Gardeners prize low-maintenance Japanese bloodgrass for its brilliant red and burgundy leaves that add streaks of deep red to your landscape. Beauty aside, this fast-growing grass spreads invasively nearly everywhere it’s planted. That’s why it’s known as one of the 10 worst weeds in the world. But it’s hard to deny the beauty of a clump of Japanese bloodgrass backlit by the sun. If this plant is on your landscaping wish list, you may want to plant it in a container to control its spread (but watch for seeds) or plant a cultivar such as ‘Red Baron’ or ‘Rubra’, which are considered less invasive.
Garden Plans For Japanese Bloodgrass
Japanese Bloodgrass Care Must-Knows
Japanese bloodgrass grows best and develops the most vibrant leaf color in full sun and moist, well-drained soil, although it does tolerate light shade, drought, and a wide range of soil conditions. The cool-season grass grows the most in spring and fall. It is semi-evergreen in winter and can add welcome color to a winter landscape. Cut the grass to ground level in early spring before new growth begins.
In areas with warmer winters, this ornamental grass spreads aggressively through rhizomes and self-seeding—to the point where it displaces other species. It is reported to be less aggressive in cooler climates. Watch plants carefully for any specimens that revert to all-green foliage. These rogue green plants are especially invasive and should be eradicated immediately.
Japanese bloodgrass is listed as a Federal Noxious Weed under the Plant Protection Act, which means it can't be imported or transported between states without first obtaining a federal permit. In addition, it has been declared a noxious weed in warm-weather states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Check your state law before purchasing or planting one.