Winter Care For Maiden Grass [How-To Guide]

Winter can be difficult for plants, especially for varieties not native to cold temperatures. Maiden grass, a popular ornamental grass known for its graceful movement and delicate appearance, requires special care during the winter months to ensure it survives and thrives. How can you protect your maiden grass during cold weather? We researched this topic and have an answer.

Here are the basic things you need to consider to maintain your maiden grass during the winter:

  1. Add mulch
  2. Provide adequate moisture
  3. Monitor for pests and diseases
  4. Be patient in the spring
  5. Prune the grass at the right time
  6. Clean up the area
  7. Prevent snow damage
  8. Dividing
  9. Fertilize the grass

We will discuss how to care for maiden grass in the winter and other relevant topics in this post to provide the information you need to keep your plants healthy and beautiful. Continue reading as we delve into the main discussion.

Winter Care For Maiden Grass [How-To Guide]

How To Care For Maiden Grass

Beautiful green ornamental grass Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'.

As winter approaches, your maiden grass needs care and protection against extreme cold.

This beautiful ornamental grass can be a great addition to any garden but requires special attention during the colder months. We'll provide a comprehensive winter care guide for maiden grass to help you keep your plants healthy and looking their best.

Add Mulch

Adding a layer of mulch around your maiden grass helps protect the roots from the cold and keeps the soil moist.

Use a light layer of straw, leaves, or shredded bark to cover the soil around the plant. Cover the topsoil up to 2-3 inches and spread the mulch surrounding the plant base. This covering will help to insulate the roots and keep them from freezing.

Provide Adequate Moisture

Keep the soil around your maiden grass moist, especially if your area has little rainfall. Avoid overwatering because this can lead to root rot. Water your maiden grass every 2-3 weeks, depending on the weather conditions.

Monitor for Pests and Diseases

Even though your maiden grass is dormant in the winter, it can still be susceptible to pests and diseases. Check the plant regularly for any signs of damage or infestation and take proper action if necessary.

Be Patient in the Spring

As the weather warms up in the spring, your maiden grass will begin to come back to life. Be patient because the new growth may take time to emerge.

Prune Back the Grass

You should cut back last year's growth to within 6-12 inches from the ground in late winter or early spring. Cutting back will encourage the plant to produce new development in the spring. Most gardeners do not cut ornamental grass in the fall or winter season.

Clean Up the Area

Once you've cut back the foliage, clean up the area around your maiden grass. Remove fallen leaves or debris from the ground around the plant because this can attract pests and diseases.

Prevent Snow Damage

Snow can cause damage to maiden grass, especially if the snow is wet and heavy. To prevent damage, tie the grass together using twine or ribbon. Tying will prevent the grass from bending and breaking under the weight of the snow.


You should divide maiden grass in the winter because the plant is dormant during this time, which means it is not actively growing. Splitting makes it less likely to suffer from transplant shock and damage. Splitting maiden grass allows you to rejuvenate the plant and can improve its general health.

Fertilize the Grass

Fertilize your maiden grass with a slow-release fertilizer in late fall or early winter. Fertilizing furnishes the plant with the necessary nutrients to sustain healthy growth during the winter months.

Click here to check the grass fertilizer on Amazon.

How To Divide Maiden Grass

Maiden grass is a popular ornamental grass that can add texture and attractiveness to your garden. Over time, the clumps of maiden grass can become too large, causing the plant to lose its aesthetic appeal.

Dividing maiden grass is an effective way to keep the plant healthy and looking its best.

Steps for Dividing Maiden Grass

Here are the steps for dividing maiden grass:

Choose the Right Time

The best time to divide maiden grass is in late winter after the plant has gone dormant. Avoid splitting the plant during the growing season because this can cause stress and damage.

Prepare the Soil

Prepare the new planting location by digging a hole twice the width of the clump you are dividing. Mix organic matter and soil, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to enhance soil structure and fertility.

Dig Up the Clump

Dig up the clump of maiden grass using a garden fork or spade. Get as much of the root system as possible. Use a sharp knife or pruning saw to cut the clump into smaller branches if it is too big.

Divide the Clump

Use your hands or a sharp spade to divide the clump into smaller sections. Each section should have a portion of the root system and at least one stem.

Plant the Divided Clumps

Plant the divided clumps in the prepared soil and make enough space between them at least 3 to 4 feet apart. Water thoroughly after planting.

Mulch the Plant

Pour organic mulch around the plant base to help preserve moisture and cover the roots from freezing.

Tips for Dividing Maiden Grass

  • Dividing maiden grass in the winter is best done on a mild day when the ground is not frozen.
  • Avoid damaging the roots when dividing the clumps, as this can stress the plant and reduce its ability to absorb water and nutrients.
  • Water the newly planted maiden grass regularly during the first growing season to help it establish a robust root system.

Common Pests and Diseases that Affect Maiden Grass

Maiden grass, known as Miscanthus sinensis, is prized for its beauty and low maintenance requirements. However, aside from cold temperatures, maiden grass can be susceptible to pests and diseases that can impact its growth and health.

Here are some of the most common pests and illnesses that affect maiden grass and what to do about them.

Spider Mites

Closeup picture with a lot of mites on the stick.

Spider mites may infest maiden grass, particularly during hot, dry weather. These tiny pests feed off the plant leaves and roots, causing yellowing and a stippled appearance.

Keep the soil around the plant moist and spray the foliage with a strong stream of water to dislodge any mites. You may need to use a miticide if the infestation is extreme.

Click here to see this miticide on Amazon.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese Beetle Popillia japonica isolated on a white background.

Japanese beetles are another common pest that can infest maiden grass. These beetles feed on the plant foliage, causing skeletonized leaves and stunted growth.

To prevent Japanese beetles, pick them off the plant by hand and place them in a bucket of soapy water. You can also use insecticidal soap or neem oil to deter them.

Click here to see this neem oil on Amazon.


Maiden grass landscape on side of building

Rust is a fungal disease that can affect maiden grass, causing orange or yellowish abscesses on the leaves and stems of the plant.

To prevent rust, do not give your maiden grass an excessive amount of water, and make sure there's sufficient air circulation around the grass. If rust appears, remove and dispose of any infected plant material and use a fungicide to treat the plant.

Click here to see this fungicide on Amazon.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot is another fungal disease that may infect maiden grass, causing dark, irregular spots on the leaves.

Try not to water the grass from above and make sure there's sufficient to prevent leaf spot. If leaf spot appears, remove and dispose of any infected plant material and use a fungicide to treat the plant.


an ant and four aphids (plant lice) sitting on a blade of grass symbol of symbiotic relationship

Aphids are a common pest that can infest most grasses, particularly during the spring and fall. These tiny, soft-bodied insects feed off the plant sap, resulting in restricted growth and misshaping of the leaves.

Keep the soil around the plant moist and spray the foliage with a strong stream of water to dislodge any aphids to prevent aphids from colonizing your maiden grass. Insecticidal soap or neem oil may also deter them.

Click here to check out this insecticidal soap on Amazon.

Summing Up

Maiden grass is a versatile, popular ornamental grass that requires special care during the winter months. In this post, we maiden grass care, protection from pests and diseases, preparing the grass for the winter, and dividing the clumps to keep it healthy.

With proper care, maiden grass can survive and thrive during the winter and add texture and magnificence to your garden in the spring.

Visit the following posts for more information and resources on gardening and plant care:

What Is The Best Herbicide For Creeping Charlie [That Won't Harm Grass]

What Is The Best Grass For Under Oak Trees?

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