Some of the more common grass problems include: Grass naturally wants to grow up thick and vibrantly green. This can sometimes be overcome by fertilization, and sometimes not. They can provide textural contrast, screening and winter interest to the landscape. This can be done with hedge shears in February or March before new growth appears from the crown of the plant. These fast-growing ground covers will take no time in filling up empty spaces and adding a charm to your outdoor garden. The frequency of watering can be adjusted to the individual needs of the grass species. Discoloration in your lawn generally comes because of three factors. Not only do they have statuesque elegance, but they provide a gentle symphony of wind driven sound. This problem is common in shady areas as powdery mildew build-ups in warm, humid conditions. Rust can be largely avoided by dividing overcrowded clumps and allowing better air circulation around the plants. Available in distinct colors, fine textures, and a bundle of varieties for different climates, gardeners usually have no problem picking out grass plants that will suit their garden well. If you have a grass that doesn't like a certain climate, such as a cold one, and the weather gets a bit cold, it can start to turn the grass yellow. Healthy ornamental grasses are relatively trouble-free, but the plants are occasionally bothered by various diseases or pests. They are: Fungus generally likes to take advantage of dead matter. Size: To 3 feet tall. Plant. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. Tall seedheads of Stipa gigantea. Mark unread; Skip to new; Mark unread Print Skip to new. Usually, disposing of affected plant parts as soon as they appear is enough to control the disease. Part of what makes them so attractive are their plumed, feathery inflorescences, but that is also what makes them such a problem. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing. Heavy infestations of aphids and mites are best treated by spraying the plants with insecticidal soap spray or with a product containing pyrethrins. Grasses are trouble-free and don’t attract pests or diseases. Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on September 15, 2010: :( that's sad. HELP! Rust is another disease that hurts your grass. The ease of ornamental grass care has helped to make them quite attractive for landscaping use. A third pest that can kill grass is grubs. Ornamental grass can experience molds and fungus similar to lawn grasses, particularly in wet weather. Things like clover and dandelions very quickly can infest an otherwise healthy lawn, sprawling out or growing very tall, making the lawn look poor. Aphids and mites are among the few insect pests that bother ornamental grass. The other big cause of discoloration is poor fertilization. Rust appears as orange spots, which can spread to cover the foliage. The beauty of fountain grass. They are either spreading or clumping, with the clumping being less aggressive. The only downfall is that some of these problems are systemic, meaning that you might have to make some major changes in order to get your grass to grow back properly. Solarization. Fungus. Temperature tolerance varies widely among different types of grass; however, many are suitable for planting in the Mediterranean climates of U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. Hameln dwarf fountain grass has no serious pest or disease problems, but improper … M.H. Avoid toxic chemicals, which kill lady beetles and other beneficial insects that feed on aphids and mites. This ornamental grass is loved for its interesting seed heads, which hang off the stems and look like wind chimes. To prevent powdery mildew, plant ornamental grass in sunny locations. Grasses typically are pretty tough, but keep new plants watered the first few years in order to establish healthy roots. A. Ornamental grass can be planted in spring or fall. Most varieties of fountain grass are hardy to USDA zones 8 to … Another common grass problem is weed infestation. This method may take longer but is far less labor intensive. A third thing that can cause grass to thin out and lose its lush appeal over time is a lack of aeration. There are 4 major types of fungus that affect grass. Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) – Ornamental Grasses for Drought Conditions But sometimes, like I said, the dead matter is subterranean and difficult to identify. Don't depend on just one repellent, as deer soon become accustomed to the unpleasant smell or taste. And they fit into nearly any landscape. They are a great way to add instant texture, contrast and lasting beauty. Ideal for a sunny spot. Dead spots are among the most common of grass problems and can be caused by quite a large range of factors. Fungus is a major grass problem for a lot of people. If you deprive it of either, it's not going to do very well and will be thin and patchy. If insect or disease problems happen, then treat early with … Solarization is simply the … Some fungus will grow on dead tree matter that's buried beneath the surface of the grass, like an old tree stump or the roots. nicomp really from Ohio, USA on September 13, 2010: Living in the midwest, we have no grass problems this year, it's all dirt. Either repair the sprinkler, or if it's just inadequate to cover all the areas, then you might have to spend 5 minutes a few times a week watering that specific area by hand. Non-flowering is usually caused by insufficient light. Spiking will improve drainage and overseeding with a grass seed mixture especially suited for shaded areas will improve the vigour of the lawn. This will break up the clay slowly over time. In addition, avoid watering the foliage of affected plant material. Dispose of infected blades securely, and never place diseased plant parts on the compost pile. Another ornamental grass to add to the equation is Japanese bloodgrass (Imperata cylindrica),with its red-tipped blades and fast-spreading runners that will quickly overtake moister beds. Water the grass at the base of the plant, because overhead watering creates moist conditions that foster rust. The other means of reproduction utilized by ornamental grasses is by self-seeding, which is more of a problem in warmer climes. Some varieties produce flowers. Once established, ornamental grasses require very little maintenance. Japanese Sedge (Carex morrowii) Sedge is a visually appealing dwarf grass that is simple to grow. Growing ornamental grasses: problem solving. Hilly Chism from Holland on September 13, 2010: Good hub, I like the tip about taking a weed into the garden center for them to identify it. Lawn moss is a serious problem in spring and autumn, most often found where drainage is poor and the lawn is in the shade. Maryanne Maguire from Santa Monica, CA on September 15, 2010: Yep, midwest here with no worries about grass - -it's dead :(. Ornamental grasses generally suffer from few problems if they are planted in an appropriate position for their needs. One of the common things that causes this problem is shade. Overcoming these problems is the key to having a beautiful lawn. Powdery mildew is a type of fungus that can affect turf grasses, ornamental grasses, commercial crops and native plant species. Ornamental grass grows in clumps and can have arching foliage as tall as 15 feet or may have variegated green and creamy white foliage shorter than 1 foot. Apply a lawn treatment containing a moss killer and then try to remove the causes. This grass is hardy in zones 5 through 9, is deer resistant, and is a highly decorative grass for the desert garden. However, many of the New Zealand sedges (Carex), Mexican Feather Grass (Stipa or Nassella) and Northern Sea Oats … Powdery mildew is a fungal disease easily recognized by powdery blotches on the leaves. Another culprit for some cases of dead spots is dogs. Perhaps the most common problem of ornamental grasses is the fungal disease, rust. Micanthus ‘Flamingo’ – a popular, deciduous grass with late summer, pink flower plumes. Extreme infection may cover the whole ornamental grass with the powdery blotches. If you haven't fertilized your grass in a while, or if you don't regularly fertilize, your grass can start to grow thin and yellow on you. In one of the above sections, we discussed rust fungus which can discolor your blades of grass and make them yellow, orange, and brown. Often when the grass is overshadowed by trees and bushes, it just plain won't grow well. Other fungus will take advantage of dead grass clippings that were left on the lawn after mowing. Aphids, which damage the plants when they pierce the blades to suck out the sap, are tiny, greenish insects that gather on the underside of blades. Growing Karl Foerster grass in your landscape gives you nonstop enjoyment year after year in your … Ornamental grass is an excellent alternative to shrubs for landscaping gardens. Fortunately, specially designed weed killers exist that don't hurt your lawn but kill the infesting weeds. Advertisement. Regardless, you do not need to remove the plumes as soon as they appear. Another thing that causes the grass to grow thin and patchy is poor soil conditions. Some ornamental grasses can become invasive because of their seed plumes, while others do not. About Invasive Ornamental Grasses Ornamental grass management is necessary with many species of these elegant waving plants. Hopefully it will come back for you in the Spring. We'll go through 5 common problems step-by-step, and provide ways to overcome them. Hence, the problems associated with these trees are also somewhat similar to those of the above-mentioned trees. The problem is the worst when runner grasses overtake bunch grasses. My Lawn Has Large Black Rings Which Turn Brown & Die, White Bugs & Circular Patches of Dead Grass, University of Minnesota Extension: What's Wrong With my Plant? Other grasses have been bred for specific regions and conditions in order to more adequately tolerate things like heat and drought. I'll mention them all briefly. Rabbits will eat grass down to its bare nubs and kill whole areas before moving on. Dividing is another maintenance technique that is required for clump forming gra… For more about lawn care, check out my article on laying sod. two problems with my ornamental grasses. Powdery mildew is generally a problem in shady areas, because powdery mildew develops in warm, humid conditions. The best way to avoid a problem with rust is to space plants far enough apart to provide good air circulation. A few types of landscape grasses spread by rhizomes or stolons and some of … Sometimes grass comes in weak, thin, and patchy. Problems Ornamental pear tree belongs to the family of apple, blackberry, and rose. Fluffy flowerheads of Pennisetum villosum. Blue Oat Grass (Helichtrichon sempervivens) Containers of blue oat grass bring a cooling blue-gray … I wonder if I had not trimmed them back early enough. This is most common when plants are overcrowded and insect problems are infrequent. Ornamental grasses have become extremely popular in the home landscape. Fungus is a major grass problem for a lot of people. In severe cases the blades may wilt, turn brown and die. Aphids and mites are among the few insect pests that bother ornamental grass. Noisemakers are rarely effective. It appears on the blade of the grass as a … Great ornamental grass varieties to grow. Grubs are little worms that live beneath the surface and eat the roots of your grass. Grub poison can be bought at your local garden center. Severe infections may cover the entire plant with the puffy, white or gray fungi. Ornamental grasses are outstanding plants for the garden. If large sections of ornamental grass suddenly go missing and only the stems remain, the culprit may be a deer. If you don't have any dead matter lying around for the fungus to decompose, you shouldn't have too much of a problem with it. There are 4 major types of fungus that … Regular fences are effective only if they are at least 6 feet tall, with the top angled away from the garden. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. If this is the case, there shouldn't really be any definite pattern to the dead spots, and the dead grass should pull up easily with no roots. Most landscape grasses are clump-forming and will not spread to other areas although the clumps will get bigger each year. Hameln dwarf fountain grass is a small, clumping ornamental grass that only grows 2 to 3 feet tall and bears ivory to white plumes that wave above the foliage from summer to fall. Watch Reply. Although some types of ornamental grass live for only one year, most are perennial. A fourth thing that can cause your grass to be thin and patchy is if you have the wrong kind of grass for your region. If your soil has large clay deposits or rocks, it will cause the grass to grow very poorly. Although mites are difficult to spot with the naked eye, you can often see their thin webbing. Grass soil needs to have good drainage, be slightly acidic, and have some sandy content to it. Maiden Grass. Though there are varieties in the types of flowering pear trees, the ornamental pear tree problems are more or less similar to the usual problems faced by any other type. The seeds are windborne and will result in a host of baby plants. Nice! Grass problems can very quickly transform a beautiful lawn like this into an unsightly mess. Planting and care of ornamental grass is much like other perennial plants. If you aren't sure what kind of weed is infesting your grass and you want to get rid of it, take a sample into your local garden center and they should be able to help you identify it and find a product to eradicate it. Zones: 5-9. Don't allow the plants to become too dry; dusty conditions attract mites. So if there's fungus popping up in your lawn, like mushrooms or other types of fungus, it's probably because there's dead matter about. Ornamental grasses generally prefer full sun, but some varieties--particularly maiden grass, fountain grass, and sea oats--will tolerate partial shade. Though most grasses will grow in any of the regions of the United States, they won't thrive in all of those regions and will be thin and patchy unless specifically suited to the particular climate. Although young, tender plants are most susceptible, a hungry deer eats nearly any type of plant. Most varieties also require well-drained soil, with the exception of umbrella grass; this plant actually prefers soggy conditions. Often, without the homeowner knowing it, one of the sprinklers in the system will become clogged or broken, or just plain won't have the pressure to reach all areas of the grass. But it often encounters problems and obstacles that keep it thin, patchy, and weak. Choose a well-drained location with an appropriate sun level for the … Grass needs to be aerated periodically every few years in order to reestablish proper roots. Pests of one form or another are among the most common grass killers. frogandtoad Delaware, OH Mar 31, 2008. Mites are microscopic insects that suck the juices from the blades, causing infected parts to turn yellow. Rust is a fungal disease evidenced by small reddish-orange or yellow blisters on the blades of grass. Perhaps the most important maintenance technique is cutting back the grass to a height of 10 centimetres. Scientific Name: Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’ Size: 6 to 8 feet tall, 3 to 5 feet … Growing Conditions: Full sun or part shade and well-drained soil. Yeah, I've done that on more than one occasion. If a rabbit is the culprit, you should see rabbit droppings in and around the area of the dead spot. I have a few varieties of ornamental grasses that are 4 years old: Last year some of them did not grow in the centers, but did well otherwise. If this is the case, you can try adding gypsum periodically over the course of about three years. A lot of the time the garden center doesn't know either, but together you can usually figure it out. … Commercial or homemade repellents, which include bad-smelling or bitter-tasting substances, are sometimes effective. The aeration will allow the grass roots to decompress from being compacted during sports and other things, and will give them a nice flow of oxygen. This can be caused by a few different reasons. Another thing that can easily cause dead spots in your grass is a broken, clogged, or inadequate sprinkler system. It loves full sun and can also be one of the ornamental grasses for shade, as well. A third cause of discoloration, that's much rarer, is fungus. Follow guidelines for proper watering and fertilization for your particular type of grass, as healthy ornamental grass plants are more pest-resistant. Billy Haynes from Paragould, AR on April 27, 2018: We got a new place a little over a year ago and we have a bare spot in the front yard. Karl Foerster grass plants have these attributes as well as the ability to tolerate many soil types and lighting conditions. Test Garden Tip: Northern sea oats is a fast spreader, so plant in a container or other spot that will keep it in bounds. Electrical fencing is sometimes useful but isn't recommended in areas where small children may be present. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. Certain grasses prefer some climates more than others. Name: Chasmanthium latifolium. Thanks! Video of the Day Volume 0% Commercial fungicides might be effective when applied at the earliest sign of disease. In order for grass to grow well, it needs to meet a very specific set of conditions, and when one or more of these conditions are not met, you'll end up with some pretty specific problems. Ornamental grasses are popular landscape additions because they have few pest problems and are easy to grow. Grasses vary in size and height, depending on … Annuals/tender perennials (these must be planted every year, although some survive the winter in warmer climates): Purple Fountain Grass, Purple Millet, Vertigo Fountain Grass; How to Care for Ornamental Grasses. Ornamental grasses are hardy, low-maintenance plants that add texture and interest to the landscape. If the grass you have blooming in your garden started to put up its showy plumes or seed heads in late summer to early fall, it’s a warm season grass. A: Ornamental grasses are generally divided into two groups: warm season grasses which grow and bloom in the warmer summer and fall months, and cool season grasses which grow and bloom in the cooler months of spring to early summer. Allow ample space between plants; poor air circulation caused by overcrowding often results in disease. Benji Mester (author) from San Diego, California on September 13, 2010: barb t from Denver on September 13, 2010: Thank you for taking the time to share this information maybe this will help me keep my grass better next summer. Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra' or Japanese blood grass is a colorful red, yellow, … When this happens, the grass in the under-watered area will start to die. Can you overwinter fountain grasses? Everything grows better in the midwest. Grass loves sunshine and water. Annuals and Perennials -- Ornamental Grass, Clemson University Extension: Ornamental Grass, University of Missouri Extension: Aphids, Scales and Mites on Home Garden and Landscape Plants, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Powdery Mildew on Ornamentals, University of Minnesota Extension: Coping With Deer in Home Landscapes, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Rusts. Dog urine can kill grass and will leave circular dead spots. Due to lack of sunlight I believe, but I keep trying to get grass to grow. Japanese Blood Grass. More. Ornamental grasses have two growth habits. Most grasses have few, if any, pest or disease problems. 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