This blooming perennial grass is a beautiful ornamental plant for your lawn and garden, with its large feathery plumes of pinkish purple flowers.
Why is my pink muhly grass not blooming?
Your pink muhly grass may not be blooming for a handful of common reasons including too much water, not enough light, poor pruning, overfertilization, poor soil health, pets, soil-borne disease, and more. Poor upkeep, in general, and failing to water muhly grass are also reasons it may not be blooming.
Read on below and explore all of the potential reasons why your pink muhly grass isn’t blooming, as well as solutions!
When Does Pink Muhly Grass Bloom?
Pink muhly grass blooms the next summer or fall after the year of planting if you’re starting it from seeds.
If you plant your pink muhly grass from clumps, you’re likely to get small blooms during the summer or fall of the first year.
Clumps of pink muhly bloom faster because they are pre-established plants that’ve been separated strictly for replating/propagation purposes.
Pink muhly started from seeds take up to a year or longer to bloom because they must germinate, shoot through the soil, and begin developing from scratch.
Whether you plant from seeds or clumps, your pink muhly will continue to bloom year after year in the late summer and fall.
After approximately three years in the ground, pink muhly reaches its fully mature size and the plant’s pink blooms are at their biggest.
7 Reasons Pink Muhly Grass Not Blooming + Solutions
There are 7 basic reasons why your pink muhly may not be blooming. Below, we discuss each one as well as the solution to each issue.
1. Lack of Sunlight
Pink muhly and grasses like it need to grow somewhere in the full sun if you expect it to bloom. That means it needs to receive at least 8 hours of sunlight per day.
Plant your grass somewhere where it isn’t in the shadows of trees, shrubs, or your home. Along driveways, property lines, and flower beds in front yards are great locations.
2. Lack of Water
The lack of water is another major reason your pink muhly may not be blooming. If you aren’t watering it, you should be.
Pink muhly may appreciate watering as much as once per week, regardless of what your neighbors told you.
3. Excessive Water
One of the top reasons pink muhly don’t bloom or don’t bloom for long is that they are drowning. Pink muhly don’t require nearly as much water as other plants, excessive water roots its roots and slows its growth.
Give your pink muhly no more than one inch of water once per week.
4. Poor Soil Health
Using the wrong type of soil for ornamental grasses like pink muhly that are native to places like Texas and Florida is an easy mistake. It is a mistake that results in little to no blooming.
Plant your pink muhly in rocky and sandy soil that is fast and well-draining.
5. Soil Borne Disease
Nematodes, powdery mildew, verticillium wilt, and other soil-borne disease are another real threat to your pink muhly and their blooms.
Making sure you know where your plants come from is the number one way to avoid accidentally infesting your plants with a soil-borne disease.
Common pests, such as spider mites, aphids, gnats, and mealy bugs are a huge reason for pink muhly and other flowers not blooming each year. These pests either eat the buds before they bloom into flowers, or eat them once they open up.
Apply organic pest control; spray your grass with lemon juice and vinegar (half and half). You may also sprinkle cinnamon and red peppers on the plants before the blooms open.
7. Improper Pruning
Cutting your grass back to the ground level is the worst pruning mistake you can make. If it doesn’t kill your plants completely, it will cause their blooms to be off for up to 2 or 3 years.
Prune your pink muhly down to about 2 to 6 inches above the ground level. Just to be safe, aim for 4 inches.
How Long Does Pink Muhly Grass Bloom?
In USDA zones 6 through 11 pink muhly blooms for 4 to 8 weeks.
Your pink muhly grass and its blooms also reach a maximum height of 24 to 36 inches tall before the summer or fall.
During the late summer and early fall, pink muhly put off several blooms ranging from pinks to purples in color.
Pink muhly that are three years old or older put off the biggest and brightest blooms.
Tips on Encouraging Pink Muhly Grass to Bloom
Below are some of the best natural ways to encourage your pink muhly grass to bloom longer and brighter.
Practice Proper Spacing When Planting
Pink muhly that aren’t spaced out properly tend to struggle with each other more than they flourish and bloom.
Plant your pink muhly at least 36 inches apart from each other for the best results.
When your pink muhly is planted with adequate space in between each one, the individual plants thrive more.
That’s because each plant receives more sun, drains better, and isn’t competing with another root system for its root zone below the surface of the soil.
Use the Correct Type of Soil
One of the easiest ways to encourage your pink muhly to keep blooming better and longer is simply by growing it in the right kind of soil.
In their native homeland, the land is rocky and sandy hence you should emulate those conditions to the best of your ability.
Keep your pink muhly’s soil well-drained and at all times (that does not mean completely dry, just not soggy).
Avoid flower potting blends and other fluffy type soils for your pink muhly.
Divide Them So They Keep Thriving
As with many clumping plants and grasses, pink muhly needs dividing from time to time.
If you don’t divide it up, separate it, and replant, your pink muhly will become root bound and stunted.
In this state, the clumps choke each other out and fight for space rather than focusing energy and nutrients on creating and blooming flowers.
Overfertilizing is a huge mistake with you pink muhly. Instead of helping your plant bloom more (or longer), fertilizing your ornamental grass may cause it to bloom less.
Grasses like pink muhly don’t require a lot of extra nutrients, or nitrogen, like other ornamentals.
If you must fertilize them, do it just once per year in the spring or winter, that way the blooms are at their very best.
Water More Often Than Recommended
Pink muhly is known for being easy to care for, including the fact that they can survive with very little water.
However, you shouldn’t refrain from watering it just because it can go without water. Give your pink muhly water whenever you water the surrounding plants.
The more water your pink muhly has, the longer the blooms last (and the better they look).