New Plants for Spring 2012 Part #7

Ornamental Grasses

Muhlenbergia emersleyi  El Toro™   (Bull Muhly or El Toro Muhly Grass)

This large growing native is one of my favorite warm season grasses. Found growing in AZ, NM, west TX and northern MX, this grass is both very heat tolerant and winter hardy (USDA zone 6; -10° F).  In flower, El Toro™ stands 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide and blooms from late summer through the fall. It thrives in most any soil as long as the drainage is good.  It loves a full sun position in the garden but will do well in partial shade if it gets a half day of sun.

Being a warm season grass, it is best to fertilize in the fall with Yum Yum Mix mixed with a high quality compost and applied as a top dressing to the soil. Cut back the brown flower stems and foliage in mid-spring to a height of 3 to 4 inches and scratch out the center of the clump with gloved hands to remove dead leaves and stems to make room for the new season’s growth.

El Toro™ is an excellent choice for narrow beds in front of hot walls or sidewalks where the reflected heat can be intense. The fluffy flower spikes are some of the best for catching light from the sun in the late afternoon, giving it a beautiful glow at day’s end.

It is recommended for use all the way from the summer infernos of Tucson and Phoenix, throughout Texas, most of California, Nevada, much of Utah and across the southern Plains States and into the Mid-Atlantic states.  This improved selection of Bull Muhly is an introduction of Mountain States Wholesale Nursery.

3 thoughts on “New Plants for Spring 2012 Part #7”

  • Mimi Valenti
    Mimi Valenti 08/09/12 at 1:44 pm

    Does this Muhlenbergia emersleyi El Toro™ (Bull Muhly or El Toro Muhly Grass)self sow or are the seeds sterile? Does it come back year after year?
    If where you grow it makes a difference I live in the East Bay area of Northern California, Danville, zip 94526.

  • Carol

    I planted El Toro grass last summer. It is now the end of May and it hasn't started growning yet. When should I start to see growth or did it die over the winter?

  • Carol

    Comment to go with last one. I live in the Santa Fe area.

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