How to Grow Zebra Grass in Florida


Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus') has wide green leaves with yellow or gold horizontal stripes. It grows 5 to 8 feet tall and 5 to 10 feet wide in an upright to drooping clump. Zebra Grass is similar to Porcupine Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus'), which has a stiffer upright form. The foliage of Zebra Grass is golden brown in fall. The seedheads are light brown to pinkish-beige and persist through the winter. Zebra Grass grows in zones 4 to 9 and is an excellent ornamental grass for Florida. It can be grown as a specimen plant, an accent plant or in a mass planting.

Step 1

Place the grass in a partially shaded area until you are ready to plant it. Zebra Grass should be planted in the spring in Florida.

Step 2

Choose a location to plant the Zebra Grass that has full sun and moderately moist soil. Remove with a hoe or rake any grass, weeds or rocks from the planting area.

Step 3

Dig a hole twice as wide as the pot the grass is in, and about 6 inches deeper than the pot. Remove the grass from the pot and set it in the planting hole. Return some of the softened soil to the hole so the grass will sit at the same level in the hole as it did in the pot.

Step 4

Push the soil around the roots of the grass with your hand or foot and tamp it down firmly. Spread the excess soil evenly around the grass.

Step 5

Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the grass and water to a depth of 2 inches every other day for three to four weeks until the roots are established. Reduce watering to 2 inches every two weeks.

Step 6

Cut the Zebra Grass back to 6 inches high in the late winter or early spring before new growth appears. Wrap a rope, bungee cord or duct tape around the grass 18 to 24 inches above the ground to make it easier to cut and dispose of the grass.

Step 7

Divide and transplant Zebra Grass in the spring. Insert a shovel or spading fork into the root ball of the grass and cut it into several pieces. Replant the divisions immediately, following the steps above.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Pruning shears
  • Rope, bungee cord or duct tape
  • Spading fork


  • University of Florida: Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'
  • North Carolina State University: Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'

Who Can Help

  • Floridata: Miscanthus sinensis
  • Santa Rosa Gardens: Miscanthus sinensis Zebrinus
Keywords: grow Zebra Grass, Florida Zebra Grass, MIscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'

About this Author

Melody Lee worked as a newspaper reporter, copywriter and editor for 5 years. In addition, she has edited magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design and is a Florida master gardener. She has more than 25 years of gardening experience, which includes working at nurseries and greenhouses.