En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - November 18, 2010

From: Bellevue, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Pruning, Seasonal Tasks, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Cutting Juncus effusus back from Bellevue WA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I read your posts about Juncus effusus and just have one follow-up question. When is the best time to cut them back to the ground - before winter or early spring? I live in the Pacific NW. I recently divided a large juncus (apparently wasn't supposed to until spring.) If it should survive, when is the appropriate time of year to cut it down to ground level to promote new growth? Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

Juncus effusus (Common rush) is native to Washington State, but King County is one of those areas with incredibly complex USDA Hardiness Zones, in this case ranging from Zones 6a to 8a. This USDA Plant Profile does not show this particular juncus as growing in King County, in the central eastern portion of Washington. However, these USDA maps are often out of date, and we believe the plant should be hardy in your garden.

From Floridata, we found this site on Juncus effusus, which does, indeed, indicate that the plant should be divided in Spring. However, with its underground rhizomes, it would probably take a lot more than premature division to kill it. Because you live in a mild climate, it really is only necessary to cut it back when it become unattractive, usually in the winter.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Juncus effusus


Juncus effusus

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Use of Turffalo in Possum Kingdom TX
June 27, 2013 - Hello, we will be building a retirement home in the hillside area of Possum Kingdom Lake which currently has cactus, cedar, and some live oaks. Our intention is to keep most of the 8 acres natural wi...
view the full question and answer

New low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo
October 27, 2009 - While touring the Wildlife Center, our group was told about about a new low maintenance grass similar to Turffalo. It only grows several inches tall, drought resistant and crowds out other grasses an...
view the full question and answer

When to stop mowing Habiturf for seeding from Austin
November 14, 2012 - I planted a native Habiturf lawn in my back yard last spring/summer and it is doing very well. The how-to mentions allowing the turf to seed out once per year to help maintain the lawn. Is there a bes...
view the full question and answer

Why are there no low-mow lawn grasses composed of only native fescues?
September 09, 2014 - Dear SP, Most blends of ecograss I see are a combination of non-native and native fescues (and sometimes buffalo grass, blue grama, etc.). Why are there (apparently) none that are composed entirely of...
view the full question and answer

Do white-tailed deer consume King Ranch bluestem?
October 25, 2013 - Will white-tail deer in central Texas consume King Ranch bluestem ?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center