Field grown Miscanthus sinensis in flower
How to grow Miscanthus sinensis

Commonly known as Japanese silver grass (amongst many other), Miscanthus sinensis is a herbaceous perennial grass native throughout most of China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. The genus name Miscanthus is derived from the Greek words for 'stalk' and 'flower', and was first described by Swedish botanist Nils Johan Andersson (1821 – 1880) in 1855.

Miscanthus sinensis grown in ornamental border
How to grow Miscanthus sinensis
It is a strong growing, densely clump-forming species which can be expected to grow to a height of approximately 0.8–2 metres. However under favourable conditions, exceptional specimens have been known to reach 4 metres! The narrow, arching blue-green leaves have a white midrib. Purplish blooms extend beyond the height of the foliage, The flowers are purplish, held above the foliage appearing from late summer onwards.

Plant Miscanthus sinensis in March or April in any ordinary, moist garden soil. Avoid soils prone to waterlogging. It will perform best in a sunny position. No staking is required despite the height they can attain.

To maintain a fresh and tidy habit cut all dead leaves and flower stems down to ground level in late March before the new growth emerges from the base.

Main image credit - By Miya.m - Miya.m's photo taken in 熊本県産山村, Japan., CC BY-SA 3.0,
In text image credit - Simon Eade

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