How to Grow Threeflower Melicgrass

Overview

Threeflower melicgrass (Melica nitens) is a relatively hardy perennial grass. At 3 feet high in adulthood, threeflower melicgrass makes a pleasant decorative plant or an effective restorative for riparian or wooded pastures. Melicgrass is easy to grow and thrives in most regions of the United States.

Step 1

Prepare the seedbed. Threeflower melicgrass grows best in partially-shaded areas that receive a few hours of direct sunlight daily. Clear the area of all weeds by hand or by using an organic herbicide. Water the area thoroughly so that the soil retains moisture.

Step 2

Plant the melicgrass seeds in late summer or early fall. Use a seed drill to plant the seeds (4 lb. of pure, live seed per acre) 1/4 inch deep. Broadcast the seed (spread it over the soil by hand), if necessary; if broadcasting, provide about 1 inch of soil cover over the seeds.

Step 3

Fertilize and water your threeflower melicgrass every 20 to 25 days (during periods of sufficient rain, they can be watered even less frequently). Fertilize with a commercial flowering plant fertilizer. If you are growing melicgrass over a large area, fertilize the soil with manure at the end of the winter, or use a slow-release granular fertilizer once every three to four months.

Step 4

Protect the threeflower melicgrass by preemptively treating it with fungicide. At the end of winter, treat the melicgrass with a wide-range insecticide to deter aphids and cochineals. Do not apply either of these treatments when the plant is flowering.

Step 5

Protect the melicgrass in winter. Cover the soil near the roots with dry leaves or mulch. Threeflower melicgrass does not fare well in temperatures below 7 degrees F. If night temperatures fall below this point, cover the melicgrass with nonporous material.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed drill
  • Commercial flowering plant fertilizer, manure or slow-release granular fertilizer
  • Fungicide
  • Herbicide
  • Dry leaves or mulch
  • Non-porous plant cover

References

  • USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database
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About this Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.