Potted grasses

"Can I grow miscanthus in a container or it is too big? My neighbour has one growing in their garden and I like the way it looks."

Credit: Ewan Mackenzie/Campbell Valley Grass Company

You may want to try a dwarf form of miscanthus such as ‘Yaku-jima’ or ‘Nippon,’ which will grow to one or 1.2 metres tall.

Other forms of this giant of grasses can be grown in a container, but the roots may need some managing, which can be done in a few ways.

Use a container that is larger than what you think you’ll need, and at least as large as a half barrel. Regardless of which miscanthus you choose, you need room for the crown of the plant to expand in width and lots of space for the roots to grow.

Generally, the size of the plant will be restricted by the size of the container, but you may find the grass outgrows the soil zone fairly quickly.

If your container is fitting like a shoe that is too tight, you can lift your plant and divide, put some in your garden or give some to a friend, and replant your grass in the container.

The largest miscanthus, such as Miscanthus floridulus, can grow as high as 3.6 to 4.5 metres with canes as large as five centimetres. Avoid using this one in containers!

Most grasses that flower from summer into fall are highly drought tolerant, making them particularly good selections for container gardens.