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Gulf Muhly Grass

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November 18, 2018
Gulf muhly grass is a native plant that’s really showy in the fall and winter months. Let’s take a look at why I love this plant. Today Southern gardening is at Truck Crops Branch Station in Crystal Springs where they may have the best looking Gulf muhly grass I have ever seen. The botanical name of Gulf muhly grass is Muhlenbergia capilaris. This grass is so good it was chosen as a Mississippi Medallion native plant winner in 2010. In the fall this native grass produces billowy masses, called inflorescences, which resemble pink clouds in the landscape. There’s also a white selection called White Cloud… and it is! The sun rising back lights the inflorescences and they seem to glow in the rich morning light. Select a landscape site that receives at least 6 hours of full sun during the day. Spacing needs to be considered as these plants need their individual space. Each plant can grow up to four feet wide so plant on three foot centers. This will achieve that filled-in mass look. Like all ornamental grasses there is really only one maintenance chore that can’t be neglected. In late winter, cut the grass clumps back to six inches. This will clear the way for the new foliage and result in a nicely formed clump. Don’t be tempted to cut back any earlier because you will be removing the dry inflorescences that create movement with the wind and habitat for wildlife. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.

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