Eragrostis Plant Growing Guide | Love Grass, Candygrass

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Eragrostis plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Lovegrass, Candygrass, & Stinkgrass: Cultivation & Garden Use

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.

Eragrostis Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Lovegrass, Candygrass, Stinkgrass. Lovegrass: Teal; Sand; Mallee; Tufted; Grey; Creeping; Little; Red; Mediterranean.
Family: Poaceae.
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 eight 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.

Common Questions

How many members does the Eragrostis genus have?

The Eragrostis genus includes around 350 species.

Do members of Eragrostis make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, some Eragrostis species, like the Love Grass, can add a delicate and airy feel to gardens or landscapes.

Which Eragrostis species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Eragrostis spectabilis (Purple Love Grass) is commonly grown by gardeners.

Are members of the Eragrostis plant genus fragrant?

No, Eragrostis species are not known for their fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Eragrostis?

Eragrostis loves a sunny location and well-drained soil.

Is Eragrostis invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Some Eragrostis species, like Eragrostis cilianensis, can be invasive in some US regions.

How do I remove Eragrostis plants from my garden?

Remove Eragrostis by uprooting the entire plant, including all roots, to prevent regrowth.


The Eragrostis genus, known as Lovegrass, comprises about 350 species of annual and perennial grasses native to temperate and tropical regions worldwide. These grasses are known for their fine texture and attractive, often airy flower heads.

Eragrostis plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They are generally drought-tolerant and can be grown from seeds or division. Their delicate appearance makes them excellent for adding texture to borders and meadow gardens, and some species, like Eragrostis spectabilis, produce beautiful, purple-tinged seed heads.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Eragrostis plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ grass growing guides: How to grow Arundo donax and Avena plants.