How To Plant Sea Oats


Northern sea oats, Chasmantheum latifolium, is a grassy plant resembling bamboo. Growing to the height of roughly 3 feet and producing clumps of flattened seed heads, this grass is highly attractive to those seeking a decorative ground cover. Sea oats will only thrive, however, as far north as USDA zone 5, and requires full sun to partial shade.

Step 1

Evaluate your soil content and drainage. If the soil does not drain well (leaves a puddle when you water it) then it will need some improving before you plant the sea oats. Purchase some coarse sand from a garden store and pour it over the entire planting site 3 inches deep. Till the sand into the soil to a depth of 8 inches. This will provide adequate drainage for the sea oats.

Step 2

Dig a hole 18 inches deep and place the sea oats' root ball into the hole. Fill the hole with water and allow the water to sink in.

Step 3

Fill in the hole with soil and cover the entire site with 2 inches of mulch.

Step 4

Check the soil daily. If the soil becomes dry to a depth of 1 inch, then water the plant. As the plant becomes established, decrease watering to every other day.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand
  • Tiller
  • Shovel
  • Mulch


  • "Ornamental Grasses: Decorative Plants for Home and Garden"; Mary Hockenberry Meyer; 1975.
Keywords: sea oats, planting sea oats, growing sea oats

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Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.