How to Grow Indian Woodoats

Indian Woodoats image by J.H. Miller/USDA Forest Service


If you are looking for a low-maintenance, ornamental grass this is easy to grow and likes the shade, try Indian woodoats. This attractive, clumping grass is a perennial and is known for its oat-like flowers and bamboo-like leaves that are bluish green in color. It can grow planted directly into the ground or inside of containers. Indian woodoats are also known as wild oats, upland sea oats or river oats. If you have a shady spot in your yard or an area by a home pond, try growing Indian woodoats.

Step 1

Select an area in your yard that is shady to partially shady. Indian woodoats will not grow well in areas where it will receive full sunlight all day long. You can also plant the Indian woodoats in a shady area that is constantly moist, such as by a pond or stream.

Step 2

Consider the size of the Indian woodoats when selecting a site. They will form dense colonies of clumps and can reach a height of four feet when established.

Step 3

Remove any weeds or grasses from the planting area. You don't want extra competition in the growing area where the oats are trying to establish themselves.

Step 4

Plant the Indian woodoats into acidic soil such as sand that is moist, loams and even clay. Amend the soil with organic matter such as peat or manure if needed. Soil that drains poorly is fine for the Indian woodoats since it prefers moisture.

Step 5

Water the planting area regularly to keep it moist. Indian woodoats prefer to live in moist to wet soil, so water the area every other day during periods of dryness and heat. During regular weather patterns, water the oats two to three times per week. They can tolerate flooded conditions and do quite well in that environment.

Step 6

Prune the Indian woodoats in winter to remove any dead stalks. Dig up any unwanted clumps and transplant them if the Indian woodoat colony expands too quickly, or grows too big. They are quite easy to transplant to other locations.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat
  • Manure
  • Water


  • Information on Indian Woodoats
  • U.S, Dept. of Agriculture-Woodoats
Keywords: growing indian woodoats, indian woodoats, indian woodoat care

About this Author

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

Photo by: J.H. Miller/USDA Forest Service