A nearby wall being erected on the edge of your garden that you want to conceal? A wall that you are not allowed to invest with a climber since it does not belong to you? The neighbor’s window that plunges into your home? The giant miscanthus is there to hide these annoying places, while rustling nicely with a thousand fine and gigantic leaves, capable of reaching 4 m in height in just over two years, without exceeding 1 m² on the ground. This very moving, supple tuft makes you forget what there is to hide. The dark green leaves, 25 mm wide, curl, giving the impression of a waterfall in the slightest breeze.
Its spikes and dry foliage persist through winter, turning into a silver jewel in light frosts and bending elegantly in the snow. However, miscanthus has a disadvantage: in March or April, when the new stems arrive, the old ones must be cut back. And for almost two months, the space is empty, the time for the young shoots to take their adult size. To console you, this plant offers its stems, perfect to use as a stake to maintain large perennials; as for the dry leaves, they make an excellent mulch in the beds, preventing unwanted weeds from settling while keeping the soil cool.
Welcome him well
Very hardy, Miscanthus giganteus grows everywhere, in any good soil, as long as there is sunshine. Make a 40 cm hole in all directions, add compost to the original soil, and plant it after soaking the root ball for a few minutes in a bucket of water. If it can compose a compact hedge to structure the garden, it nicely dresses a bottom of massif. Installed in a large pot, on the terrace, it constantly plays with the wind. We gladly forgive him the two months when his tuft is bare at the beginning of spring, between the moment when the old canes are cut and the arrival of the new ones.
Flower it in summer
When it is well established, in May, sow a few light annuals at its foot, such as morning glory, nasturtiums, sweet peas. They will cling to it, climb and color it. At the end of summer, no doubt, when the flower spikes form, silver and pink, dancing in the sky, you will catch a stiff neck, admiring it with your head in the air.
Farmers and industry are interested…
The composition of the fiber of the giant miscanthus makes it possible to manufacture biofuels and biofuels, paper, cardboard, animal litter – to replace straw –, composite panels, insulating panels, among others. Many growers and breeders, especially those looking to diversify into organic farming, are interested in it.
We see more and more often fields where these giant grasses color the landscape of green then gold over the seasons. Particularly sober at a time when water is becoming an unavoidable issue, melliferous when the preservation of biodiversity is an imperative necessity, low in environmental impact, rich in calorific value at a time when we are going through an energy crisis , the giant miscanthus could well be a plant of the future. A boiler connected to a 20 m³ silo can heat a household of 4 people and produce hot water and other odds and ends necessary for daily life. A plantation becomes profitable after only 4 to 5 years, and remains in place between 20 and 25 years… Miscanthus, a panacea for the future world?
Other miscanthus from China
Miscanthus sinensis / ogre – stock.adobe.com
Miscanthus sinensis leaves in huge sheaves of ribbon-like leaves, sometimes reaching 2 m in height. There are many hybrids and we all love them whether they are green or edged with white, yellow and silver. They are perfect in beds of perennials and shrubs, in the middle of large roses, on the edge of a pond or in a pot, whether they are 50 cm or 2 m tall. Of these, Miscanthus sinensis var. purpurascens has foliage that changes color over the months. On a straight tuft then slightly drooping in the upper part, the shoots are born green in spring.
In summer, they take on a copper colour, then orange-red in autumn, before turning purple. The ears, silvery feather dusters, appear from August. In winter, this plant retains all its appeal with the leaves changing to a bronze tone, while the spikes shine in the smallest ray of sunshine. Adult, it reaches 1.50 m high and 1 m wide.
Do not hesitate to mix other varieties: “Gracillimus”, “Graziella”, “Flamingo”, “Silberfeder”, “Variegatus”…
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