Variegated Ribbon Grass

Variegated Ribbon Grass
Plant Type
Sunlight Amount
Variegated Ribbon Grass
Credit: Doug Hetherington
Variegated Ribbon Grass

Variegated Ribbon Grass

If you’re looking for an easy-to-maintain plant, go for variegated ribbon grass. It needs little care while adding color and texture wherever you plant it. Plus it grows incredibly fast, making it a top choice for filling in empty garden space. Variegated ribbon grass is fairly hardy and adapts to most growing conditions. However, it can become overly aggressive so plant where you can keep it contained.

genus name
  • Phalaris arundinacea 'Picta'
  • Part Sun
  • Shade
  • Sun
plant type
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • Indefinitely wide
flower color
foliage color
problem solvers
special features
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

Colorful Combinations

Variegated ribbon grass is a versatile plant that adds color when planted either in the ground or in container gardens. With narrow, lance-shaped foliage that stays on the short side, variegated ribbon grass has a somewhat spreading habit that often gives the appearance of bamboo. It adds texture and movement to the garden, especially when it gently sways in the breeze. Most commonly grown for its foliage, this grass seldom blooms. If it does bloom, the flowers are insignificant, forming light and wiry panicles.

Variegated Ribbon Grass Care Must-Knows

Variegated ribbon grass thrives in almost all growing conditions. It is happy growing in anything from shallow standing water to dry, sandy clay. The plant is slightly less aggressive when grown in drier conditions, but can still quickly take over a garden area if left unchecked.

One benefit to this aggressive grower is that variegated ribbon grass can be used to stabilize riverbanks and other wetland areas. But beware that you could be potentially introducing an invasive species that can quickly choke out native plants. Variegated ribbon grass plants spread by vigorous rhizomes underground, so it can be challenging to completely weed them out where they aren't wanted.

Much like their ability to grow in any soil condition, variegated ribbon grass grows in any lighting condition. It typically grow best in full to part sun, and is harder to establish when planted in full shade. Growing in full sun and dry conditions can lead to leaf scorch in the summer months.

Variegated Ribbon Grass Companion Plants

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