Pink muhly grass is a relatively fast-growing ornamental grass that puts off beautiful pinkish purple plumes each fall.
How fast does pink muhly grass grow?
Pink muhly grass grows at a rate of approximately 12 inches per year. Most mature pink muhly reaches heights of at least 36 inches within the first three years after planting. The weather, pruning, fertilization, watering, and other factors may affect the growth rate of pink muhly.
Read on below and learn how fast pink muhly grass grows, including all sorts of related useful information about the species!
Pink Muhly Grass Growth Rate
Pink muhly grass is a fast-growing plant, compared to many of the other ornamentals in your yard and garden.
This pink ornamental grass grows up to 12 inches or more in height, and up 5 to 10 inches in width, during its first year of growth after planting.
By the second year after planting, thriving pink muhly grass reaches heights of up to 24 inches (or more) by the fall and will bloom with purplish pink plumes.
Three years after planting, your pink muhly reaches its maximum height of approximately 36 inches (in most cases), and its blooms are larger and pinker than ever.
In some cases, such as pink muhly grass planted in poor soil or in low light conditions, it may take until the fourth, fifth, or even sixth year until it reaches 36 inches higher, 20 inches wide, and produces purple and pink plumes.
How Big Does Pink Muhly Grass Get?
The average clumping of pink muhly grass grows to heights of three feet tall and just under two feet wide.
The pinkish purple plumes that appear on the grass each late summer or early fall may temporarily make the grass a few inches taller.
In most cases, four to six weeks into winter, the plumes fall off of the grass and leave the grass looking like dried straw grass.
You can cut your pink muhly grass down to two or three inches from the ground level, or four to six inches if you want, each winter.
Pink muhly will grow back to an equal height next year so long as its root system is intact.
How Far Apart do You Plant Pink Muhly Grass?
Plant your pink muhly grass clumps at least 3 feet from each other, otherwise, they will compete for sun once they are mature.
If you want to create a bush-like effect, try planting three clumps of pink muhly together, with up to 5 feet of space in between.
Pink muhly isn’t often grown in containers, but it is possible. If you do happen to give potted pink muhly a try, make sure your plants have a good 2 to 4 feet of space.
The larger you want your pink muhly grass to get, the more space you need to provide for them.
Does Pink Muhly Grass Spread and Invasive?
The United States is home to over 6,500 invasive species that could end up in your yard or garden one way or another, depending on what part of the country you live in.
Pink muhly grass, however, is not an invasive grass species, despite the US being home to more aggressively invasive grass species than most continents.
Thankfully, pink muhly grass doesn’t tend to spread much more than two feet from where it is planted and its root zone is established.
This gorgeous ornamental grass grows in clumps and does not spread out into your yard. Pink muhly grass stays in tight clumps for the duration of its life.
In fact, if you don’t dig up your pink muhly every few years (once every two to three years or so), it becomes root bound and starts to choke itself out of existence.
Pink muhly is not invasive at all. If you want this pink ornamental grass to spread to other places in your yard or garden you are going to have to plant it there yourself!
Does Pink Muhly Grass Bloom the First Year?
Pink muhly grass may or may not bloom within the first year of planting, depending on whether you start and plant it from seeds or clumps.
From seeds, pink muhly typically takes a full year to bloom. That means your pink muhly grass planted from seed may reach heights of 8 to 12 inches or higher by the fall of the first year, but won’t produce flowers.
Pink muhly grass planted from clumps (mature plants divided into tight groupings of grass and roots) tends to bloom the first year. If you plant pink muhly clumps in the early spring, you’ll have blooms as quickly as late summer or early fall the first year.
Each year after planting, from seed or clump, your pink muhly blooms will grow larger and more vivid. Fully mature pink muhly grass reaches a max height of 36 inches or more and produces plethoras of fluffy feather-like pinkish purple plumes.
Why is My Muhly Grass Not Growing?
There are numerous reasons for your pink muhly grass struggling to grow, or not growing at all.
The biggest reason pink muhly doesn’t grow properly is lack of adequate sunlight. The second biggest reason is that it’s receiving too much water and its root system is too moist.
Another significant mistake worth mentioning is underwatering. Pink muhly grass doesn’t require as much water as other plants, in order to survive. That, however, does not mean it doesn’t benefit from a bit of extra water here and there.
If you rely on the rain to water your pink muhly grass, entirely, you are making a huge mistake. Consider watering your ornamental grass once or twice per month during the warmest parts of the year, in addition to the water it gets from nature.
Other major reasons for your pink muhly grass not growing include pests, over-fertilization, and improper pruning:
Bugs may eat your pink muhly blooms, preventing the big pink and purple plumes from fully developing in the fall.
This particular sort of pink and purple ornamental grass doesn’t require many extra nutrients, which means fertilizing it may cause stunted growth. The best way to treat pink muhly with fertilizer is via an annual application in the late winter or early spring.
Finally, cutting your pink muhly grass down to the ground level for the wintertime, as you might with other plants, is a huge mistake. You must leave between 2 to 6 inches of growth sticking out of the ground each year when you trim your pink muhly grass clumps.