Sprout Some Drama

Gulf muhly grass is easy to grow and has a unique resistance to our temperatures and soils. And with color ranging from pink to purple and every shade in between, it makes for a dramatic display in a fall landscape.

There are certain feelings of peace and tranquility that are hard to describe — such as the comforting sound of silence or looking toward the horizon and drawing your dreams in the clouds.

We can try to express in hundreds of ways the definition of calm and peace, but the easiest and most tangible way is to observe gulf muhly grass dancing with elegance and grace at the pace of the whistling wind on a warm fall day.

Muhlenbergia capillaris is an ornamental grass with a spectacular display of color, ranging from pink to purple and every shade in between.

This native bunch grass is extremely easy to grow and has a unique resistance to our temperatures and soils. Just make sure your soil has good drainage. Gulf muhly grows in clumps about 3 feet tall by 2 feet wide in full sun and partial shade. Space this heat-loving plant approximately 3 feet apart.

Gulf muhly grass is often used in beds and borders, but it’s never out of tune if used in other designs. Softening a rock garden is just one example of this. For a dramatic color display in the fall, try mass planting them.

Gulf muhly grass is very easy to propagate, just divide it and sow seed in spring. If you want to divide your clump, dig up a chunk of the mother plant trying to take as many healthy roots as possible. Newly transplanted grasses need their root ball kept moist, not wet, until the plant is established. You can also divide and transplant them into quart-sized containers and when they have developed their roots, move them to their final destination. Plants can be divided every three years with the most success.

This grass is the fairy princess of the prairie. Its glossy, wiry, thread-like, dark green blades are destined to give that touch of magazine to any poor soil that wants to be covered with a mantle of ruby or pink diamonds every spring. This is a plant you don’t want to miss having in your garden.


Picture of David Abrego
David Abrego
David Abrego is a conservation consultant for SAWS. David, a native of Panama, likes to spend his time surrounded by plants and fruit trees. So if you can’t find him at home, he’s probably working in a greenhouse. David is also an arborist and an irrigation technician.
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