Sisyrinchium albidum White blue-eyed grass photograph by Frank Mayfield; CC.
Sisyrinchium idahoense: Idaho blue eyed grass
Sisyrinchium idahoense, the Idaho blue eyed grass, photograph by Jim Morefield; CC.
Sisyrinchium striatum: Pale yellow-eyed-grass, Satin flower
Sisyrinchium striatum Satin flower photograph by Rob Hodgkins; CC.
How to Grow Blue Eyed Grass / Sisyrinchium
It is best to first sow the seeds of Sisyrinchium plant species such as Blue Eyed Grass in flats in the autumn (for spring sowing see further down the page).
The Seeds should be sown at a depth of 6 mm (1/4 inch). The flats should then be wrapped in a plastic bag and placed in the fridge for three weeks. The flat should then be sunk into the ground in a shady part of the garden and covered in glass.
The Blue eyed grass seeds should take anything from one to six months to germinate.
Once the seedlings emerge, transplant them into a sunny part of the garden that has a slightly acidic soil (pH 5 to 6.5) that is moist and fertile. Depending on the species size, plants should be spaced 10 cm (small) to 40 cm (large) apart.
Caring for Sisyrinchium
Blue eyed grass and other Sisyrinchium plants require only a little looking after; they like a moist soil so water frequently and do not allow the soil to dry out. Once they have finished blooming cut back the stems to ground level.
As plants may become invasive it is necessary to remove any plants that are not wanted.
If you require more plants and do not want to grow Sisyrinchium from seed then they can be propagated by division in the spring.
Sisyrinchium Growing and Care Guide
Common Names: Blue-eyed Grass.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Half-hardy perennial.
Height: 6 to 36 inches (15—90 cm).
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10.
Flowers: Spring through to summer.
Flower Details: Blue, white, yellow, purple. Simple. Star-shaped, often with a sharp point. Small. Often clustered. Upright stems.
Fruit: Small red berries. Summer through autumn.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Grass-like (though not a true grass). Long. Thin. Green.
Sowing: Seeds: 1/8 inch. Germination time: one to six months. Spacing 4 to 16 inches (10—40 cm). Seed: Method 1: Seeds should first be sown into flats in the autumn. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist. Bring the flats indoor at the beginning of spring and keep at 50°F (10°C). Transplant seedlings following the last frost or in the autumn.
Seed: Method 2: In the spring, fill a container with moist growing medium, then sow seeds. Wrap the container in a large plastic bag, and then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks. Next bury the container as described above. Once seedlings emerge transplant to their final location.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight for best results, or partial shade. Average to good drainage. Acidic soil pH 5 to 6. Fertile and moist soil. Regular watering whilst in the growing season.
Deadhead to prevent self-seeding in environments where it may grow aggressively. Cut back to the ground once all flowering has completed. Winter mulch. Leaf mold or compost mulch.
Propagate: by dividing in the spring in cooler areas or the autumn in warmer areas. Self-seeds freely.
Closely Related Species: Fressia, Crocus, Iris, flag.
Miscellaneous: The genus is named after the Greek term for Barbary nut iris. May become invasive.
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Sisyrinchium. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Freesia and Crocus.