bed outdoors. However, the grass does not lend itself to planting, which is due to the fact that these grasses need as much sun as possible. In addition, the root competition with the other plants would ensure that the feathered grass probably goes down. This is another reason why a sufficient distance to the surrounding neighboring plants is so important. In the width of the distance should be good 60 to 80 centimeters to the nearest neighbor.

How to properly maintain the lamp cleaner grass

To water:

Especially if you have decided to plant in the bucket, it is important to ensure that you pour the lamp cleaner grass sufficiently. The bale of the plant should never dry out at all. How much water the plant needs depends on the weather conditions. You should always set to well-tempered water when pouring. Because if the irrigation water is too cold, the lamp cleaner grass can even be damaged in the worst case. Incidentally, whether you use rainwater or stale tap water for pouring is not important.

If very dry conditions prevail, it makes sense to water the ornamental grass several times. The drainage ensures that, despite the larger amounts of water, no waterlogging can occur. At the latest when the stalks and the tips of the feathered grass have already turned brownish, it is time to water the lamp cleaner grass. Because these discolorations are a clear indication of too dry environmental conditions.

Especially after planting, you should water the grass regularly during the first few weeks. Only then can the lamp cleaner grass grow very well at its new location. With older grasses, it is not quite as questionable, if larger distances between the individual casting units are. However, the soil may not dry up to a maximum extent or under any circumstances, if the well-being of the ornamental grass is not to be endangered.


As a container plant you should fertilize the grass every 14 days. However, this only applies to the period from May to August. As a fertilizer is not only blue grain. Rather, you can also resort to the following fertilizers:

  • Liquid fertilizer especially for perennials and green plants
  • nutrient-rich pond water (a full watering can is usually sufficient)
  • Compost soil as a cheap fertilizer

Rejuvenate lamp cleaner grass:

In addition, it is important to divide the lamp cleaning grass every three to four years. As a result, the grass is rejuvenated, which is important so that the perennial plant can form a rich inflorescence in the long term. If this step is not taken, however, the grass tends to a little decorative Vergreisung.

Rear section:

With the pruning of the pretty ornamental grass you should wait until spring. Then you can cut back all sprouted ears without problems. The fact that you should wait so long with the pruning of the plant, incidentally, has several reasons. This is not just about decorative aspects, as the lamp cleaner grass is extremely decorative, especially with a hoarfrost coating. Rather, the leafy thorax should be preserved until spring to protect the core of the plant. Because then comes the feathered grass much better over the winter. Hedgehogs are also very grateful for this delayed pruning, as they like to use the grass as their winter habitat.

Shortly before the first sprouting in spring, you can finally cut back the lamprey grass between February and March at a height of about 10 to 15 centimeters above the ground. While pruning is intended to remove old plant matter and boost the sprouting of stalks and leaves, there are other reasons for pruning the lamprey grass. For example, diseased, dried or brown plant parts can be removed.

Alternatively, you can cut off parts of the lamprey grass perennials to use them as a part of a pretty bouquet of flowers in a decorative vase. Especially in the month of September, the cut of the inflorescences for the vase is ideal.Make sure that you clear the lamp cleaner grass stalks of any insects before placing them in a suitable vase. If you dry the inflorescences (instructions to dry flowers), you can enjoy the dried grasses for many months in the vase.


If you want to overwinter the lamprey grass as a container plant, you should cover the plant with spruce branches as protection against frost. Spruce or fir twigs should also be used as frost protection in lamprey grass bedding plants. This is especially true when the grass has been planted outdoors in very harsh regions. Who wants to overwinter a Federborstengras bucket in the interior frost-free, should absolutely make sure that in the premises still very cool temperatures prevail.

In addition to the above measures, you should neither cut back nor fertilize the lamp cleaning grass from autumn. This helps the grass to hibernate more easily. You should also keep an eye on whether the planting substrate is probably rotten or perhaps even too dry. If the substrate is extremely dry, you must also water the lamp cleaner grass in winter. Of course, this is only possible on days without frost for the sake of the plant.

Does the lamp cleaner grass have to be moved or repotted?

Fountain Grass

Not only the division of the feathered grass can contribute to the fact that the plant prospers splendidly for a long time. Sometimes you have to implement the perennial plant sometimes, if no suitable site conditions prevail, the plant at the current location is repeatedly attacked by rust or the soil dries regularly, although you provide the lamp cleaning grass with enough water. If the ideal site conditions prevail, you do not need to implement the plant.

Repotting bulbous grass potted plants, however, is recommended at regular intervals. This is due to a possible lack of nutrients and space in the previous bucket. A division of the plant and a subsequent distribution of the plant components on two or more tubs are conceivable. If it is a pure nutrient deficiency, you should only replace the substrate, while the bucket size can be maintained.

This is how spring fallow grass can be multiplied

In spring, you can divide the plant to multiply the lamprey grass. Likewise, the feathered grass can also be propagated with the help of its seeds, which is not possible with all lamprey grass subspecies. To divide this ornamental grass, you should know that sometimes parts grow hard. This should therefore not lead to too much displeasure, since this problem is to be expected.

To divide the lamp cleaner grass, you have to dig up the plant. You should proceed with the utmost care and diligence. Then you can divide the grass and dig it back into the ground with a suitable soil condition taking into account the required planting distance. If this is too costly, you can also inquire about lamp cleaning grass seeds. However, splitting the plant anyway is required to contribute to rejuvenation and perpetual flowering.

Lamp cleaner grass diseases and possible pests

❍ Waterlogging:
Most known plant diseases and common pests can not harm the feathered grass. However, waterlogging can be a serious problem for the lamp cleaner grass. Without the appropriate drainage, the ornamental grass is probably due to the excess moisture and the resulting decay.

❍ rust:
If you do not care for feather grass, it can cause rust. It is a harmful fungal infection, which is treated accordingly with a fungicide. In addition, you should immediately remove all infected parts of the plant, so that the rust can not spread to the rest of the plant. During the fungal attack you should also provide the lamp cleaner grass with as little water as possible. A change of location is advisable if the ornamental grass at the same place is repeatedly affected by rust.

❍ spider mites:
Even a spider mite infestation is quite conceivable in an already weakened bulbous grass. The specialized trade offers the appropriate insecticides to fight these pests. However, visible traces of the spider mites are clearly visible, so you can act quickly and even dispense with this drastic measure. Spider mites can be effectively combated, for example, by showering the feathered grass or by spraying twice a week with a mixture of water and rapeseed oil (1 liter of water + 250 milliliters of rapeseed oil). The fine drops of oil then glue the respiratory openings of the spider mites, so that they suffocate in no time. A brew of field horsetails (instructions make ackerschachtelhalmsud itself) also helps just as well as nettlejauche (instructions make nettle jumbo itself).

Important: Protect children and pets from the feather grass

Although the lamp cleaner grass and all its components are completely non-toxic, there is still a risk of injury from the grass.Pets and children in particular can contract painful cuts on the crown grass. If the grass is consumed, not only the stomach, but also the air and esophagus can be injured. Therefore, the following security measures should be considered by all parents and pet owners who want to grow the lamprey grass:

  • Shield grass with a fence
  • choose a high-lying location in the lamp cleaner grass bucket attitude
  • Immediately consult a doctor after consumption
  • Disinfect and supply cuts immediately

Video Board: The BEST Way to Prune Ornamental Grasses.

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