Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)-Hort Answers - University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers

Ornamental Grass

Japanese Silver Grass
Miscanthus sinensis

Japanese Silver Grass flowers
Japanese Silver Grass flowers

This group of clump forming grasses has a medium to thin blade that tends to arch to the ground appearing to be fountain like at the top. Foliage coloration ranges from green, to silver blue to white and yellow variegation. Spectacular feather flower plumes appear in late summer.

This is a clump forming warm season grass.

Most prefer rich, moist, well-drained soils in full sun locations. Some tolerate growing in water while others once established tolerate drought. 

Ther are over 60 cultivars to choose from. Some include:

'Adagio' 2-3' good dwarf form, fine silver gray foliage

'Dixieland' 3-4'broad green leaves with white stripes and burgundy plumes

'Puenktchen' 4-5' wide green leaves with horizontal yellow bands.

'Morning Light' 5-6' Fine textured leaves with silver variegations.

'Strictus' 5-6' Green foliage with horizontal yellow bands, good for wet sites.

Mature Height
2-8 Feet
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 9 
Soil Conditions
Moist, Well-Drained
Exposure/Light Requirements
Full Sun
Foliage Color
Pests and Problems

Environmental Damage

Additional pests and problems that may affect this plant:

  • Mealy bugs
  • Rust
Additional Notes
Diverse group of grasses that are useful as specimen plants or screens. May tend to flop with age and die out in the center requiring lifting and dividing. Cut back in spring to 4-5" before new growth starts.


Related Resources
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
Illinois Commercial Landscape and Turfgrass Pest Management Handbook
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic