Milium Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

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

Millet Grass, and Bowles’ Golden Grass: Cultivation & Garden Use

Milium are hardy perennial grasses that reach about 45 cm (18 inches) in height.

They carry golden and narrow leaves and flower from the end of spring until summer with feathery inflorescences.

Milium effusum
Milium effusum photograph by wallygrom.

These plants are ideal for drying and using in flower arranging.

Some of the common names for Milium include Millet Grass and Bowles' golden grass.

Milium picture by westher.

How to Plant Grass Seeds

When planting grass seed it is best to sow outdoors. The seeds should be sown in the early months of spring, and lightly covered.

Ideally Millet grass seed should be spaced about 30 to 60 cm (1 to 2 feet) apart, and grown in a moist and fertile soil.

It typically takes about three weeks to germinate, once the temperature has reaches about 15 degrees Centigrade (59°F).

Millet grass prefers to grow in shady areas of the garden.

Caring for Milium

Once established Millet grass and other Milium should be watered frequently and subjected to the occasional feed.

If you require more plants, and do not want the plants to self seed, then they can be propagated by division in the springtime.

Milium Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: Millet Grass, Bowles’ Golden Grass.
  • Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
  • Height: 18 inches (45 cm).
  • Native: Northern America.
  • Growing Region: Zones 4 to 9.
  • Flowers: Late spring through to summer.
  • Flower Details: Some species have golden flowers. Plants are grown for their attractive feathery inflorescences.
  • Foliage: Semi-evergreen. Narrow. Tufted.
  • Sow Outside: Cover seed. Start to middle of spring. Germination time: three weeks. Temperature: 60 to 75°F (15 to 24°C). Spacing 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm).
  • Sow Inside: No.
  • Requirements and care: Shade. Rich soil, moist soil. Regular watering. Occasional feed. Propagate: Self-seed or by dividing in the spring in cooler areas, or the autumn in warmer areas.

Common Questions

How many members does the Milium genus contain?

The Milium genus contains about a dozen species, including Milium effusum, commonly known as Wood Millet.

Do Milium members make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Milium effusum can make a nice addition to a garden, especially if you're trying to create a meadow-like aesthetic. It produces attractive golden seed heads.

Which Milium species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most commonly grown species is Milium effusum, also known as Wood Millet. It's appreciated for its ornamental seed heads.

Are Milium plants fragrant?

Milium plants are not typically noted for having a fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Milium?

Milium plants like full sun or partial shade and prefer a moist but well-drained soil. They are great for meadows, woodland gardens, or mixed borders.

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

Currently, Milium species are not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Milium plants from my garden?

If Milium plants become unwanted, they can be manually pulled out from the ground, ensuring that all roots are removed to prevent regrowth.


Milium is a small plant genus within the grass family Poaceae. Its members are usually recognized as millet grasses, appreciated for their ornamental value and use in mixed borders.

Plant Milium in a location with full sun to partial shade and fertile, well-drained soil. They can be grown from seed in the spring. Water regularly but do not overwater. Milium grasses are low-maintenance plants, perfect for creating textural interest in the garden.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Milium plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Ribbon Grass, Tricholaena plant, Parnassia, and Briza plants.