How to Plant Pink Muhly Grass

Pink muhly grass is a beautiful ornamental plant that blooms during the spring and summer seasons. The ornamental plant has unique pink or reddish foliage that differentiates it from other grass plants. 

You might think growing this ornamental plant is a bit difficult but fortunately, pink muhly grass thrives easily and need very little maintenance.  

You can plant its clumps in a signal area or a garden row with adequate space for an appealing presence.

Here, in this post, you will learn everything about pink muhly grass- how to plant, grow and care. After reading this post you will have good knowledge to deal with this ornamental plant. 

pink muhly grass

Quick Guide

Common NamePink muhly grass
Scientific NameMuhlenbergia capillaris
Plant typePerennial grass
Mature Size1-3 feet taller and 2-3 feet wider
Sun ExposureFull sun to part sun 
Soil TypeDry, well-drained soil
Soil pH6.5 – 7.5
Bloom Timefall
Flower ColorPink-reddish
Hardiness Zones6 to 9 USDA 
Native AreaEastern and Southern North American

How to Plant Pink Muhly Grass

Before moving forward first understand when and where to grow this grass plant to enjoy its beauty. Pink muhly grass is a perennial plant that comes every year.

However, this ornamental grass is hardy in USDA hardiness 6-9, the plant does not see much effect during winter. But, in other zones, during winter it goes dormant or grows as an annual plant. 

Where to plant

Pink muhly grass can be grown on highway sides, garden rows, or signal plants in a garden bed. The plants need to be kept apart from each other for good airflow. If the plant does not get good air circulation it becomes susceptible to a fungal infection called trap spot

Generally, this plant is not grown in pots or containers because of its deep root balls and habit of spreading.

When to plant

Pink muhly grass shows maximum growth during spring and summer. In the frost, they start to fade their foliage color a bit, and in winter goes dormant. Ideally, plant pink muhly grass after all threat of frost or cold climate has gone.

Plant in the early spring weeks, this gives the plant time to get settled before the growing season. This is a fast-growing plant and gets established within 20-30 days.

How to Grow Pink Muhly Grass

Now you know when and where to grow these beauties. Let’s discuss how to grow pink muhly grass.

This grass ornamental plant features long, thick-colored foliage. The plant does not have stems but rather a strong clump of the root crown. You can propagate or grow pink muhly grass either through seeds or from division. It bears tiny flowers in the spring season which fade during fall and become seeds. 

These seeds spread through the air in the ground and more grass thrives. However, growing from seeds is a time taking process. The plant may take months to get established.

So, most gardeners prefer growing from division. Pink muhly grass needs division every two to three years because of its continuous growth.

Watch Web story: Pink Muhly Grass: Growing and Caring Tips

How to Grow from Division:

  • Take a sharp, clean shovel or spud, and wear gardening gloves. Dig out the crown of the grass. 
  • Dig a large area to collect plants with their root balls. This plant’s roots are dense and deep, water the grass before digging to make the soil moist.
  • When you successfully dig the whole crown of the plant, divide it into two or three roughly equal parts. 
  • The root balls of the plant are strong and dense, you might need sharp gardening shears to divide them.
  • After dividing into parts, Plant one part again in the same place, others in different locations to get new plants. 
  • Make plant grass stand on the soil by covering its whole roots ball.
  • Water thoroughly to get it settled. 
  • The plant will get established within a month. You know when plants begin producing new foliage.

How to Care for Pink Muhly Grass

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Pink muhly grass is a tough plant that can survive in tough conditions. They do not need much care once they get established. However, it is vital to give this plant proper condition to get settled. Below are some factors you need to check to grow a bright and healthy plant.


Pink muhly grass prefers full sun, it can tolerate partial shade. But, for good pink-reddish hue foliage, you need to plant them in direct bright sunlight. If given more shade the foliage may fade color or grow leggy. Ideally, the plant should get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. 


Pink muhly grass thrives in dry, well-drained soil. The plant does not need too rich soil, plant them where it gets loose soil. Avoid planting them too deeply, just cover the root balls with the soil.

In terms of pH level, pink muhly prefer growing in neutral to slightly acidic soil type. Avoid planting in too acidic soil because it will suffer. 

This plant is also tolerant to environmental conditions, it thrives in salty soil, which is relevant due to irrigation, salt road, etc. 


Pink muhly grass becomes drought-tolerant, once gets established. This means you do not need to water them every day. The plant can survive without water for months. If your area receives a decent amount of rainfall, you never need to water them. However, if you notice the foliage is legging then water thoroughly to make the soil moist.

Avoid overwatering, it hates soggy or too wet soil. Use loose, well-drained soil for better water flow. The plant has deep roots enabling it to get underground water even in hot and dry conditions.


Mostly ornamental plants do not need fertilizer. They need to be given bright, colorful foliage. Adding fertilizer increases nitrogen in the soil which causes overgrowth of foliage. This will lead to overgrown and unflowered plants.

However, if your plant is two to three years old, it may need to feed. Use organic soil compost to fertilize the soil. You can also use conventional fertilizer, 10-10-10 water-soluble fertilizer is often recommended to use in ornamental plants. But, use only a few drops to avoid damage. 

It is best to do a soil test to know whether the plant needs fertilizer or not.

Temperature and Humidity

Pink muhly grass flourished in a dry, hot climate. While it’s native to the north part of the USA, it often shows abundance in a hot, dry climate where it returns year after year.

Although this plant prefers a dry and hot climate, it struggles in high humidity conditions. In excessive humidity conditions, this plant becomes susceptible to tar spots, a fungal disease. 

This ornamental plant is hardy in USDA hardiness zone 6-9, meaning it gets dry off if the temperature goes down below -10 degrees celsius. If you live in a cold climate, you should try some other ornamental plants.

Common Pests and Diseases

Usually, Pink muhly grass does not get the effect by any pests and diseases. However, it is susceptible to tar spot, a fungal disease. This disease spread if the plant does not get adequate airflow due to overgrowth. Also, in high humid condition pink muhly grass become susceptible to this disease. 


How to Trim Pink Muhly Grass?

Many Gardens often trim pink muhly grass in winter. In this season, grass shows minimum growth and also get fades. Trim about two to three inches of grass will get them to regrow in the next spring season.
Do not trim them during the spring and summer season, this plant show abundance during this time. Trimming will cut off growing flowers and leaves which leads to undergrown plants.

Does Pink Muhly Grass Spread?

Yes, pink muhly grass seeds spread through air and pollinators insects like bees, butterflies, and birds. If you do not distribute them they will cover the entire area. 

Should Pink Muhly Grass be Cut Back?

Pink muhly grass should be cut back or trimmed 2-3 inches in late winter to promote regrowth of new foliage in spring. Avoid cutting them back too deep to crop. Do not trim them during the summer and spring seasons because they are in the growing stage.

Does Muhly Grass Come Back Every Year?

This grass flourishes in a dry, hot climate in well-drained soil. If you live in a warm region muhly grass will come back every year, after taking a break during winter.

Is Muhly Grass Invasive?

Yes, pink muhly grass is an invasive grass plant. In favorable conditions, they keep spreading and cover the entire area. This sometimes leads to overgrowth and they need to divide every two to three years to make space between them for proper airflow.