To trim or not to trip sedges

Asked February 19, 2020, 5:45 PM EST

We planted Pennsylvania sedge as plugs in 2018 for ground cover among other native perennials in our rain garden. They are crowning at about 5 inches with fronds of about 8 inches long. They have all turned brown over winter. I understand I should cut them back this year. If so, how much? Thanks,

Montgomery County Maryland

5 Responses

It is not mandatory to prune back sedges but, like most ornamental grasses, it is commonly done in early spring so that new green growth shows more quickly.

Here is more: https://extension.umd.edu/learn/pennsylvania-sedge

Ellen

I do want to prune them. The question is: how far down should they be cut? What I’ve seen online doesn’t address that. Thanks Ellen.

A safe rule of thumb is to trim them back by about a third of their height.


Christine

What about Cherokee sedge? Same thing? Cut them back by 1/3 of their height?

Yes. Do not cut more than 1/3. For this species, you can trim off the tips if you want to tidy up the plants. These should not be cut back hard like ornamental grasses.

Christa