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Ravenna Grass, Plume Grass

Saccharum ravennae

Big and bold ravenna grass, also known as plume grass, has arching green foliage stalks that are 4 to 5 feet tall and flower stalks expanding to reach 8 to 12 feet tall. Ravenna grass can be employed throughout the landscape as a living screen or focal point. Be sure to select a planting site that will support the mature size of this large grass. Ravenna grass should be used with caution as it has shown invasive tendencies in warm climates.

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Light:

Sun

Type:

Height:

From 3 to 20 feet

Width:

3 to 6 feet

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Special Features:

Zones:

5-10

Propagation

garden plans for Ravennagrass

What to Plant With Ravenna Grass

A low-maintenance plant with a prominent landscape presence, ravenna grass is an easy-care choice. Pair it with other easy-to-grow plants for a landscape that is brimming with color and texture year-round but demands little in the way of upkeep. Great planting partners include barberry and elderberry shrubs. Easy-care perennial companions include tickseed, aster, and coneflower.

Growing Ravenna Grass

Ravenna grass grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. It tolerates a variety of soil conditions and grows well in loose soil that has moderate fertility. Avoid planting it in rich, fertile soil as it has a tendency to develop weak stems and flop over in these conditions. Also, there is no need to fertilize ravenna grass. Once established, ravenna grass tolerates moderate drought.

Plant ravenna grass in spring or early summer. Water plants deeply and regularly during the first growing season to establish an extensive root system. Once the plant is established, reduce watering. Count on ravenna grass to bloom in late summer. Harvest the flowers when they are fresh or after they dry on the plant for use in floral arrangements.

Take advantage of the striking winter appearance of ravenna grass by allowing the plant to stand through winter. Its plumes will add texture and movement to the winter landscape. In early spring, cut back the entire plant to ground level. Hedge shears or loppers are useful for cutting the thick stems.

Plant Ravenna Grass With:

Barberry
Barberry paints the landscape with arching, fine-textured branches of purple-red or chartreuse foliage. In fall, leaves brighten to reddish orange and spikes of red berries appear like sparklers as the foliage drops. The mounding habit of barberries makes for graceful hedging and barriers, and the thorns protect privacy.Japanese barberry is considered an invasive plant in the Eastern U.S. and the species is banned from cultivation in some places, so check local restrictions before planting.
Euonymus
Highly ornamental shrubs that feature mottled bark and attractive winged fruits or showy foliage and white berries, varieties of euonymus can climb as vines or form small trees or low-mounding shrubs. The wintercreepers offer the most dramatic foliage, usually variegated white and green or gold and green. White berries persist on the plants through the winter, enticing resident birds. For fall color, the burning bush sets the standard for flaming foliage among shrubs. Euonymus in all its forms appreciates a fertile, moist soil that's well drained.Note: Some euonymus varieties are considered invasive pests in some regions; check local restrictions before planting them. Others, such as eastern wahoo, are native to North America.
Hibiscus
Huge, showy blooms are the hallmark of the hibiscus family, whether the flying saucers on hardy perennial hibiscus, the Hawaiian charmers of the tropical hibiscus, or the frilly-flowered Rose of Sharon that grows into a large shrub or small tree. Not only do hibiscus blooms boast an amazing array of colors, vastly widened through hybridizing, they also draw hummingbirds en masse. The newer, dark-leaf introductions are wonderful architectural fillers in container gardens. Cold-winter gardeners can grow the more tender types of hibiscus in containers and wheel them into the house when winter approaches. Prune back heavily to encourage blooms, and watch for aphids and whitefly, which are attracted to all forms of hibiscus. Learn about the perennial varieties of hibiscus. 
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