How to Grow Saltgrass


A marsh grass, saltgrass grows in coastal regions primarily but is also found inland around salt marshes. While it does produce seed it more successfully grown from its rhizomes, or roots. This perennial grass reaches heights 16 inches and has two opposing leaves and produces small yellow flowers that quickly become the seed head. Saltgrass requires high levels of soil moisture and salty soil to thrive. Plant saltgrass as an ornamental or to prevent erosion on your property.

Step 1

Purchase rhizomes from a nursery or dig up and divide existing rhizomes. Planting by seed is possible but not advised due to low germination rates.

Step 2

Choose a planting area in well drained soil with full sun. Planting in an area prone to occasional flooding is acceptable though avoid areas that are constantly inundated. Choose beds with high salt contents that other plants can't thrive in.

Step 3

Cut each rhizome with a sharp knife into approximately 1-inch lengths. Ensure each length of rhizome has at least two growing eyes, which are swollen areas on the root.

Step 4

Plant the rhizome into the soil with the growing eyes facing upward. Space each rhizome 3 to 5 inches apart. Cover them loosely with a 1-inch layer of soil

Step 5

Water the area well, keeping it moist but not soaking wet at all times. Allow 10 days for new grass stems to appear.

Step 6

Cease watering once the saltgrass is established, as it is drought tolerant and rarely requires watering in excess of natural rainfall. Cut down or mow as desired.

Tips and Warnings

  • Saltgrass is considered invasive in some areas and will push out other more desirable grasses; check with your county extension office before planting. Red rust affects saltgrass. Use chemical rust inhibitors to combat, or dig up and destroy affected clumps.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • Spade


  • USDA
  • Westminster College
Keywords: growing saltgrass, marsh grass, ornamental grasses

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.