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Variegated Giant Reed Grass

Arundo donax 'Variegata'

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Variegated Giant Reed Grass (Arundo donax 'Variegata') at Barson's Greenshouse

Variegated Giant Reed Grass in spring

Variegated Giant Reed Grass in spring

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  6b

Other Names:  Spanish Reed

Description:

Looks like a bamboo or corn but this is a reed grass with broadly variegated sword-like leaves; plant with a root barrier to help contain this spreader; tie canes to wall or stake to prevent movement in the wind;use as backdrop

Ornamental Features

Variegated Giant Reed Grass's attractive large sword-like leaves remain bluish-green in color with showy white variegation throughout the season. It features airy panicles of tan flowers rising above the foliage from late summer to mid fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Variegated Giant Reed Grass is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other garden plants with finer foliage.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Invasive

Variegated Giant Reed Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Variegated Giant Reed Grass will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Variegated Giant Reed Grass is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Screening  Garden  Naturalizing  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features