How to Grow Eragrostis Plants

Guide to Growing Lovegrass, Candygrass and Stinkgrass

Eragrostis grasses can either be hardy perennials or hardy annuals.

They reach a height of between 90 cm and 1.2 m and have pale leaves and spiked flowers, which flower from the end of spring to autumn (species specific).

Some of the common names for Eragrostis include Love grass and Lace grass.

Eragrostis cilianensis
Eragrostis cilianensis

Eragrostis spectabilis
Eragrostis spectabilis. Both photographs by Matt Lavin; creative commons.

Quick Eragrostis Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Lovegrass, Candygrass, Stinkgrass. Lovegrass: Teal; Sand; Mallee; Tufted; Grey; Creeping; Little; Red; Mediterranean.
Life Cycle: Hardy annual. Hardy perennial.
Height: 16 to 50 inches (40 to 127 cm).
Native: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia. Naturalized in the Americas.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10. As a perennial in 6 to 10.
Flowers: Early spring, summer and/or autumn.
Flower Details: Greenish-brown-purple spikelets, containing 10 to 40 florets.
Foliage: Fine leaves.
Sow Outside: Surface. Following last frost. Spacing 12 to 20 inches (30 to 50 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: three weeks in the light. Temperature 60 to 75°F (16 to 24°C). Seven to eight weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Sheltered location. Fertile soil. Cut back to 12 inches (30cm) before the end of winter. Propagate: dividing in spring.

How to Grow Love Grass and other Eragrostis Plants in the Garden

Love grass and similar Eragrostis plants should be sown on the surface following the last frost of spring.

They prefer to grow in an area that is sunny, has good drainage and a fertile soil; due to their delicate flowers they should be grown in a sheltered area of the garden. You can prepare Eragrostis grasses such as love grass indoors first by sowing about 8 weeks before they are due to be transplanted outdoors in the garden after the last frost of spring. They should be spaced at about 60 cm apart, or grown individually.

Caring for and drying Eragrostis grasses

Eragrostis like most grasses will require plenty of watering, following flowering and before seed has dried out they can be harvested and dried out for use in flower arrangements. It is best to cut the grasses down to about 30 cm in height at the end of the growing season. If you require more plants of the perennial varieties then they can be divided in the spring.

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