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How to Take Care of a Vermilion Plant

Vermilion, or smooth cordgrass, is a common plant that thrives along the shorelines of warm coastal wetlands of the United States and plays an important role in erosion control. Vermilion is a sustainable and renewable resource making an excellent instrument for coastal restoration and preservation projects. Once established, vermilion can grow to varying heights of 24 to 72 inches and spreads via underground rhizomes making it a hardy contender when proper care is given when planted.

Evaluate the soil and climate conditions where vermilion is to be planted. Vermilion requires loamy soils of coastal lands such as sand and clay. Ideal water depths for vermilion is anywhere between 1 to 18 inches with typical coastal, salty, or brackish water. If you do not live in an area where coastal conditions are present, consider another type of plant, as vermilion will not survive in regular soil.

Choose vermilion plants based on the type of area they will establish in. If the area receives harsh movement from waves, gallon-size, deep-rooted plants will most likely survive until they become rooted versus smaller plants or root plugs. Smaller plants work well in areas that receive less motion and energy generated by waves.

Plant vermilion during low tide when the soil is workable.

Plant deep enough to allow 2 or 3 inches of the vermilion to stick above the surface of the soil. This will help alleviate tidal washing of newly planted vermilion and allow the roots to establish.

Place anchors, such as rocks, around vermilion in areas where waters are rough to keep the plants in place. Once established, vermilion are hardy and prolific plants which multiply and can become invasive.


Vermilion root plugs are the most economical way to plant shallow, calm areas not affected by tidal flows. Root plugs can be obtained by cutting or dividing mature vermilion into smaller plants.

Vermilion plants do not require fertilization.

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