ID of grass

skrimpy(z5 NY)May 21, 2011

wow...I posted a message and somehow it didn't go! Copy and paste the below address. It's an ofoto album. The grass in the pictures gets about 9 feet tall at my father's house but he has a hard time transplanting it.

I'm trying to ID this grass and find out:

1. Best soil for it

2. Best amount of water for it

3. Best fertilizer for it.

Thanks

Dan

http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/creativeapps/slideShow/Main.jsp?sourceId=533754321803&cm_mmc=eMail-_-Share-_-Photos-_-Sharee

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donn_(7b-8a)

Link doesn't work.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 6:23AM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

There's a little on the second line... You're link should include the "_-Sharee" that you see underneath the link. Plus it didn't post as a link. Have to copy and paste to the browser.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 8:36AM
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donn_(7b-8a)

Tried that. This is what I get:

A blank browser.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 10:01AM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

hmmm...I copied and pasted and it worked....Let me see what I can do with it. I might be able to post the pic in another forum...might not have much to do with gardening but I can post pics there none the less. Try this one.

http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.php/topic,403083.0.html

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 11:25AM
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donn_(7b-8a)

That works:

Looks like it might be one of the cultivars of Arundo donax 'variegata.' How tall does it get?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 11:43AM
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donn_(7b-8a)

I re-read the first post. 9 feet.

Almost certainly Arundo.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 11:45AM
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donn_(7b-8a)

"1. Best soil for it
2. Best amount of water for it
3. Best fertilizer for it. "

1. Plain old soil..good drainage.
2. Average water...not too much.
3. None needed, though some folks use lawn fertilizer.

Is your dad in zone 5? These things are usually rated hardy to zone 6.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 11:55AM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

He's in Baltimore (what is that zone 6 maybe 7?) but a friend of mine here in Albany got this thing (he got it from my father too) to go about 7 feet and it comes back every year but I thought maybe I could do some things to make it get to it's fullest potential by covering it with clear plastic in the early spring and try to keep the frost off it etc.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:01PM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

So I just looked this thing up and in some places it gets 15 feet. hmmm. maybe my father's gets that large.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:06PM
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donn_(7b-8a)

I've got a pair of them, the cultivar 'Peppermint Stick.' They're only 2 years old, and hit 8' at the bloom last year.

The bloom:

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:11PM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

Awesome. I want to make a hedge row with them.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:31PM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

Alright. I don't think it's Arundo. This doesn't have shoots. It's just grass. It doesn't have the shoots with the blades coming off from it. It only has the blades coming up out of the ground. Someone is telling me "ribbon grass" but I haven't found anything on it yet.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:37PM
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donn_(7b-8a)

Good luck. I love it when people test the "zone rules" with grasses.

Don't plant them too close together. They spread by rhizomes, and will fill in a line quickly. You might also consider installing a root barrier, like Bamboo barrier to control the depth of the hedge, because they spread in all directions. Root pruning will also work. I got new shoots as much as 2' away from the core plants this year.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:38PM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

Not ribbon grass either. Ribbon grass is only 3-4 feet tall. grrrrrr. What the heck is this thing?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:39PM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

Now that I look at it, it does have shoots but I don't remember them having several bladed coming off from them in your pictures. I know they grow like crazy if they take hold and really need to be controlled. I was planning some kind of root barrier to keep them confined. I wanted to put them as a hedge underneath my post and beam fence b/c its such a PITA to mow under the thing. If I had this I could just mow right next to it and not worry about underneath the fence. I also thought it would look neat with the posts and beams poking through and by late summer I wouldn't even see the fence at all!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 1:00PM
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donn_(7b-8a)

Ribbon Grass, AKA Phalaris arundinacea, never gets that tall.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus' under ideal conditions may reach 8' at the blooms.

Have you seen the blooms on your father's plant? You can't mistake Miscanthus blooms.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 1:07PM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

Haven't seen my father's blooms but judging from your picture above, if miscanthus has the white stripes like the arundo but not the numerous blades coming off from the shoots it's more likely the miscanthus. Im thinking Im going to run this over to the garden center before I put it in the ground today although I doubt they will know what it is

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 3:31PM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

Haven't seen my father's blooms but judging from your picture above, if miscanthus has the white stripes like the arundo but not the numerous blades coming off from the shoots it's more likely the miscanthus. Im thinking Im going to run this over to the garden center before I put it in the ground today although I doubt they will know what it is

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 4:13PM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

Haven't seen my father's blooms but judging from your picture above, if miscanthus has the white stripes like the arundo but not the numerous blades coming off from the shoots it's more likely the miscanthus. Im thinking Im going to run this over to the garden center before I put it in the ground today although I doubt they will know what it is

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 6:44PM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

Ok. So the guy at the garden center came to two possible conclusions based on the plant itself (it was still out of the ground at the time...now it isn't). He said it's either Japanese Silver Grass or Variegated Miscanthus. I asked him about the size because everything I saw online was that Japanese Silver Grass doesn't get that tall. He said, "Well, there maybe a zone thing there in Baltimore, it could still be Japanese Silver Grass", but it's more likely Miscanthus. I think I may have an ID between you guys and the garden center.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 6:56PM
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donn_(7b-8a)

Beware of Garden Centers and Common Names.

"Japanese Silver Grass" is Miscanthus sinensis.

There are two Miscanthus sinensis (that I know of) with variegation like the grass in your pictures; Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus' and Miscanthus sinensis var. condensatus 'Cabaret.' Both can reach 7' to the foliage and 8' to the blossoms, under ideal conditions. Ideal conditions would be, I would think, a warmer climate than Baltimore. I suppose it's possible one could grow taller, but it would be unusual. In my experience, Miscanthus grows shorter than most of the ratings indicate.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 7:10PM
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skrimpy(z5 NY)

Well than maybe it's what was the other option someone mentioned, "Maiden Grass"? I don't know. The thing at my father's house is taller than me standing on the porch next to it which is at least 7 1/2 feet. I actually have to reach up to grab the top of the reeds. It has to be at least 8-10 feet. Maybe he's just got it in a really good spot...or he's got some kind of mutant, lucky me!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 8:08PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Maiden Grass is yet another common name for Miscanthus.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 12:29PM
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