How to Prune Miscanthus Morning Lights

Written by d.c. winston
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How to Prune Miscanthus Morning Lights
Shears and gloves come in handy when pruning miscanthus. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Miscanthus sinensis "Morning Light" is among at least 50 known species and cultivars of miscanthus clumping grass. Like other species of clumping grass, miscanthus can be considered an invasive species where it's not wanted, though the "Morning Light" cultivar is not considered aggressive or invasive. The name "Morning Light" is derived from the three white stripes that run the length of each grass blade and project a silver hue when rustled by the breeze. Once a year pruning is typically sufficient to keep the plants looking good in the landscape.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Pruning shears or secateurs
  • Gardening gloves

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  1. 1

    Prune your miscanthus "Morning Light" in the late winter or early spring just before new green growth is evident. Depending on your growing climate, this may translate into February for warm climates or as late as early May in colder climes.

  2. 2

    Shear down the dead foliage, leaving just 2 to 4 inches of grass stumps. This will make room for green regrowth and allow you to remove all of the discoloured and dead blades in one fell swoop. Carefully collect and compost or discard the grass cuttings.

  3. 3

    Cut down spent flower stalks and seed heads throughout the growing season if you don't enjoy their look. Sever the unwanted stalks down at the base, just above the crown of the grass clump at the soil line, or down as far as you can easily reach.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear gloves when pruning your miscanthus "Morning Light" as the edges of the grass are sharp and can cut into your skin much like a paper cut.
  • Tie a string tightly around the base before cutting to keep foliage together and easier to dispose of.

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