How to Prune Carex

Written by d.c. winston
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How to Prune Carex
The foliage of one species of carex or sedge. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Carex, commonly known as sedge, is a genus of clumping grasses widely naturalised across the United States and often cultivated as ornamental grasses in gardens and landscaping. Carex species are perennial. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are more than 729 known species and cultivars of carex. All are pruned as ornamental grasses and renew themselves annually. Pruning mistakes are hard to make with these plants and are never permanent or long term.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Pruning shears

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  1. 1

    Prune carex plants in the spring, after the last hard frost has passed.

  2. 2

    Shear off all of the top foliage, leaving the crown of the plant and small stubble 2 to 5 inches above the soil line.

  3. 3

    Groom the plant during the growing season. Remove individual dead, discoloured, diseased or bent stalks of grass down to the crown between the stalks. This will keep the carex grass looking tidy and green in the landscape.

  4. 4

    Pick up all of the loose cuttings on or around the carex plant and compost or discard them. This will cut down on diseases that breed in decaying plant material and make room for the new growth.

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