Miscanthus (Chinese Silver Grass, Zebra Grass)
This is a very handsome family of Ornamental Grasses that bring beautiful architectural form all season with their graceful clumps of foliage. Miscanthus flower late in the season to give added interest, they all have silky red-brown flower spikes that persist into Winter. The clumps of foliage will turn brown after the first frosts, but they are best left until Spring before the old foliage is cut down to ground level, not only will this protect the crown from winter weather, it will also leave their beautiful form for added Winter interest, moving in the breeze and holding the frost on cold mornings.
They go very well with late season perennials or with other varieties of grasses. Many of the varieties are tall making them ideal for softening the lines of buildings and to bring height into the garden. We also stock some much more compact types that are ideal for smaller gardens and spaces.
These are tough and easy to grow grasses, but without becoming invasive or problematic. Grow them in any open sunny spot, they all prefer well drained soil.
Types of Miscanthus Grasses
Miscanthus are deciduous grasses, the old foliage should be left over the Winter as this will protect the crown of the plant from inclement weather conditions and will still provide structure and interest, especially on frosty days. Cut them back close to the ground in February or March before the new foliage emerges. The cut stems and foliage is useful as a natural mulch or may be composted.
How to grow Miscanthus
Position: Sun or partial shade.
Foliage: Deciduous grass, foliage turns to coppery red in Autumn and then brown in Winter, fresh new foliage emerges in spring.
Soil and site: Any well drained soil.
Flowering time: late Summer
Growth rate: Moderate/fast
Ultimate height and spread: up to 200cm x 100cm, also dwarfer types.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Aftercare: Water regularly after planting and through the first season until established. Cut to ground level in Early Spring.