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Japanese Silver Grass – Graceful Perennial with Winter Appeal

Japanese Silver Grass – Miscanthus sinensis – is a perennial plant that has variegated green and white striped leaves and huge plumes in the fall that stall well above the top of the plant.

The plant can be used to hide neighboring views or fence lines and has lots of winter interest.

Be sure to give Japanese silver grass room to grow. A plant can grow as much as 14 feet tall in one season!

Japanese silver grass with feathery plumes on top.

I planted a small Japanese Silver Grass plant in my front bed last spring. I knew it would get fairly large so I wanted it to be a focal point at one end of the bed.

The plant did well last year, but this year it is just fabulous.  It is an easy care plant and all I have really had to do it make sure to cut it back in the fall so that I could keep it somewhat contained.

Japanese Silver Grass makes a Great Focal Plant

If you are looking for a large plant that is easy to grow and yet very striking, Japanese silver grass is the plant for you.

Silver grass. Amazing focal plant. Mine grew 9 feet in one season.

How to grow:

  • Grows quickly and get up to 6-10 feet tall
  • Perennial in zones 3-9
  • Has interesting wheat like flower stalks in late summer (will self seed readily so you may want to remove these)
  • Likes full sun and well drained soil.
  • Even moisture (although I have not really done a lot of watering of my front border and mine is lovely)
  • Cut back in the spring before new shoots develop
  • When the center of the plant starts to look less full, dig up and divide with a sharp knife to give you more plants
  • Can be used as a hedge if planted about 4 feet apart and does a great job of hiding fences.

Japanese silver Grass

This is my front bed showing a large butterfly bush on one end and the Japanese Silver Grass on the other. 

Front garden bedThe plant is nicely striped now, but a few months ago when it started growing this year, it as mainly green:

japanese silverI will add another picture later in the summer when it flowers!

Update:  September 13, 2013.  The silver grass has outdone itself this year!  It is about 9 feet tall and just covered in flurry grass like tufts.

End of the summer

The plant is about 5 feet wide now.  Make a lovely focus on one side of the garden bed.  It was so easy care. Got very little water other than natural rain and has been beautiful all summer.grassy tufts

There are dozens of these wheat like sprigs at the top now.close up of grass shaftsHere is a close up of the blossom.

It is hard to believe that I cut this to the ground last fall and it has managed to reach this size again in one season.  I will be doing the same thing this fall.

If  you are looking for a large focal plant, silver grass can’t be beat.

Update:  my Japanese silver grass got so large this year, it overgrew the space I had for it in my front garden bed.  My husband and I dug it up and made 6 divisions of it.  After a month of rooting in pots, I planted it along the fence line in my back garden to hide my neighbor’s yard, which can be unsightly at times.

Japanese silver grass on the fenceline.It took well and is quite large now.  Next year, the neighbor’s yard won’t be visible at all!

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