Silver Feather Grass: The Silver Maiden

Authored by Kristelle Falk - Greenhouse Sales Manager
Mar 8th, 2022
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The Silver Feather Maiden reed grass (What a name!) is a plant that leaves many breathless. With its towering blades, the feathery plumes shining silver in the sunshine in the fall it is truly a marvel. Silver Feather Grass is a hardy giant, reaching 7 feet tall and can be very fast spreading. Within three years you can have a 3 foot by 3-foot patch of gorgeous grass. It wastes no time in spreading itself out into its surrounding territory though and may require some borders if you don’t want an entire take over.

This beautiful and aggressive grass is native to most of eastern Asia. Although finding the history for this grass was difficult, I did discover that it is from a collection made by a German botanist, sadly though my research couldn’t take us much farther than that.

This grass is a great centerpiece for flower beds or as a stand alone. Its magnificent height and its beautiful plumes leave little to be desired. Now what of its aggressive spreading? Tilling around it is an easy solution to keeping this giant at bay without heavy damage to the plant itself. Another solution to maintaining this giant is surrounding the grass with landscape edging. This will block most suckers and prevent the roots from spreading further than the edging allows. Or, if you are alright with the grass completely taking over, you can simply just let it go.

The perfect location for this beauty would be in an area with a lot of sunshine and heat. At the same time, you want it in a place where it can receive adequate moisture and have enough space to make sure they can grow without too many hindrances. Silver Feather Grasses are a late bloomer. They love their heat, so don’t panic if they don’t start growing in spring, they will usually wait it out until the temperatures are significantly warmer and will grow in summer till late fall.

General care for this feather grass would be quite similar to most perennials. You can divide the grass once it has gone dormant, giving you multiple grasses out of one purchase. The dried stocks can be cut off once the plant has gone into hibernation, or you can wait for spring, though they do need to be cut to make way for the new growth. I know several people who left their stocks up for winter to give a unique look to the yard with the dried stock standing tall out of the sparkling snow. The stocks can also be cut off and used as decoration in large vases or in bundles and in wreaths, giving a rustic touch to the home and yard.

All in all, the Silver Feather Grass is a plant that any gardener would seek to have in their yard, it is relatively easy care and a great, hardy feature plant. Needless to say, it can take a beating and look beautiful while doing it.

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