China grass, Chinese reed or Miscanthus sinensis – behind all these names there is a robust and appealing plant that can become an eye-catcher in the garden or in a tub. And at the same time makes a great privacy screen. However, as easy to care for as the Chinese grass is, the right measures have to be taken for it to thrive healthily.

Find the right location for the Chinese grass

As the name China grass suggests, this plant comes from China, but can also be found in other parts of Asia. Here it grows in sunny places with moist, permeable soil.

And so it should also be in the garden. Then the Chinese reed not only grows rapidly and vigorously, but also displays an exotic bloom in late summer.
In addition, due to the comparatively rapid spread and the sometimes extreme heights, there are other factors to consider.

So the location of the Chinese grass should meet the following conditions:

  • Sufficient space upwards, giant Chinese reeds can grow up to four meters high
  • As sunny as possible, shade prevents growth and flowering
  • It makes sense to introduce a rhizome barrier to prevent unwanted spread
  • A location near a garden pond or watercourse is ideal for the Chinese grass

If Miscanthus sinensis is offered these conditions, it usually grows quickly and close to a wall rustling in the wind. So the plant is not only an eye-catcher, it also keeps unwanted looks away at the same time.


The substrate for the Chinese grass is a soil that stores water well but is still permeable. In addition, it should be loose and not tend to compress even with frequent watering. A high content of nutrients and humus also does no harm.

Fresh, pre-fertilized and high-quality garden soil, which is additionally provided with peat or coconut fibers and thus loosened, is well suited. A practical side effect of such an admixture is the reduction in the amount poured. Because fibers and peat absorb moisture and only release it slowly and when necessary.


If the Chinese grass usually gets along well with the local weather and temperatures, a warm time should be reserved for the germination of seeds or the setting up of young plants. This is important because the young plants are initially sensitive to the cold.
Late May is favorable when the soil has already reached a temperature of around 20 ° C. If necessary, if, for example, frost or drops in temperature are to be expected, planting can also only take place in early summer.

The Chinese reed can be sown directly outside in the form of seeds, grown indoors or used as a young plant.

After choosing the right location, it is important to hardly pay attention to any special features. Only the distance has to be adapted to the variety. Larger or very bushy Miscanthus sinensis species naturally need a greater distance than smaller varieties.

In addition, plenty of water must be poured after insertion. But even then not in such a way that waterlogging occurs. In order to give the Chinese grass a helping hand, the immediate area must be kept free of weeds. Because this can quickly become a competitor.

Tip: Although the planting is optimal in spring, Chinese grass is increasingly found in stores in late summer. The reason for this is the more appealing appearance during flowering. If you then buy, you should first prefer a culture in the bucket. In spring you can order in nurseries or on the Internet.

Culture in the bucket

As big as Miscanthus sinensis gets, a culture in the bucket is still possible with the Chinese grass.
Again, the same requirements apply to location and substrate. And of course the chosen container should be as large and stable as possible. Good drainage for irrigation water is also important.

The advantage here is that the ideal planting time does not have to be adjusted first. If the temperature drops too much, the bucket can simply be moved to a protected room.
Chinese grass can also beautify the terrace or balcony. However, the otherwise so little maintenance is somewhat increased here. However, even this is very limited.


The maintenance of the Chinese grass is extremely easy. If the location has been chosen appropriately, only watering that is adapted to the needs is really necessary. Once a year fertilization should also be carried out and the reeds should be cut.


Chinese grass prefers a consistently moist substrate. However, it cannot tolerate drought any more than waterlogging. So the relationship has to be balanced.

Watering is allowed as soon as the top layer has dried off slightly. This will of course be the case more quickly in hot summer than near a garden pond in rainy autumn. Watering is also necessary faster in a bucket than in a free-standing position and with an extensive network of roots in the garden.
Apart from these requirements, nothing needs to be considered when watering Miscanthus sinensis.

Tip: It is best to use soft, low-lime water. Collected rainwater or pond water are suitable sources for this.


Due to its rapid growth, the Chinese grass removes large amounts of nutrients from the soil. And frequent watering can also flush them out of the soil.

However, it is not necessary to constantly supply the plant with nutrients. Because it forms itself – if it is not stopped by a rhizome barrier – extensive root plexuses and can thus tap into more distant sources.

Nevertheless, she gladly takes up an annual fertilization, starting in the second year of standing. Liquid complete fertilizer is ideal for green plants. Manure and compost, on the other hand, are not suitable as fertilizers for the Chinese reeds. In addition, the additional nutrients should be supplied in spring. In the bucket culture, fertilization can be done twice a year, as the roots cannot spread out accordingly here.


After flowering, the Chinese grass slowly begins to dry out. Even in this condition, it is still an impressive eye-catcher, which is particularly noticeable in the dreary autumn or bare winter in the garden. Even when covered with frost or snow, the Chinese reed still has a certain charm.
For this reason alone, a blend of Miscanthus sinensis makes little sense in autumn. However, for purely practical reasons, this maintenance measure should not be carried out late in the year.
The cut stalks are prone to penetrating water droplets due to the multilayer structure and the open interface. They stick together and thus form the ideal nutrient base for rot. It is therefore much better to prune the Chinese grass in the spring before budding begins.
But please not directly to the ground. A remainder of a little more than a hand’s breadth, i.e. at least ten centimeters, should remain from each stalk.

Tip: As a guide, stretch a thread or stick a stick in the ground that shows the desired cutting height.

Chinese grass as a decoration

The Chinese reed is pretty to look at in the garden or in a tub, but just as well in a vase or a flower arrangement. Especially when the first inflorescences are already showing.
The cuttings of individual stalks are always well tolerated. Unless it’s done too late in the fall. Then there is no risk of rot.

If Miscanthus sinensis is cultivated in a bucket and protected for wintering or brought indoors, there is no risk of rot due to cutting too early. These can therefore be used all year round as a source for decorative stalks.

Winter in the garden

If the Chinese grass is planted in spring, it has enough time to grow properly during the garden year. The roots can spread to a depth of two and a half meters. For this reason it is not necessary to give the reeds any further protection.
Only with late-planted Miscanthus sinensis should brushwood and fleece be used to create insulation against the cold. These should be attached all around the plant so that the soil and the lowest sections of the stalks are protected.

Winter in the bucket

Safe overwintering is advisable when cultivating in a bucket. Because here the roots cannot spread to a corresponding depth and are more susceptible to frost damage.
The simplest variant of the sheltered wintering in the bucket is to put the container in a frost-free, bright room. In order to save space, the Chinese grass can then be cut back before it is placed in the winter quarters. As long as the room is dry and well ventilated, there is no need to worry about rot.

However, it must be noted that casting is also necessary here. The earth must never dry out completely. It is important to water with caution so that no waterlogging can occur.
If you don’t have the space, you can also use garden fleece. This should be wrapped generously around the plant container in several layers. The substrate must also be covered a little from above. Otherwise frost will penetrate at this weak point. Light watering is recommended on frost-free days and when the substrate is very dry.


The Chinese grass can be multiplied in two ways. On the one hand through seeds that are grown in the house or germinated directly in the garden. On the other hand – and much faster – through division.

When dividing, a section of the Chinese silver is cut off with a spade and as deep as possible. And dug up immediately afterwards. This plant can and should be used immediately in the desired location and watered abundantly. As a rule, Miscanthus sinensis grows again quickly and easily. Assuming the right location and sufficient watering.

The optimal time for the reproduction by dividing the Chinese grass is again late spring, with a soil temperature of 20 ° C.Preventing unwanted spreading Chinese grass can not only be propagated through controlled division, it also spreads itself through such shoots. Within a few years it can cover such large areas.
A root barrier right next to the planting helps to limit the spread from the outset.
If this is no longer possible, the whole garden does not have to be dug up or the chemical club used. Instead, it is enough to radically cut off the unwanted plant parts again and again. Directly above the ground and as soon as the Chinese grass sprouts again. In the long run, Miscanthus sinensis is so weakened that no more strength remains for further roots or shoots.

Typical diseases and pests

Because the Chinese grass is not indigenous, it does not attract any pests. Only maintenance errors can become a problem.

Those who cut in autumn or keep Miscanthus sinensis too moist run the risk of rot on the plant. If the grass is too shady, it can wither and hardly show any flowers.
With the right location and the right maintenance measures, such problems are not to be feared.

The Chinese grass is a fairly undemanding and easy-care plant that is a great eye-catcher due to its size. Exotic flowers and the ability to decoratively survive the winter make it a wonderful enrichment.

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