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News and updates from the statewide UC Master Gardener Program office.
by Judy Crall
on July 2, 2014 at 3:01 PM
Grossmont College put this in a couple of years ago and the invasiveness of this plant is quite evident.
by Gene Lilly
on July 6, 2014 at 4:40 PM
I planted this a few years ago and after a couple of years, it was evident to me that it was invasive. I pulled it out and am keeping an eye out for new starts, and pulling them up. This plant can get away from you quickly. Glad to see it on the invasive list.  
Gene Lilly, Nevada County
by Rita Alvarez
on July 7, 2014 at 3:34 PM
In your list of recommended alternatives, Muhlenbergia cappilaris' discription includes "Adverse Factors: May self sow". Can you please tell me how difficult is it to keep under control? I think it is a lovely plant and think it will look great on my foothill property. Thank you for sharing the alternative List.
by Christina Moon
on June 2, 2015 at 9:03 AM
Haven't seen this plant as a threat to pasture grasses here in Texas. I definitely consider your information as a warning though! Any research/information on this species in Texas?
by Kathleen Pelley
on June 30, 2015 at 12:53 PM
This was recommended to me by a nursery in that it is a true grass. My mentally ill neighbor dumped a huge amount of bread leaf weed killer in my yard and I thought that I could use an ornamental grass to deal with the problem until the effects of the pesticide gradually disappeared. Are there other true grasses that are not as invasive that I could use.
by John Londono
on August 28, 2015 at 9:15 AM
How can I tell if this is growing in my yard? Just compare to an internet picture?
Reply by Melissa G. Womack
on September 8, 2015 at 11:57 AM
Hi John,  
You can e-mail a photo of the grass in your yard to your local UC Master Gardener Program ( and a volunteer will be able to help or you can bring a sample into your local UCCE office.  
Best, Melissa
by zz
on November 10, 2015 at 8:20 AM
I live in Northern New Mexico. I began with 1-2 Mexican Feather Grasses 10 years ago and now have dozens all over my yard. They are beautiful here but are invasive. I pull hundreds of seedlings each year. I also comb the grass when they set their seed heads to reduce seedlings. Combing works well on this plant and also removes dead growth. My yard would not be as beautiful without these stunning grasses.
by Glenda Graham
on May 15, 2016 at 7:51 PM
I for one believes that Mexican feather grass is beautiful.  
Deer grasses, mulenbergia capilaris and mulenbergia rigens both look shabby after two years. Shame on you, PlantRight for discriminating  
against a perfectly beautiful grass with flowing feathery stems that sway in the breeze. Keep your Mulenbergia and stop cutting off the supply of Mexican feather grass to nurseries!!!!!!
Reply by Melissa G. Womack
on May 31, 2016 at 10:51 AM
Hi Glenda,  
We understand your love for Mexican Feather Grass and we agree with you that it is indeed a beautiful plant. While Mexican Feather Grass is beautiful you can not simply ignore the potential impact that it has as an invasive. It is a vigorous grower that crowds out native grass species, putting California's diverse landscape at risk. PlantRight and the UC Master Gardener Program work hard to make sure the choices we make in our home landscapes are sustainable and don't negatively effect our fragile environments. If you would like to contact me directly to discuss feel free to email me at  
by Michael Butler
on June 5, 2016 at 12:32 PM
This stuff is terrible. Some Mexican feather grass was originally planted in some landscaped areas on my property and now it has invaded and taken over, displacing the original grass. I try to pull it wherever I see it growing, but once it has invaded the lawn area it seems almost impossible to get rid of it since it intertwines itself with the original grass.
by Fawn Craig
on July 3, 2016 at 5:42 PM
I was wondering if it is invasive in pahrump nv or is it a plans I will actually be able to keep alive here? We are zone 8 I believe.
Reply by Melissa G. Womack
on July 6, 2016 at 10:01 AM
Hi Fawn,  
It would be best to contact your local Master Gardener Program in Nevada. They would have more info about Mexican Feather Grass and if it has invasive characteristics in your area.  
Best, Melissa
by rae ann anderson
on October 18, 2016 at 4:58 PM
we live in an oak woodland in the hills of Templeton, Ca. We are on a well and with the drought, it is tough to keep anything alive. We have some of this; it lives, looks pretty, and has never spread.
by Tapestry
on January 12, 2017 at 12:30 PM
Native grasses the key word. Californians have this prejudice about plants that have were sowed a couple of hundred years ago; refuse to call them native plants. My rule of thumb is it doesn't grow it was never intended to be a native plant. You can stop propagation by cutting back its flowers before they go to seed.. simple enough.  
Today I bought 5 of these plants for my landscape that can take full hot sun that don't attract hornets to nest. Need to go back tomorrow and get more before the 'edict' reaches this state.
by Nancy nevola
on June 25, 2017 at 7:54 AM
I live on Long Island and planted the grass over 2 years ago.  
While it's grown and looks beautiful, it has not spread at all. In  
fact I planted 4 more last year and only 2 have taken. I appreciate  
your concern for where you live, but apparently this is not the  
problem in the northeast. Maybe you can try and limit distribution  
to the states where it is known to be invasive so the rest of us  
can enjoy this beautiful plant.
by Laura Starr
on August 14, 2017 at 10:05 AM
Invasive it may be here in SoCal but it will grow where nothing else will. So choose weeds, bare dirt or Feather Grass. I dont find it invasive in urban gardens if you crewcut the ends before the seeds can fly out. It is beautiful IMHO. No water needed either.
by Matt
on August 29, 2017 at 2:05 PM
Sure wish someone had told my designer about this before our garden installation last year. Spreads insanely fast in C zone 9B. Grrr.
by Ms. Hayes
on October 18, 2017 at 3:21 PM
I'd like to add a note for those outside CA asking about this grass. While Nassella tenuissima is an invasive species in California, this grass is native to west Texas and southern New Mexico. More specifically, this grass is native to the trans-Pecos mountain region of the Chihuahuan Desert.
by Steve
on February 9, 2018 at 8:57 PM
What is the problem with it mixing in my lawn ? With my female dogs all I have is blotches of different kinds of grass
Reply by Melissa G. Womack
on February 12, 2018 at 8:25 AM
Hi Steve, There are other beautiful lawn alternative options that would work for your space and dogs. You can search here for inspiration: Best, Melissa
by Denae
on April 23, 2018 at 9:48 PM
I was pulling this Mexican feathergrass out and one of the strands penetrated my glove and lodged into the side of my ring finger. I pulled a piece out but not sure I got all of it. Finger is very swollen and cannot straighten it. Any recommendations besides a trip to see some physician?? I’m not too fond of them at the moment.
by Craig
on May 4, 2018 at 3:52 PM
I just planted a lot of this in my yard to compliment a fountain. I had no idea this was a harmful plant. From the comments it appears this is a problem for those in warmer climates. I live in virginia’s.... do you think I will be ok or should I take them out?
Reply by Melissa G. Womack
on May 7, 2018 at 9:14 AM
I would check with your local program in Virginia - since your climate is so different than California's. Virginia Cooperative Extension would be able to guide you on if it is invasive in your area:
by Sharon Haney
on May 27, 2018 at 3:27 PM
I just planted 4 feather grass in our driveway circle in W TX. Our lawnis badically dirt and rocks so Ihope the grass spreads that way. It might help eliminate dust.
Reply by Melissa G. Womack
on May 30, 2018 at 9:32 AM
Hi Sharon, I would recommend looking into a mulch for that area to help keep the dust down: Best, Melissa
by Michael Marello
on June 24, 2018 at 8:46 PM
This stuff is a pain in the neck in Orange County Ca. The seeds create a thick mat that sticks to everything. If you have mulch or ground cover bark you won't see it after this stuff piles up. I agree it is very pretty. I read one comment about combing. I do this with a wire brush every week for a about 5 weeks from the middle of May through June for about 8 plants. It produces a 5 gallon bucket of seeds and threads. I still get new growth everywhere including all of the joints and cracks in my pavement. This stuff is all coming out this fall.
by Joe Ponds
on September 3, 2018 at 4:22 AM
my neighbor has planted these everywhere, I live in Southern California, it has ruined my lawn and is now growing on my other next door neighbors side, so I'm surrounded. I don't know what to do
by Gary Reichle
on April 16, 2019 at 5:15 PM
2 years ago I salvaged about 8 small plants from a nearby golf course and planted them in an area where lawn grass was removed and turned in to a drought tolerant area. After 1 year and hundreds of new plants sprouting, I dug them up and moved them to a bare area in my front yard. Big mistake as there are now hundreds of new plants there, growing vigorously in an area where 3 ground covers have failed. I have a feeling that neighbors are going to hate me so I will be doing the Roundup thing. And, the area they were taken from last year has dozens of new ones coming up. BTW, I’m in northern San Diego county.
by Michelle Lange
on May 20, 2019 at 4:37 PM
This plant grows all over central Alberta and it is very dangerous for dogs. The seeds are pointed and they get stuck in between the dogs paws and if they're not noticed they can work their way under the ten der skin and cause massive infection. Give your dogs paws a quick once over between the pads if they've been out running in this stuff.
by Dana Donovan
on June 22, 2019 at 2:21 PM
Hi I live inEdmonton Alberta so should I return to store ?
Reply by Melissa G. Womack
on June 25, 2019 at 9:48 AM
Hi Dana, I am only familiar with it being an aggressive grower and invasive in California. I would check with the Master Gardener program in Alberta:  
on July 7, 2019 at 1:49 PM
by Beth Crosse
on July 11, 2019 at 11:12 AM
My neighbor planted this years ago. I finally "took over" helping her with her small property and immediately removed it. The following years, I removed over 200 "plugs" that appeared o the property...and it was only 15'x30'. Yikes. HATE the stuff.
by Pam Evans
on July 12, 2019 at 10:49 AM
We were warned by our landscaper that the seeds from this grass are very dangerous to dogs so we pulled out our. A neighbor has quite a few and my small dog was sniffing around and got these tiny seeds up his nose. Not sure what to do.
Reply by Melissa G. Womack
on July 15, 2019 at 10:46 AM
Hi Pam - So sorry to hear that happened! You should contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dogs health. I hope that he is ok. - Melissa
by zz
on April 26, 2020 at 6:31 AM
I live in northern New Mexico. I started with a couple of these plants and ended up with 120 mature plants in my yard after 15 years. I have pulled thousands of small sprouts. I removed 60 mature plants two years ago and 30 more last year. This winter I removed the rest. They are gorgeous and easy to care for but are as invasive as anything I have ever grown. I am still pulling sprouts and will likely be doing so for years to come. I also offered to do the same for my neighbors. Too bad there isn't a sterile version of this beautiful grass. Even as a long-time fan of this grass I agree it should be banned.
by Lori L Fitzgibbon
on June 11, 2020 at 4:09 PM
this grass just showed up in my yard a few years ago. How do i get rid of it?
Reply by Melissa G. Womack
on June 15, 2020 at 10:52 AM
Hi Lori, We recommend monitoring for new plants in your landscape and hand-pulling. They have a shallow root system so they should be relatively easy to remove by hand. Make sure and pull all plants before they go to seed, as they spread very easily! Best, Melissa
by Brian Roberts
on May 7, 2021 at 10:50 AM
They have them here in Texas in most parking lots of strip malls or office complexes so they seem somewhat contained in the concrete oasis! :)
by Tonya nichols
on June 4, 2021 at 10:39 AM
Will this plant cause damage if planted in a large pot instead of my flower garden?
Reply by Melissa G. Womack
on June 7, 2021 at 2:11 PM
Tonya, I would still not plant in a container - the plant produces tens of thousands of seeds and will still be able to spread beyond where you are trying to keep it contained. - Melissa
by Susan Johnson
on July 12, 2021 at 1:57 PM
First, I live in northern California, zone 9….I started with 3 Mexican feather grasses….then it took off everywhere. Today I pulled out every sign or major growth, but now I have the seed droppings, or “fuzz” as I call it all over the plantar and stuck everywhere possible on our 4 ft block wall. How do I kill all of this? I understand that I must stay away from all surrounding plantings. Can I spray it with ROUNDUP and kill it all that way, or would you recommend something else? I want this stuff gone, as the seeds are blowing all over the place.
by Stefan Robert
on January 14, 2022 at 4:42 AM
I am glad to see this important information. Thank you very much to share with us.
by Frederick Hand
on July 9, 2022 at 5:56 PM
Don't plant Feathertop Rhodes either. FTR makes Mexican Feather grass look like child's play. No chemical can touch FTR, that includes Roundup. the only thing that I found is to use nitric acid and Vigilance for a couple years.  
Mexican feather grass and Feathertop Rhodes are currently prohibited in California .
by Liesl Yvonne Feldman
on July 14, 2022 at 10:12 AM
Please remember that your local climate is part of what makes a plant invasive or not. I'm in northern California and after several years am still pulling out Mexican Feather grass. The original seeds came from a neighbor's yard 5 houses away. Don't get me started on the Fan Palms I have. They were here and mature when I bought the house. Every year I spend the spring time pulling up seedlings or I'd be in the middle of a Fan Palm forest.
by Susan Rooke
on August 14, 2022 at 1:26 PM
Fair warning. Do not plant this grass near your pool. The seeds are massively aggressive. You cannot sweep the seeds away, too, from the deck around the pool. They attach to the concrete! My first time to plant the grass as I loved seeing them sway in breezes around zone 8 neighborhoods here in Texas. Also, you cant see the seeds on the deck until you are on eye level in the pool. It was shocking. Last of all, read carefully when to cut them back in the spring.
by Gail Peeples
on February 20, 2023 at 9:35 AM
Can't understand why my gardener was able to purchase 5 of these from Home Depot a year ago and plant in my front decomposed granite yard. They were beautiful swaying in the wind. And then maybe 8 months I saw new plants sprouting. Probably should have put bag over original plants when I began pulling them out as I could clearly see seeds. I did not. Too many new plants now to pull, but using roundup and also bought a pre-emergent pesticide. Hope that works. I'm holding my breath I don't see my neighbors yards start sprouting this plant. We live pretty close together in the city. I don't understand how this plant was even sold in California in 2022.
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