Variegated Basket Grass 'Variegatus'

Oplismenus hirtellus

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Oplismenus (oh-PLIS-mee-nus) (Info)
Species: hirtellus (HER-tuh-lus) (Info)
Cultivar: Variegatus
Synonym:Oplismenus africanus



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


under 6 in. (15 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


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

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

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

By simple layering

By tip layering

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Clinton, Mississippi

Irvington, New York

Snoqualmie, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 5, 2016, RJFarr from Snoqualmie, WA wrote:

Bought a 4" pot of this last year because it reminded me of a skinny version of variegated wandering jew - which can be a great houseplant if the light is right. As a houseplant, it far exceeded our expectations, hanging down a foot-and-a-half and producing new growth to fill its up-potted 6 inch container.

Winters here in N. Washington can be dark, so it was challenged and many of the underlying leaves died, leaving just an overlay of healthy branches. In early spring we tried, unsuccessfully, to root cuttings and to get the old - root bound root ball to revive without success.

Happily, these reappeared at one of my garden centers in Issaquah, WA. We will re-establish one as a hanging houseplant and try another outdoors in a planter. I'll try to do a s... read more


On Aug 27, 2012, skylightrun from Irvington, NY wrote:

I have been buying this lovely plant (Variegated Basket Grass) for years, in small pots, from a family owned nursery (Sprainbrook) here in Westchester County NY. This nursery, focused on organic gardening, grew the plant in its own greenhouses and is now forced to go out of business, after 68 years. Like many avid gardeners, I have made friends at local garden centers and this one was special to me. So sad to hear this news- and what of the beloved Variegated Basket Grass that graces my containers year after year? I have not seen it elsewhere locally. It spills delightfully over the sides of containers, is especially beautiful in hanging pots- graceful and airy, sporting tones of green, white and burgundy even in partial shade. It can grown many feet long and remains lush along its full... read more


On May 15, 2010, greenhouselady2 from Rockingham, NC wrote:

I am a professional grower in southern North Carolina, zone 7. I obtained a stock plant of this grass last year and have propagated it for baskets. The stockplant has bloomed and seeds have NOT sprouted up in my greenhouse. I have noted that the plant will produce green shoots occasionally that I remove from the baskets.

Most new cultivars are 'sports' or mutations of the parent plant that are cultivated to new varieties and yes, they will revert if not attended. The sport should assume any bad habits the original plant had and I see nothing to support the negative comment from the lady in MD. The fact that it is colder in winter up there, then here, also leads me to believe that the invasive grass is another grass altogether.

I lost my original stock pl... read more


On Mar 23, 2009, LouisaT from Columbia, MD wrote:

There's now some evidence that this plant can revert to the highly invasive form, which is as invasive as they come. Please don't buy this plant, and if you have it, seal it up well and send it to the landfill. (The infestations in Maryland seem to have spread from a landfill, so don't just toss the hanging basket.) Its seeds stick to clothing, fur, tires, shoes, etc. For more info search for "wavy-leaved basket grass."


On Apr 30, 2008, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I found this used in several containers at a garden center, so I purchased two pots to add to my deck planters - I'll report back later this season when I see how they're doing.