Transplanted Karl forester grass

Asked May 16, 2019, 11:11 PM EDT

Hi, I live in aurora Colorado A week ago a construction site near me took out all the Karl forester grass on the property and I was able to snag it. I planted them over the next two days. They had the new growth on them that is now a dead green color with the old growth. Are they dead or in shock? I didn’t know if I should cut them down since they were transplants.Thank you

Arapahoe County Colorado

1 Response

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ is considered a cool season grass meaning it begins growing when the temperatures are cooler. Since the grasses were green when you got them, they were alive. Whether they live or not depends on how much of the root system you were able to get. Make sure to keep them moist (not soggy or sitting in water) while they recover from transplanting.

These grasses are cut back to several inches early in the year, February-March. When they get too large, they are best divided in the fall. For now, you can leave them untrimmed until next spring and cut them back then. If you choose to cut them back now, they will grow with a nicer appearance but may not put out seeds heads this year.

Most grasses, including Karl Foerster, bounce back from transplanting well. Be patient; most grasses continue to grow following even the most severe damage or neglect.

Here are some CSU fact sheets on ornamental grasses:

https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/ornamental-grasses-7-232/

https://planttalk.colostate.edu/topics/annuals-perennials/1068-dividing-ornamental-grasses/