Variegated Sweet Grass foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 32 inches
Spread: 3 feet
Hardiness Zone: 4a
Other Names: Reed Sweet Grass, Manna Grass
Large mounds of strappy foliage with cream variegations, sometimes with a hint of pink; preferring damp to wet conditions, good for pond side or patio containers; fast spreading, cut back in fall to maintain shape and growth
Variegated Sweet Grass' attractive grassy leaves are green in color with showy creamy white variegation on a plant with an upright spreading habit of growth. The foliage often turns tan in fall.
Variegated Sweet Grass is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Variegated Sweet Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
- Container Planting
- Bog Gardens
Planting & Growing
Variegated Sweet Grass will grow to be about 32 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Variegated Sweet Grass is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.