Miscanthus

frankc(z3ab)December 2, 2006

I am looking for Miscanthus gigantus seed. Reading the last thread there was no mention of M.giganthus. How would M.sinensis do in zone3? Would it have time to bloom? Checking my records last few years frost arrived around Sept.23. fRANK

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donn_(7b-8a)

According to all of my ornamental grass books, and bluestem.ca, who specializes in grasses for cold climates, it's hardy to zone 4. If you have a warmer than normal microclimate somewhere in your garden, and if you give it some winter care, you might be able to keep it alive.

As for blooming, that's another toss-up question. It normally flowers in September, and that's based on day-length cycles, so you might be cutting it close.

We have a couple of cold climate grass growers on the forum, and they may have direct experiences to share.

Even if you can't over-winter it, or get it to bloom, if you can grow it as an annual, it would make a startling foliage specimen. I've never seen the seed listed by commercial seed vendors, but you could buy plugs to start it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 5:30PM
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frankc(z3ab)

Thanks for the info. Will call Bluestem Nur. see what they can advice. fRANK

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 5:37PM
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PollyNY(z5NY)

It would be worth a try to plant Miscanthus Giganteus if you really like it. I have customers in Z4 that do well with it. Get the biggest plant of it you can in the spring (so it has time to settle in before winter).

Will it bloom? I don't expect so.

If you want bloom on a Miscanthus, may I suggest the Huron series, especially Huron Sunrise. My customers in Z4 report consistent early and full blooming, and it was developed in Canada.

http://www.waltersgardens.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=927

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 6:08PM
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mickey_dee2002(zone5 MI)

I just stripped some seed (I hope ) off the inflorence today. Can anyone tell me if this late in the year what I got would be mature seed? I'm planning on waiting until the end of April next year to try and see if it will germinate from seed.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 12:39PM
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donn_(7b-8a)

I haven't started harvesting Miscanthus seed yet, because it isn't blowing off the plants on it's own. If it'll shake off into a paper bag, it's generally matured as much as it will. This, of course, doesn't mean it's viable, or that it will come true to the parent if it germinates. I've only found two cultivars which come true, so far; Miscanthus sinensis 'New Hybrids' and M.s. 'Central Park.' All the others I've tried, if they germinated, grew to species Miscanthus sinensis.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 1:06PM
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frankc(z3ab)

donn....I would like to try some seed,would reimburse for any postage. Am involved with Botanical garden in this area,would be able to have a germination test. fRANK

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 5:13PM
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Pudge 2b

Frank, I grow M. sinensis var. purpurescens in zone 2 Sask. I've had them for 3 years, both planted a few feet from the foundation on the south side of the house, and this past year they bloomed. I started my own plants from seed.

M. sinensis Blutenwunder is another that seems to be hardy for me, again 3 years old and bloomed this past year. Another which I believe is Malepartus, also 3 years old, has never bloomed. Blutenwunder is planted out in the yard with no extra protection or microclimate.

I planted Giganteus just this past spring. It grew very well throughout the season but it's a waiting game now to see if it survives the winter. I'm a little more leary this year as in November we had some mighty cold temps with no snow.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 12:17PM
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brookster

Hello,
I would be interested in this seed as well.
Gladly reimburse you or if you knwo where the seed can be purchased please let me know.
THanks
Brooke

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 12:54PM
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noki

According to the new Rick Darke book... Miscanthus 'Gigantus' does not have fertile seed, and has been confirmed (according to author) as a hybrid. He says Zone 4.

I planted a pot last summer... grew very quickly and bloomed over 6' high even with the late start and poor soil. Definitely more of a spreader than a clumper. Moved it last month and it is very vigorous still. I think you could cut it up into individual shoots and get it to start anew. It shot up too early (much earlier than pure Miscanthus sinesis and new growth was all killed by the early April artic blast, but is growing again fine.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 12:17AM
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frankc(z3ab)

Still looking for M. gigantus,I guess it need to be a plug.
fRANK

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 1:29PM
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gillespiegardens(Z6 cinti ohio)

Miscanthus "Giganteus" is also sold under the names Miscanthus floridulus and Miscanthus japonica. And yes seed from many grasses are not fertile. However you most likely wont find seed for this under any of these names as ornamental grass seed even if it is fertile as seed is only available commercially if it is stable and will come true from seed. ( this is also true for perennials etc ) Some of the newer cultivars mentioned above as doing so may be so new to the market that the seed companies havent tested them yet for stability and marketing... or there may be very minor variances in the seedlings such as a 2 week later/earlier bloom time, a slightly different coloring to the plumes or it 6 inches shorter/taller in height etc. These minor differences may not even be recognizable to experienced gardeners as we all know that plants/grasses etc can thrive but grow quite differently in different conditions - more shade, wetter soils, the PH in your soil, if you use fertilizer etc. Your best bet would be to buy some or trade someone for it.

Sue
"The one thing all gardeners share in common is a belief in tomorrow"

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 12:49PM
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marg_marula_ca

I have an apartment with a balcony in southern zone 5 (5b or sometimes labelled 6?). Thinking of getting miscanthus floridulus "giganteus" and growing it in a pot to provide screening from neighbour buildings. Worried it may grow too tall and interfere with the tenant above me. Can the height be controlled with a pot, as with a number of other plants including trees? If the pot is, say, 12/14 inches in diameter could the foliage growth be limited to ~8/9 feet?
Interested in miscanthus sinesis "gracillimus" as well, but worried it won't be tall enough to provide good screening (only ~6 feet)... dilemma, hope someone still checks this forum thread and can help me out. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 5:52PM
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donn_(7b-8a)

Growing a grass in a container which is smaller than its normal root ball size will constrain its growth. How much is difficult to predict. I doubt it would reach 8-9' tall in a 12-14" pot. In a 24", it might.

An option is to use a tall pot. Then you'd measure the height of the grass from the top of the pot.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 7:12AM
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