Chinese Silver Grass: A Popular Ornamental Grass

If you’re looking for an easy-care ornamental grass that provides a touch of elegance to your landscape, look no further than Chinese silver grass.

This graceful species is adorned with delicate plum seeds in late summer and early fall, but even without the plumes, the upright stems are attractive year-round.

Grows quickly and best planted in the spring by root divisions or in pots, Chinese silver grass comes in a variety of cultivars with different heights and colors.

 Common Name Silvergrass
 Botanical Name Miscanthus spp.
 Family Poaceae
 Plant Type Deciduous Grass
 Mature Size 2 to 12 ft. tall
 Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
 Soil Type Various
 Soil pH Various
 Bloom Time Late Summer, Fall
 Flower Color Silver, Pink
 Hardiness Zones Various
 Native Area Asia

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy:

  • Remove spent flowers to encourage reblooming and prevent self-seeding.-Divide clumps every few years to prevent overcrowding.
  • Provide supplemental water during periods of drought.-Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring.
  • With its gentle arching blades and pretty plumes, Chinese silver grass is a beautiful addition to any garden or landscape. The species is easy to care for and comes in a variety of cultivars that offer different heights and colors.

Lighting and Temperature

Silvergrass grows best in full sun but can tolerate some partial shade. It is a warm-season grass, meaning it will go dormant during winter months.


Soil that is too rich in nitrogen will cause the leaves to be lush and green but with fewer flowers. The ideal location for chinese silver grass is in full sun to partial shade with well-drained soil.

It’s drought tolerant once established, but looks best with regular watering, especially during hot, dry periods.

If you live in a colder climate, it’s best to plant Miscanthus sinensis in spring so it has time to become established before winter sets in.


Fertilizer needs are low for this grass, and it is tolerant of a wide range of soils, including poor ones. It will even grow in heavy clay if drainage is improved. Once established, it is drought-tolerant.

This grass does best in full sun but can tolerate some shade. The plant looks especially attractive when planted en masse or as a specimen in the garden or landscape.


Pruning is essential to keeping Chinese silver grass under control since the plants can spread vigorously.

The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Cut the entire plant back to about six inches above the ground.

This will encourage new growth that is more compact and controlled.


Chinese silver grass is drought-tolerant once established and only needs occasional watering. The grass does best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade, especially in hot summer climates.

It’s not fussy about soil type as long as the drainage is good.


Size and shape are important considerations when selecting a Chinese silver grass cultivar for your garden.

The leaves of the grass range in width from ½ inch to over two inches, and the length of the blades can be as much as six feet.

The height of the plant also varies, with some cultivars only reaching a few inches while others tower over ten feet.


Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) is a popular clump-forming ornamental grass that adds an easy, breezy look to landscapes and gardens.

The grass is adorned with feathery plum seeds that appear from late summer to early fall.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis), also known as eulalia grass, is a popular ornamental grass that is prized for its showy plumes of silvery-white flowers.

Despite its delicate appearance, Chinese silver grass is surprisingly hardy and tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. It is also relatively resistant to disease and pests.

However, mealybugs can sometimes be a problem, particularly if the plants are grown in crowded conditions. Mealybugs are small, wingless insects that feed on sap, causing the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off.

They can be difficult to control because they often hide in the stems. Garden oil sprays can help to discourage mealybugs, but infestations may require treatment with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

In addition, Chinese silver grass is occasionally affected by fungal diseases such as blight and leaf rust. These diseases can be controlled with fungicide sprays or soil drenches.

With proper care, Chinese silver grass will remain healthy and vigorous throughout the growing season.

How to Grow Chinese Silver Grass From Seed

Growing Chinese silver grass from seeds is a relatively easy process that can be completed in as little as two weeks. The first step is to sow the seeds in a moist, fertile soil mix.

Once the seeds have been sown, they should be covered and kept in a greenhouse over winter. In late spring or early summer of the following year, the seedlings can be transplanted to their permanent home.

It’s important to note that it may take an entire year for the plants to bloom. When transplanting seedlings, make sure to leave enough space between them so they have room to spread out.

This is necessary because Chinese silver grass can grow quite large and take up a lot of space. The amount of space required will vary depending on the size of the cultivar you’ve chosen.

Types of Chinese Silver Grass

Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) is a versatile and popular ornamental grass. There are over 150 different varieties, each with its own size, colour, and pattern. The following are some of the most popular varieties:

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’ is a fast-growing variety that produces purple plumes in the winter. It can grow up to 6 feet tall and is ideal for large spaces or privacy screens.

M. sinensis Silberfeder is a tall cultivar that thrives in cool climates. It can grow to be 8 feet tall and has silvery-pinkish plumes.

M. sinensis ‘Zebrinus,’ also known as zebra grass, This variety adds an element of interest to your garden with its striking variegated foliage and pink plumes. The plants can grow up to seven feet tall.

M. sinensis ‘Strictus’ is an excellent choice for growing near bodies of water such as lakes or ponds. It is also tolerant of salty soil and windy conditions. Plants can reach 6-7 feet in height.

Do you cut back miscanthus in the fall?

Miscanthus, more commonly known as Chinese silvergrass, is an easy-to-grow perennial grass that is often used as an ornamental plant.

Native to Asia, miscanthus is characterized by its tall, arching stems and feathery flower plumes. While miscanthus is generally a low-maintenance plant, it does require some basic care in order to thrive.

One important task is to cut back the plants in the fall. This helps to prevent disease and encourage new growth in the spring.

When cutting back miscanthus, be sure to use sharp pruning shears and remove all of the dead leaves and stems.

With proper care, miscanthus can add beauty and interest to your garden for many years to come.

How do you prune Chinese Silvergrass?

Chinese silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis) is a type of ornamental grass that can add visual interest to any landscaping. While it is relatively low-maintenance, this grass does require some occasional pruning to keep it looking its best.

The best time to prune Chinese silvergrass is in the late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

To prune, simply use hand trimmers or hedge trimmers to remove two-thirds of the grass height. Then, trim the sides of the grass to create a more uniform look.

Finally, rake up any loose grass blades and remove them from the area. With just a little bit of effort, you can keep your Chinese silvergrass looking neat and tidy all season long!

When should you cut back Miscanthus?

Miscanthus is a beautiful ornamental grass that can add interest to your garden all year round. In winter, the foliage will turn a deep red or purple, and the grass can remain erect for most of the season.

However, by the close of winter the foliage will become dry and damaged. For this reason, it is important to cut back Miscanthus at the end of winter or early spring.

This will ensure that the grass stays healthy and vigorous, and that new growth has a chance to emerge. When cutting back Miscanthus, be sure to use sharp pruning shears to avoid damaging the blades.

If done correctly, Miscanthus will quickly bounce back and provide your garden with beautiful color and texture all year long.

Does miscanthus come back every year?

Miscanthus, also known as Chinese silvergrass, is a perennial grass that is often used as an ornamental plant. It is prized for its tall, elegant growth and its feathery plumes, which appear in late summer and fall.

Miscanthus typically grows to be about six feet tall, but some varieties can reach heights of up to twelve feet. Because of its size and vigorous growth habit, miscanthus is sometimes considered to be a nuisance plant.

However, with proper care, it can be an attractive addition to any landscape. One of the most common questions about miscanthus is whether or not it will come back every year.

The answer to this question depends on the variety of miscanthus that you have. Some varieties are hardy in all USDA hardiness zones, while others are only hardy in certain zones.

Additionally, how well miscanthus survives the winter will also depend on the climate in your area. In general, though, most miscanthus plants will come back every year if they are given the proper care.

How do you care for Miscanthus grass?

One of the best ways to build a sturdy collection of plants is to put miscanthus in well-drained soil that has a large volume of organic matter. Miscanthus prefers soil that is evenly moist.

However, once established, it can be able to withstand dry periods. The best conditions for miscanthus are partial shade and moist soil. If miscanthus is planted in partial shade, the grass can fall over.

In order to keep your miscanthus healthy, water it deeply and regularly during its first growing season. After the first year, you can reduce watering to once a week.

When fertilizing miscanthus, use a slow-release fertilizer in early spring. You should also cut back the grass to about 6 inches in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

What happens if you don’t cut back ornamental grasses?

Most people understand the importance of mowing their lawn on a regular basis. Not only does it help to keep the grass looking neat and tidy, but it also helps to prevent the grass from going to seed.

However, what many people don’t realize is that the same principle applies to ornamental grasses.

If these grasses are not cut back on a regular basis, they will eventually go to seed, which can lead to their death. In addition, unkempt ornamental grasses can become a breeding ground for pests and disease.

As a result, it is important to ensure that these grasses are trimmed on a regular basis. By taking this simple step, you can help to prolong the life of your ornamental grasses.

What do you do with overgrown ornamental grass?

Ornamental grasses are a beautiful addition to any garden, but they can quickly become overgrown and unmanageable.

One way to deal with an overgrown ornamental grass is to take the entire clump and cut it in smaller parts using an axe.

This can help reduce the size of the grass-clump. Another way to deal with overgrown ornamental grass is to Illinois Extension states that it’s ideal to separate ornamental grasses during the spring.

Spring is the perfect time because the weather is starting to warm up and the grass is beginning to grow. By separating the grasses during the spring, you can prevent them from becoming too overgrown.

Is miscanthus annual?

Miscanthus is a perennial grass that grows in large clumps. The leaves are variegated, and the flowers are white or pink.

The plant is native to Africa and Asia, and it has been introduced to North America and Europe.

Miscanthus is an important food source for many animals, and it is also used as a thatching material. The plant is tolerant of drought and salt, and it can be grown in a wide range of soils.

Miscanthus is propagated by seed, division, or cuttings. The plant can reach a height of 6 feet (1.8 meters), and the leaves can be up to 3 feet (0.91 meter) long.

Miscanthus prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. The plant is sometimes called Maiden Grass because of its similarity to the grasses that were used to make baskets in ancient China.

Miscanthus is not a true annual; however, it can be grown as an annual in colder climates. In warmer climates, the plant will die back in winter and regrow in spring.

How do you look after miscanthus?

Miscanthus is a hardy plant that doesn’t require much in the way of care. It is able to absorb plenty of water from rain, so it doesn’t need to be watered frequently.

In addition, miscanthus doesn’t need to be fed; its roots are able to extract all the nutrients it needs from the soil.

The only real maintenance required is some dead-leaf removal; cut back any dead leaves from the end of winter through the beginning of spring.

Early March is typically the best time for this, as you will be able to see new growth emerging on the bottom of the plant.

If your miscanthus is looking a bit congested, you can also separate clumps of leaves in the springtime. With just a little bit of care, your miscanthus will thrive for many years to come.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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