En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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 However, these USDA maps are often out of date, and we believe the plant should be hardy in your garden.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 Pruning Questions

Pruning dogwood in TX
February 02, 2011 - I have a roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii) sapling that I would like to keep at shrub height (~6 ft) rather than let it form a tree. Can I encourage this by cutting the main trunk, and if so, by ...
view the full question and answer

Adventitious sprouts from Live Oak in Dallas
February 26, 2011 - How do I kill Holly growing in my yard? I have a Live Oak tree growing in my Bermuda grass lawn. The holly grows under the tree from the trunk extending out about 12-15 ft. It grows right in with the ...
view the full question and answer

Trimming non-native sago from Fresno CA
September 10, 2012 - I have a sago plant, fronds are hanging over into street, can the fronds themselves be trimmed back without removing the whole frond?
view the full question and answer

Need some help with my Mexican Bush Sage in Rockport, TX.
July 07, 2011 - My Mexican bush sage looks leggy,ratty and sparse. It's planted in full sun and was cut back to the ground in early spring. My soil is sand and I've watered it sparingly as we've had no rain. I'm...
view the full question and answer

Safe time to trim live oak trees
June 20, 2008 - Our live oak trees need a little trimming, as some of the branches are hanging too low, almost to the ground. We planted them about 5 years ago, so they are well established, healthy trees. My husband...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center