Floppy Muhly grass

Hattiesburg, MS(Zone 8a)

Hey, I have six clumps of Gulf or Pink Muhly grass planted in my front yard near the entrance to my driveway. I bought them last year when they were in bloom and the pink plumes looked great. My problem is when they are not blooming they are not all that attractive because they tend to have a very open habit and some clumps of blades just flop over horizontally with the ground and refuse to stand upright. Now I realize that muhly grass is an open airy type grass, but I've seen commercial plantings of it that are thicker and more upright than mine. I have also seen commercial plantings that look just like mine too. I cut each clump back about 4" from the ground in late winter/early spring of this year. They are planted in a xeriscape bed that has other grasses (Miscanthus, fountain grass, fescue) which do fine. My question to the experts out there is: What do I need to do to increase the fullness and uprightness of the Muhly grass clumps? I have considered cutting them back again but this late might cause them not to flower. Now I live in south Mississippi which gets pretty heavy rains in the Spring and early Summer, so I don't know if excesive watering has any effect on their form. They are planted in a topsoil/sand/mulch soil mix. If I can't find a solution to better their appearance I'll have to move them from the front driveway entrance (where their seen by every passer by) to somewhere else and plant a fuller grass like Ruby grass in their place. Thanks for the input.

Millington, TN(Zone 7b)

Rain could definitely have something to do with the habit of your Muhly. We have some in 7 gallon pots and they are watered by oscillating sprinklers for the most part (not much rain this year unfortunately). Their habit is mostly upright, but floppy enough so that you can tell they are watered from above the plant. I suspect, if you've had heavy rains, the habit of your Muhly is caused by the pounding of the water on the foliage. You're right in not cutting it back again because it wouldn't flower this year and that's the most spectacular thing about this grass.


Hattiesburg, MS(Zone 8a)

Thanks Jen, I think I'll wait a little longer to see if they get any fuller, I may check into some kind of wire support to put around them to keep them more upright.

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