How to Grow Polypogon Plants

Guide to Growing Beard Grass and Rabbitsfoot Grass

Members of the Polypogon are perennial grasses that reach about 60 cm (24 inches) in height.

They carry downy flower spikes from summer to autumn.

Polypogon monspeliensis

Beard Grass
Polypogon monspeliensis / Beard Grass. Both Photographs by Matt Lavin.

Some common names for Polypogon include Rabbit Foot Grass and Beard Grass.

Polypogon Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Beard Grass, Rabbitsfoot Grass
Family: Poaceae.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial commonly grown as a hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 24 to 40 inches (60 to 100 cm).
Native: Europe, Africa, South America.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 10. As a perennial in zones 8 to 10.

Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: Plume-like panicles. Fluffy inflorescence. Spikelets. Whitish or purplish awns.
Foliage: Flat. Blade.

Sow Outside: Surface. First two months of spring. Spacing 12 to 20 inches (30 to 50 cm). Germination time: three weeks. Temperature 65°F (18°C).
Sow Inside: No.
Requirements: Full sunlight or partial shade. Sheltered location. Good drainage. Rich soil. Spring feed.

How to Grow Rabbit Foot and Beard Grass

It is best to grow rabbit Foot Grass (and other Polypogon) outdoors from the off.

The seeds should be sown onto the soil surface in the first months of spring. Space at about 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 inches) apart.

Rabbit foot grass is able to grow in both lightly shaded and sunny parts of the garden. Best results will be got when located in sunny parts of the garden.

Ideally the soil that Polypogon species grow in should be fertile.

Caring for Polypogon Plants in the Garden

Polypogon plants should be grown in an area where they are protected from environmental damage, such as heavy rain and wind.

If you require more Rabbit foot grass and Beard Grass plants, then they can be propagated by taking cuttings.

Common Questions

How many members does the Polypogon genus contain?

The Polypogon genus, commonly referred to as Rabbitsfoot grass, includes about 15 species.

Do Polypogon members make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Polypogon plants are typically not used for ornamental gardening due to their weedy nature and less pronounced visual appeal.

Which Polypogon species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

While not typically grown in ornamental gardens, Polypogon monspeliensis (Annual Rabbitsfoot Grass) is sometimes found in wild gardens or meadows.

Are Polypogon plants fragrant?

Plants in the Polypogon genus are not known for a distinctive fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Polypogon?

Polypogon plants are highly adaptable and can grow in a variety of environments, although they prefer moist areas near water sources.

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

Some Polypogon species like Polypogon monspeliensis are presently considered invasive in certain states, such as California.

How do I remove Polypogon plants from my garden?

Removing Polypogon requires diligent hand-pulling or mowing before they seed. Persistent removal is necessary to control their spread.


The Polypogon genus, also known as Beard grass, belongs to the Poaceae family. The plants in this genus are annual grasses recognized for their dense, spike-like inflorescences that resemble beards.

Polypogon plants enjoy full sun and prefer moist, well-drained soil. Ideal for planting in the spring, these grasses can be found in wild, open, or somewhat wet areas, often used for erosion control or as a part of a wildlife habitat.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Polypogon plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Quaking grass, Miscanthus plant, Koeleria plant, and Coix plants.