Hardiness of Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

hoyasahoyMay 15, 2009

I've never succeeded in overwintering Muhlenbergia capillaris in the garden here in Boston, and I know of no local gardeners who have.

The PlantFiles at Dave's Garden (and many other sources) gives its hardiness as Z5a, but though 22 gardeners are listed as growing it on the East Coast, 14 of those are in Florida, and none are north of Newport News, VA. Rick Darke's Encyclopedia of Grasses gives its native range as reaching north to Kansas, Indiana, and Massachusetts, but says its hardiness depends on provenance.

I suspect that all plants in wide commercial distribution are of southern provenance, and are of limited hardiness. Does anyone know of any of northern provenance and proven hardiness at least to zone 6a? Does anyone know of any wild plants from toward the northern end of its range whose seed might be harvested?



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I'd suggest posting a "Want" listing on the seed/plant trading forums, and be very specific about what you're looking for. Go for seeds from a northern gardener. You may get lucky and find a kind gardener (in the north) who will trade you a division in early fall.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 4:59PM
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Thanks, donn, I'll do that.

But I'm not just interested in acquiring plants for my own gardening. I'm interested in seeing if anyone has succeeded with this grass in the north. And if so, perhaps getting hardier forms into commerce.

It's a warm season grass, so I'll have to seek divisions in the spring, if I get any offers.



    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 8:18AM
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slimwhitman(5b Kansas City)

I have grown this in Kansas City and all 6 plants have returned after 3 winters. I think a key is good draining soil. Same with my Blue Oat Grass. I got my 'Regal Mist' from High Country Gardens.

Here is a link that might be useful: HCG 'Regal Mist'

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 2:16PM
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Thanks, Slim. That's exactly the kind of observation I was seeking. And I'll have to try 'Regal Mist", I see HCG isn't the only supplier.

In addition to sandy soils, I suspect your hotter summers may contribute to its hardiness.

Anybody else from Zone 6 or 5 grow this with success?


    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 1:28PM
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