Pink Muhly Grass is a popular perennial ornamental grass that is native to the Southeastern United States, and parts of New England. Known for producing eye-catching pink flower plumes, muhly grass demands attention wherever it’s planted. It’s the perfect addition to any landscaping project, big or small.
If this beautiful plant is intended to be a focal point in your garden, you may be wondering, when does Pink Muhly Grass bloom? If you are starting your plants from seed, you can expect beautiful blooms during the early fall of the second growing season. If you are growing from an established clump, you will likely see blooms in the first fall season, assuming you’ve planted them early enough.
Pink Muhly Grass Facts
Growing Zones: 6 to 10
Mature Height: 3-5 feet tall
Spacing Requirements: 2-3 feet apart
Germination Time from Seed: 1-2 weeks
Soil Types: Well-drained sandy, loam, and clay soils
Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade
Bloom Duration/Color: Pink to purple plumes that last 4-8 weeks
Bloom Time: Late summer to late fall
Tips for Getting the Best Blooms
Plant Pink Muhly Grass in Full Sun
While this ornamental grass can tolerate partial shade and will still produce blooms, planting in full sun will provide the most prolific flowering and the fastest growth. This is particularly true if you live in a climate that isn’t warm and sunny much of the year. The colder the climate, and the shorter the growing season, the more important it becomes for your plants to be exposed to full sun.
Make Sure Your Soil Drains Well
Pink Muhly Grass is highly adaptable to all soil types and moisture concentrations. It can withstand drought and handle rainy climates with ease, as long as your soil is well-drained. Soil that is always wet can cause root rot, and heavily compacted soil will stunt its growth and reduce flowering quite dramatically. If you live in a dry, hot climate, Pink Muhly Grass will grow and flower best when it is watered deeply on a regular basis.
Feed your Muhly Grass a Slow-Release Fertilizer in the Spring
If you have nutrient-deficient soil, or if you already have Pink Muhly Grass planted and haven’t seen a lot of blooms in previous years, using a slow-release fertilizer is likely to help. In fact, Pink Muhly Grass thrives when fertilized in the spring and again in mid to late summer. In doing so, you will be rewarded with more vibrant and longer-lasting pink and purple blooms.
Mulching Helps Protect the Roots in Winter
There are numerous benefits to mulching your Pink Muhly Grass plants. Mulching helps the soil retain moisture, which is particularly important in areas prone to drought. This means that you can water less AND reap the benefit of seeing bigger and brighter blooms! Mulching in late fall, before the onset of winter and colder temperatures, protects the roots during its dormant phase. We suggest applying 1 to 2 inches of mulch a few inches past the root zone.
Trim & Prune in Late Winter or Early Spring
Pink Muhly Grass requires little maintenance and is extremely easy to grow. However, if you want to encourage more vibrant, longer-lasting pink plumes, consider doing some late winter maintenance. After your Pink Muhly Grass dies back and goes dormant for the winter, it’s time to focus on trimming and pruning. Doing so will encourage vibrant new spring growth. When your muhly grass is turning yellow or brown in color, it’s a sign that the growing season is over and your plant is preparing for dormancy. This is when it’s best to start your maintenance. We suggest trimming the dead grass back to 2-3″ above the ground. An additional step you can take to enhance and expand your muhly grass display is to dig up a clump in early spring and use a pruning saw to cut the root mass into several new clumps and replant them.
Growing Pink Muhly Grass in Containers
If you don’t have a lot of propagation space, Pink Muhly Grass will grow quite effectively in containers for display on decks, porches, and patios. Just be sure to use large wide pots to allow for sufficient growth and proper root establishment. We suggest planting at least 12” deep in large decorative pots to create a jaw-dropping display.
Pests & Disease Considerations
Pink Muhly Grass is naturally deer resistant and non-invasive. In fact, there are no known pests that consume muhly grass as food. However, because it provides natural cover in nature, it can shelter rabbits, small mammals, and birds from predators. Pink Muhly Grass can sometimes attract ladybug beetles, which are actually beneficial insects to have in your garden.
As far as disease is concerned, if your planting location is too humid or lacks airflow, it’s possible that your Pink Muhly Grass will develop tar spot fungus. For that reason, it’s best to plant either in full sun or in a partially shaded area with plenty of airflows.
Best Companion Plants
Pink Muhly Grass blooms vibrantly in the fall. Finding some other plants to bloom along with it can add even more dramatic color to your landscape! Here are several plants that will bloom concurrently with Pink Muhly Grass:
- Variegated Liriope blooms beautiful lavender flowers in early fall. It is deer tolerant, easy to grow, and very adaptable. It’s the perfect color complement to the Pink Muhly blooms.
- White Cloud Muhly Grass is just like its sister plant Pink Muhly, only the blooms are bright white. Consider staggering White Cloud Muhly and Pink Muhly throughout your landscape for a one-of-a-kind display.
- Cassian Fountain Grass blooms elegant orange and red flowers in late summer to late fall. It is deer resistant, adaptable, and very easy to grow. It’s the perfect companion plant for lining walkways, and for creating pops of color throughout your landscape.
- Adagio Maiden Grass blooms bronze-pink colored plumes from late summer through winter. It is easy to grow, is deer resistant, and can get up to 5 feet tall. What is most beautiful about this grass is that in the fall, the foliage blades take on yellow, orange and red colors.
- Shenandoah Switch Grass offers pink-red plumes in later summer through fall. It’s extremely adaptable, low maintenance, and perfect for planting next to your Pink Muhly Grass.
For additional landscaping options and ideas, please visit our online plant nursery. Also, be sure to check out our Ornamental Grass Collection, our Fall Color Collection, House & Patio Collection, and our Perfect for Pots Collection for all of your landscaping needs.
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