There are 17 different species of Miscanthus grass but luckily there are a few common threads to growing each of them.
This grass is found in moist soils in meadows and even in marshlands in its native areas.
For best results, plan on giving it adequate water. The few experiments I made with it on dry, sandy soils were not very productive with the
plant dying out after one or two years.
It does like full hot sun if possible or part shade where it will still do well if the soil is rich and moisture retentive.
It does prefer a richer soil to a poor one.
This grass can become invasive with very little encouragement so that regular trimming will be required to keep it within bounds of hte garden
or from invading other plants.
The roots are coarse and easily divided with a sharp shovel.
Note that this can be done at almost any time of year but spring is best.
It will self sow although this has not been a problem in my own gardens.
Varieties to Consider
- M.sacchariflorus or Silver Grass can reach 8-9 feet tall in a single growing season. A fast-spreading grass with lovely silver fall plumes,
this is a fast growing and spreading plant. Do not allow it to colonize a good perennial garden with nearby smaller plants.
- ‘Aureus’ is a variety with a gold stripe up the leaf,
- ‘Robustus’ has a broader leaf than the species but slightly shorter
- ‘Variegatus’ has a narrow white stripe.
- M. sinensis is called Maiden Grass and while this can reach 10-12 feet tall in the wild, the varieties in nurseries tend to be shorter.
This is one of the favourite plants of breeders and a significant number of varieties exist for gardens.
- ‘Adagio’ (Dwarf Maiden Grass) 4′ tall, silver-pink plumes
- ‘Gold Bar’ (Gold Bar Miscanthus) 4-5′ tall, gold bands on leaves, purple spikes
- ‘Gracillimus’ (Maiden Grass) 5-6 feet tall, narrow leaves, coppery-pink plumes
- ‘Little Kitten’ (Dwarf Maiden Grass) 18-inches tall, silvery plumes
- ‘Morning Light’ (Maiden Grass) 4-5′ tall, narrow leaves edged white, compact growth
- ‘Puenktchen’ (Little Dot Miscanthus) 5-6′ tall, narrow gold bands across leaves
- ‘Sarabande’ (Maiden Grass) 5-6′ tall, narrow leaves, bronze-gold blooms
- ‘Strictus’ (Porcupine Grass) 6-8’tall, green leaves, yellow banding, upright
- ‘Zebrinus’ pictured (Zebra Grass) 6-8′ tall, gold banding on narrow leaves, coppery plumes.