How to Plant Savannah Grass


Savannah grass (Melinis nerviglumis Savannah) is a compact ornamental grass that produces mid-summer plume flowers in the color of mauve. The grass is hardy to plant as a perennial in USDA growing zones 8 through 10 but can be planted as an annual grass in colder growing zones. Savannah grass is a long-blooming variety that is low maintenance for use along borders, as an accent in containers or in beds for fresh cut flowers.

Step 1

Sow Savannah grass seed 10 weeks before the preferred outdoor planting date. Fill a seeding tray with a sterile seed-starting medium that is moistened with water, and sprinkle the seeds on top. Lightly cover the seeds with the medium and cover the tray with a clear plastic bag or a hard cover plastic that came with the seeding tray to create a greenhouse environment.

Step 2

Place the seed tray in a warm location with indirect sunlight. Monitor the moisture level to prevent the medium from drying out. Remove the cover once the seedlings reach approximately 1 inch tall.

Step 3

Thin the seedlings by removing close-growing sprouts. Continue to grow the seedlings until they are large enough to transplant outdoors.

Step 4

Select a planting area for the Savannah grass that is well-draining and has full sunlight conditions.

Step 5

Plant seedlings outdoors at the same depth they were grown in the container and at a spacing of 9 to 12 inches.

Step 6

Water the soil well after planting to stimulate further growth. Continue to water the grass plants during the growing season with 1 inch of water per week when the rainfall amounts for the week are less than 1 inch.

Step 7

Apply 1 to 3 inches of mulch around the plants, making sure to not pile it tightly around the stem of the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Savannah grass seeds
  • Seeding tray
  • Sterile seed-starting medium
  • Clear plastic covering
  • Shovel
  • Mulch


  • Gardener Help: Ornamental Grass Melinis Savannah
  • Learn 2 Grow: Melinis Nerviglumis Savannah Care and Maintenance
  • Park Seed: Ornamental Grass Melinis Savannah
Keywords: plant savannah grass, grow ornamental savannah grass, plant ornamental grass

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.