suggestion for very tall grass from seed for a screen

arylkin(5b, south of Chicago)March 27, 2014

I'm looking for a tall ornamental grass for a screen that I can grow by seed. I'd like it to be drought tolerant, although most things I read say almost grasses are drought tolerant once established- would that mean their second year?

I've been looking at Miscanthus Sinensis and Saccharum ravennae, although I'm definitely open to others. I know grasses that are propagated by seed can spread, but the area I'm planning on doing it in is large and the edge is regularly mowed, which I thought would keep new possible seedlings in check. Hopefully?

Ideally, I'd like a grass that's 5-6 feet tall not including the flower heads, though I don't know if that's realistic. I've even looked up some hardy bamboo which sounds like it would be fantastic, but anywhere online is really expensive even for a small amount so I think that idea is out.

I need something to grow from seed because I have a large area to cover and buying a ton of plants isn't in the budget.

For people who've grown these or other ornamental grasses from seed, how much growth should I expect the first year? I know perennials need time to be established, though I'm going to be kind of sad if I plant a ton of seedlings and they only grow 12" in the first year. Maybe that's just the way it is though.

I'm mostly wanting the screen from fall to spring, so I thought ornamental grasses may be a good choice.

I appreciate any advice! :)


Here is a link that might be useful: These are the seeds I was looking at.

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Sporobolus wrightii also called Giant Sacaton. You can buy seeds from Plants of the Southwest. Its a large grass that needs the space of a shrub. The plumes come early & look fantastic backlit. Its very drought hardy.

It will take about 3 years to get good sized plants from seed however.

Bamboo is extremely invasive. I would never plant the running kind, your neighbors will end up hating you. Unless you are prepared to dig a suitably strong & deep barrier all around it, don't plant it.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:19PM
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arylkin(5b, south of Chicago)

Thanks for the suggestion- I hadn't heard of that one. :)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:43PM
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