How to Plant and Grow Blood Grass

Japanese Blood Grass.jpg

The Imperator cylindrical is commonly called the Japanese blood grass. It is essentially an ornamental grass, grown for landscaping household gardens. This grass has a typical appearance with sharp, spiked grass blades having bright-red coloration. It is often planted with flowering plants like marigolds to create contrasting garden borders. Even during the fall season, when the blades lose their red hue and turn slightly brown, the grass is a landscape accessory. The brown color is intense and doesn't have the usual winter season, weathered appearance. This lends a distinct woody appearance to the winter garden. You can easily grow blood grass in your garden by following these instructions:

Things Needed:

  • Retailed blood grass
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Water

Procuring Blood Grass

It is advised not to borrow mature blood grass from neighboring gardens. Blood grass procured from established gardens does not plant well. Buying blood grass, grown in containers, from garden supply stores is the norm. The most popular blood grass variety is the Rubra grass because its foliage offers the brightest shade of red along with having a longer growing season. Blood grass is self-propagating and grows very fast. Starting with two-to-three containers is sufficient for creating a large blood grass-covered garden spread.

Planting Blood Grass

This is the most critical aspect of growing blood grass in your garden. The planting site should be carefully chosen. Ensure that the chosen spot receives sufficient sunlight and has quick-draining soil. However, the sunlight exposure shouldn't be so extreme that the young grass blades are scorched. To increase the water-draining capacity of the soil, you can add some organic mulch.

Using a spade, dig at the chosen site to create planting holes. Each planting hole should be at least 18-inches apart. Ensure that each hole is about three times wider than the root ball of the retailed blood grass. Extract the blood grass from the container and place it in the holes. For safe extraction from the containers, tap repeatedly on the container's surface to loosen the roothold of the grass. This prevents transplanting stress. Start filling the hole with the dug-up soil, clamping some soil around the young, root balls. After backfilling, water the soil bed to ensure that the soil is moist. Mulch again, around the base of grass to ensure there is no waterlogging.

Blood Grass Propagation

You can fasten the grass' growth through manual manipulation. This should be ideally done two weeks after planting. Blood grass grows in small clumps. The trick is to divide the blood grass clumps to create numerous, individual grass groupings. Each separated grass clump tends to grow faster since manual separation creates physical stress on the plant, speeding-up its growth mechanism. To separate the grass clumps, use a spade and dig it through the center of the clump, deep into the soil. The spade should be dug deep enough to separate the underground rhizomes (grass tubers).

Basic Care

Slight pruning is recommended, particularly before the growing season. Cut back the outermost grass blades just before the spring season. While cutting the grass, try to slice-off the grass crowns. Don't prune during the winters. Blood grass doesn't need fertilization of any kind. Daily watering is sufficient to ensure a compact, blood grass spread.

Japanese Blood Grass.jpg Photo copyright Dave's Garden (