Hardy Pampas Grass (Saccharum ravennae) in z5

green_goSeptember 7, 2012

Does anyone have any experience with growing this grass in zone 5?

Will it flower in our zone?

I have seen today this grass in our local nursery and it stopped me in my tracks: a relatively short grass (maybe, 4-5 ft. tall) with flower stalks no less than 15 ft.! Wow, I must have it! (but only if it will flower in our climate)

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If you search GardenWeb for "Ravenna" you'll find several posts from zone 5 folks who grow it, and report it blooming just fine.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 6:28PM
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Well, if you don't see the plant growing around your area, makes one wonder why it is not common. Very common in Ohio in tradition zone 5B, 40 degree N latitude.

Took a pic in my backyard right now 11:45pm. Yes, it has flowered.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 11:56PM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

I live in zone 5 and it grows very well here. However, ours gets upwards of 10 feet tall. You can also wintersow those seed heads. I wintersowed 30 one gallon milk jugs last winter and its growing like crazy. Do you know how much it would cost to buy that many starts. I'm planning on doing as many as possible this winter as I LOVE ornamental grass.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:26PM
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bookjunky...30 clumps of Ravenna Grass, and you're going to sow more?! You must have a really big place.

A tip. It's really easy to divide 2-year Ravenna clumps, and you'll be way ahead in size compared to starting more from seed. You can make at least 4 divisions from a 2-year old.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 6:20PM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

donn - I live on the family farm, five acres on my side of the road, probably three directly across the road, lots of room and things to hide with the grass. Plus, I love ornamental grass so can you really have too much :-)

I have gotten divisions from my family before (which is where I stole the seed heads from) but they really don't like to reduce the size of their clumps too often. My dad has like a couple hundred foot long row of it and it looks awesome.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Thank you for the info, guys!
It is done! I found in our local nursery a plant for $3 in the "Clearance" section, the label said "Erianthus ravennae 'Saccharum'"
I assume, this is the same as Saccharum ravennae?
It is not great looking plant (for that price!), but alive. I will probably plant it in a bigger container and overwinter it in the basement and then I will plant it in the ground in spring.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 1:19PM
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Yep. It's the same plant. It's older name is Erianthus ravennae

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:09PM
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