How to Grow Setaria Plants

Guide to Growing Foxtail Grass, Foxtail Millet, and Bristle Grass

Setaria plants are hardy and half hardy grasses that carry 30 cm (12 inches) long flat leaves. They have flowering spikes that reach a height of 1.5 meters (five feet).

They bloom in the summer, and carry flowers of red, black, brown or yellow.

Some common names for Setaria include Foxtail Millet, Yellow Bristle grass, and Plains Bristle grass.

Setaria pumila
Setaria pumila - Pale pigeon grass by John Tann.

How to Grow Foxtail Millet and Similar Setaria Plants

Setaria plants such as Foxtail Millet and Bristle Grass should be grown outdoors from seed.

Sow the seeds on the soil surface at a spacing of 30 cm / 1 foot (small Setaria varieties) to 75 cm / 30 inches apart (larger Setaria species).

Foxtail Millet and similar species should be grown in a sunny or lightly shaded area. These grasses require a fertile soil that is light, moist and well drained.

Setaria viridis
Setaria viridis - Green Foxtail by Anderson Smith2010. Both photographs under creative commons licence.

Caring for Foxtail Millet and other Setaria Grasses

Setaria grasses such as foxtail millet are easy to look after.

It is important to ensure that the soil is kept moist by regular watering.

Setaria Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Foxtail Grass, Foxtail Millet, Italian Millet, Pigeon Grass, Bristly Foxtail, Palmgrass. Bristle Grass: Plains; Veil; Broad Leaved; Black Seed; Yellow; Green.
Family: Poaceae.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual, hardy annual.
Height: 20 to 80 inches (50 to 200 cm).
Native: Asia, Europe, East Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 10.

Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: Brown, black, green, yellow, red. Hairy dense panicle. Spikelets.
Foliage: Long. Blade. Broad. Sheathed.

Sow Outside: Surface. Germination time: one to three weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Following the last frost. Spacing 12 to 40 inches (30 to 100 cm).
Sow Inside: No.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Rich soil. Moist soil. Light soils.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Setaria plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Lagurus and Coix plants.