Caring for Carex is fairly easy.
Caring for Carex doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it’s easy. But maintaining these grass-like plants isn’t the same as caring for other ornamental grasses. However, if many Carex species are left untended, they may not perform well in your garden.
Is your plant actually a Carex?
Before you start using these tips for caring for Carex, be sure you know that your plant IS a Carex. If you aren’t sure what that grassy looking plant in your garden is, get more help differentiating ornamental grasses and lookalikes here.
Are Carex actually grasses?
While Carex plants look like grasses, they aren’t true grasses. So while grasses respond well to being cut hard, Carex may not. Simplified, grasses essentially evolved growth responses to being grazed. And Carex likely did not. That’s one of the key reasons caring for Carex differs from ornamental grass maintenance programs.
Caring for carex begins with understanding how they grow.
Sedges put on a summer bloom that isn’t very ornamental. In fact, some would call it “insignificant.” And that’s true, until those blooms become messy.
So, what can make Carex messy?
When Carex blooms, it grows extra-long stems. In fact, they’re kind of a hairy strands tipped with with seedy pods. And, those long strands get tangled up. Plus, leaves and anything else that blows by gets caught in the mess. So, it’s time to clean things up.
Here’s how to easily maintain these plants in your garden:
First, put on gloves so the Carex edges don’t cut you as you work.
But, when you do begin cutting, don’t cut your Carex to the ground. That’s because it’ll probably kill your plant if you shear it low.
However, if the middle of your plant seems to have rotted out, pull out any rotted parts. And, yes, if they get soggy in the center, Carex will most likely completely rot and die.
Secondly, with gloves on, run your fingers through the tangled Carex “hairs” to pull out the long seedy ones. When you do this, you’ll likely remove other debris like trapped leaves as well.
Third, after you’ve combed out all you can, gather the remaining stems in your fist, and trim off the “dead” ends. And, by that, I mean just cut off a few tip ends. This is sort of like trimming your hair but maintaining length and health.
Lastly, you may want to do a little more combing to finish your caring for Carex work. And that’s it. Now your Carex should be refreshed!
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