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Giant Chinese Silver Grass

Miscanthus giganteus

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Miscanthus (miss-KANTH-us) (Info)
Species: giganteus (jy-GAN-tee-us) (Info)


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Elgin, Illinois

Grayslake, Illinois

Morton Grove, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Logansport, Indiana

Hesston, Kansas

Bardstown, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Monroe, Louisiana

Blissfield, Michigan

Kingston, New Hampshire

Himrod, New York

Ithaca, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Diamond, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Tionesta, Pennsylvania

Sumter, South Carolina

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 13, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Some varieties of this hybrid can produce viable seed. This hybrid can also easily reproduce vegetatively.

The National Wildlife Federation has produced a report expressing concerns about its invasive potential, particularly if it's used on a large scale in biomass production, as has been proposed. [[email protected]]


On Nov 16, 2015, siege2055 from Stilwell, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Has taken about 2 years to start looking decent, it got 6 feet the first year, but takes time to fill out producing limited canes, the second year with plumes it was about 12 feet. This third year I believe it will look very nice. I really like the flower plumes that are way at the top and silver, very ornamental in my Tropical plant garden. I have discovered that if you inspect the bottom of the canes close to the ground (May depend on how moist it stays), the grass makes aerial rhizomes that point downward toward the soil. If you wait till fall when the rhizome is at least an inch long where it won't run out of energy stores too soon before the cane dries up after cutting. You can snip the part of the cane holding the rhizome off, plant it in a pot covering it will soil, and it will qui... read more


On Jul 21, 2015, Bluesbird from Morton Grove, IL wrote:

Agreed, a beautiful plant that does need plenty of sun and cannot be waterlogged for long periods.
I leave the canes standing through the winter for interest and cut them back in early spring. I take the hollow stalks and cut them to about 6 inches and bundle them and place them in various areas of my garden for insect/ bee habitat. Seems to work very well as I have definitely noticed an increase in the little pollinators in recent years.


On Apr 30, 2014, sarassa from Diamond, OH wrote:

This makes an excellent and FAST privacy screen. I was given a clump free if I dug it out. I divided the grass and planted it across 150' of frontage. The first year most of it reached full height and bloomed. The grass that didn't reach full height was damaged by a car that ran off the road and knocked it down. It came back fully the next season. My clumps after 3 years went from small pieces to about a 5 foot spread. It reaches up to 14 foot in height when blooming.

The downside of this grass is that it is extremely difficult to dig out. An axe and a pry bar are helpful. Gloves are necessary or the grass blades will slice easily through your skin. The roots are about 6 inches deep, but interwoven and as hard as digging through tree roots. It only takes the sma... read more


On Sep 5, 2013, DonnaMack from Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant provides an excellent and fast growing screen. It reaches maturity within approximately three years. For best results, do not allow it to become completely dry at the base. Great on a slight slope or a downward edge on your property, which makes watering unnecessary.


On Nov 21, 2011, nyergin from Tionesta, PA wrote:

I planted a gallon pot of this grass next to my house in NW PA when I bought it in 2001. Ten years later, its clump is about 3 foot in diameter and is at least 10 feet tall. It's in full sun in a rather dry spot and holds its form well through the winter.


On Jul 5, 2010, Dobiegirl51 from Sullivan,
United States wrote:

I planted this last year 2009 around the end of Aug, as of now July 5, 2010 it's only about 4' tall???? I was so hoping this would be at least 8' for privacy, any suggestions as to why it may not be growing well for me???


On Dec 20, 2009, JonthanJ from Logansport, IN wrote:

Jim liked this when we were planning the house, in 2003. I set four clumps on the clay loam Zone 5 hillside below the east end of the parking lot to screen it from the road. Their success has been hilarious. We made some divisions in 2007. Friends various success with them reminded us that this species really wants as much sun as it can get. The Fall color, a peachy gold, is impressive. Dry weather in 2010 impaired bloom and fall color.

We got the yellow edged cultivar, Golden Tower, in 2010 and realized how helpful it had been to be able to buy the species in 10 gallon pots. Growing on from a division in a one gallon pot has been slow going.


On Jul 27, 2008, dakotaroser from Kingston, NH wrote:

Very tall Miscanthus, its beautiful. I planted along with several other varieties on a small hill where I can see it from my
deck as the sun sets. I have had it for 2 years now and
its at least 8 or 9ft tall and its not even Aug yet. I hope
it flowers later on and when I cut it back in the spring I will
save the long canes for other uses.