When To Prune Cold Damaged Dianella Grass

Filed Under: Ornamental Grasses, Pruning · Keywords: When To, Prune, Cut Back, Damaged, Dianella Grass · 476 Views
Our varigated dianella looks dead after a very cold winter in southern Louisiana, including several days in the mid-20s. Just wondering if it is dead or should just be cut back, and if so, when is best to prune....now or wait until spring???? Looks pretty ugly right now.

Rose Maginnis Asked by Rose Maginnis 8 months, 2 weeks ago
Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F

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Answer #1 · John Heider's Answer · Hi Rose-Although the Dianella Grass likes and needs to be grown in warmer climates most varieties are suprisingly fairly cold and frost tolerant. Most will survive short cold spells down to 5 or 10 degrees F. without killing the plant. Because the plant grows from underground rhizomes they can survive many times during these cold spells. Even though the plants leaves may have turned brown and shabby looking it is best not to prune them back until late winter or early spring. Leaving the damaged leaves on at this time helps to protect or insulate the lower parts of the plant against any more frost or cold weather. After any chance of frost they can be cut back to 5 or 6 inches above the ground and the plant shaped into a ball looking form. The plant will then grow nice new leaves from its base. It would help the plants recovery also from any stress at this time if fertilized with a ballanced slow release fertilizer such as Osmocote or others. Fertilization in the spring each year will help to keep your Dianella Grass healthy.

Hopefully this has helped. Please ask if you have any other questions.

John)

John Heider Answered by John Heider 8 months, 2 weeks ago
Gardenality Genius · Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F

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Rose Maginnis

Rose Maginnis · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Thank you, John. I'm glad I asked because I'm pretty sure we would have been whacking those dead parts off too early. Also good advice about the fertilizer. Thanks again.

8 months, 2 weeks ago ·
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John Heider

John Heider · Gardenality Genius · Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F
You're very welcome Rose. Welcome to Gardenality. Hopefully Gardenality will be as fun, interesting, and helpful for you as it is for so many of us. Please ask if you have any other questions. Enjoy, John

8 months, 2 weeks ago ·
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Answer #2 · Rose Maginnis's Answer · Well, I have the same question, more or less, about a large stand of ginger. It is (was) huge! Several years ago when we had a hard freeze it died off but came back in the spring. I can't remember when we "cleaned it up," but it came back with a vengeance to become so big and beautiful, it and flowered for the FIRST time this year! We were thrilled. Then this cold winter came along and now it is a huge brown dead thing that my husband is wanting to cut back at first opportunity. I will admit it is a BIG ugly thing, but it IS in the back yard. I am guessing we should also wait to prune this monster back as with the Dianella? Just curious what the pros and cons of pruning it now. Thanks.)

Rose Maginnis Answered by Rose Maginnis 8 months, 1 week ago
Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F

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Brent Wilson

Brent Wilson · Gardenality Administrator · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Hi Rose - Yes, I would suggest waiting until all chances of freezing weather have passed to prune the ginger. The dead foliage there now will help protect the roots from freeze damage if there comes another cold spell. If you do cut it back now, maybe heap a good amount of pine or wheat straw over the area to provide insulation.

Brent

8 months, 1 week ago ·
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Answer #3 · Rose Maginnis's Answer · Great, thanks. If I can't stall my husband, then at least I can protect the plant. I'm going to try to hold him off pruning this weekend if possible. haha.)

Rose Maginnis Answered by Rose Maginnis 8 months, 1 week ago
Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F

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John Heider

John Heider · Gardenality Genius · Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F
My wife once pruned a few plants early after asking her to wait till spring. I protected the plants with the brightest colored, ugliest blanket I could find. She waits till spring each year now. Good luck

8 months, 1 week ago ·
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Rose Maginnis

Rose Maginnis · Gardenality Seed · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Haha. That wouldn't work with my husband, however. His aesthetics are somewhat "skewed." While the dead plant offends him, the blanket would probably go unnoticed.

8 months, 1 week ago ·
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