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Cascade-like falling leaves that move gently in the wind, fine panicles of flowers at an impressive height - Chinese reed (bot. Miscanthus sinensis) is really very decorative and also easy to care for. The sweet grass originally comes from East Asia.

Chinese reed is quite easy to care for

location and soil

Most varieties of Chinese reed prefer a sunny location, but many also do well in a partially shaded area of the garden. Ideally, the soil there is fresh to slightly moist. The Chinese reed feels very comfortable in a swamp bed or at the edge of the pond.

The planting

Before planting, you should water your Chinese reed well. Then place it in a sufficiently large planting hole so deep that you can cover the roots with soil about eight to ten centimeters high. The use of a root barrier is recommended for rhizome-forming varieties. It is best to plant the Chinese reed in the spring before it begins to sprout.

watering and fertilizing

In the first few weeks after planting, you should water your Chinese reed regularly, daily or every two days depending on the weather and temperature. Later, the reed survives longer periods of drought with only small amounts of water.

Fertilizer is only required when the soil is poor. A dose of complete fertilizer at the beginning of the vegetation phase in spring is usually sufficient here. It looks a little different if you plant your Chinese reed in a bucket. The soil leaches out faster there and regular fertilization is recommended.

The cutback

The old stalks and leaves of the Chinese reed dry out in autumn, and the reed will sprout again in spring. It should definitely be cut back first. The best time for this work is around March or April. Pruning in the fall is not recommended.

The propagation

The best way to propagate Chinese reed is to divide it. You have the least effort if you make the division when cutting back in the spring. If your Chinese reed forms rhizomes, you can cut them off and replant them elsewhere in the garden.

The Chinese reed in winter

Chinese reed is considered to be very hardy, it is less affected by frost than by plenty of moisture from above, so it should not be cut in autumn. In winter, the reeds are particularly attractive when the remaining panicles of flowers are covered with hoarfrost. However, under a heavy snow load, the straws can break if you don't tie them together.

The essentials in brief:

  • very easy to care for
  • sunny to partially shaded location
  • fresh to slightly moist soil
  • ideal planting time: in the spring before they sprout
  • Propagation by rhizomes or division


Chinese reed needs (almost) no care in a sunny, slightly damp location.

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