Tricholaena: Natal grass, ruby grass
Height 75cm (2-1/2ft)
Planting distance 30cm (1ft)
Flowers early to late summer
Open sunny position
Tender perennial grown as half-hardy annual
Tricholaena rosea is an ornamental grass grown for its attractive flower heads which appear from early to late summer. Slender and graceful, these 25cm (10in) long reddish-maroon fluffy spikelets fade to a silvery-pink colour with age.
This is a clump-forming species reaching 75cm (2-1/2ft) high, excel-lent for growing at the front of a border or in an isolated patch on its own. A sunny open position is essential for it to thrive.
Sow the seeds in late winter or early spring in trays of seed com-post. Keep at a temperature of 13-16°C (55-61°F). Harden off before transplanting the seedlings to the flowering site in late spring or early summer, when the danger of frost has passed.
Alternatively, sow the seeds in the flowering site in late spring; thin the seedlings to stand 30cm (1ft) apart.
Natal grass should be grown in fertile well-drained soil in an open sunny position.
Pests and diseases