How to Grow Thin Paspalum

Thin paspalum image by Forest & Kim


Thin paspalum (Paspalum setaceum), also known as bull paspalum, is a short-lived perennial grass that thrives in sandy, moist soil conditions in warm coastal climates. It is a low-growing grass that spreads via rhizomes and constantly sheds its seed, making seed capture very difficult. The grass, which grows to 3 feet tall, readily self sows and can be transplanted in plug form by lifting and relocating sections of rhizome, roots and soil.

Step 1

Irrigate your paspalum so that its planting soil is just lightly and evenly moist. It is relatively drought tolerant when well established but will experience and show stress when exposed to extended periods without applied moisture.

Step 2

Provide full sun to very light, filtered shade for your sericea paspalum. Full shade will inhibit its growth and spread. Give your plant well-drained soil that is light and slightly sandy. Thin paspalum is well adapted to average and or even nutrient-poor soils, so applying chemical fertilizers is neither necessary nor recommended.

Step 3

Transplant by digging up the grass top, rhizome, roots and surrounding soil in one intact and solid clump. Set the entire clump down into a hole in well-tilled soil. Backfill any soil to fill in around the edges of the transplanted clump. Water deeply to collapse any air pockets, adding more soil if needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Hand trowel
  • Paspalum rhizomes


  • Utah State University
  • USDA Plants Database profile
  • NRCS Plant Profile
Keywords: thin paspalum, Paspalum setaceum, ornamental grass plant grow

About this Author

A communications professional, D.C. Winston has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals and film/broadcast media. Winston studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.

Photo by: Forest & Kim