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Hakonechloa Macra

There's a large swath of hakone grass (the plain green species) under trees in a public park near me, which I always think looks amazing and am hoping to recreate in my garden (on a smaller scale). I'vve seen a lot of pictures of this planting scheme used by designers but I've noticed that while designers almost always seem to use the plain green version - nurseries almost always sell only variagated or yellow varieties - just strikes me as strange. Personally - I find the plain green variety much more attractive. 

Anyway - I'm wondering what spacing to use if you are aiming to have a dense swath of the grass within say 2/3 years (this is the kind of effect I'm looking for (photos on the 4th row))

It would be in semi-shade, under a crab apple in good soil.

Thanks in advance. 


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,738
    We have had one clump of Hakonechloa for about at least 10 years.  It has taken all that time to fill one large pot.  The foliage is about 75cm across when in full growth.  I would probably plant multiple specimens about half a metre apart, but if they are very small, then they may need to be nearer.

    If you are hoping for a large amount of coverage fairly quickly, be prepared to spend a fair amount of money to buy mature specimens (if you can find them).  Otherwise, be prepared to be very patient, as in my experience it grows very slowly indeed.
  • Thanks KeenonGreen - that's useful
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,861
    I decided on H.Macra (the plain green variety) to edge the borders either side of my patio.
    I bought 10 plants from Coolings Nursery around Feb this year.
    They had an Early Bird sale on and I paid £5 per 3L pot (P&P was £20 but still a bargain)
    I was surprised how quickly they grew.
    They look good and sound great in a breeze
    There are 5 plants in the pic below

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 4,049
    I have the Aureola cultivar, which I adore. One plant soon filled a decent sized planter and I split it into 5 unevenly-sized pieces. Have one away, put the largest back in the pot and the other three in the garden. And they have grown SO slowly since! I imagine the plain green would probably grow a little faster.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • Thanks Pete and LG, I have a few of the Aureola cultaivar growing under an acer in the garden already and they are quite slow growing alright - great autumn colour at the moment though
  • cmarkrcmarkr Posts: 141
    Is splitting the only way to propagate these? I had hoped i could grow from seed as it is very expensive to cover a large area with them but I can't find seed available for sale.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,046
    They're easy enough to split. Spring is the best time for doing that.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,861
    They do produce plenty of attractive seed heads, but I've read that the seed rarely germinates - I don't know why.
    I've also read they take a while to get going again if they're split as @LG_ mentioned above
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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