Grown for its handsome and eye-catching foliage, Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa macra) is a long-lived, tough, ornamental grass that, unlike most grasses, loves moist shady conditions. Native to Japan, its foliage forms attractive, loose cascading mounds of gracefully arching, slender leaves that ripple in the slightest breeze. Ranging from solid green, to bright gold to creamy variegated throughout the spring and summer, the soft foliage changes to exquisite copper-orange shades in the fall as cooler weather sets in. Delicate looking flowers appear in mid to late summer, but are generally unnoticed among the leaves. Hakone Grass is invaluable for adding multi-season interest, color and texture to the shade garden.
- Extremely adaptable, there is no end to the uses and plant combinations possible with Hakonechloa macra. This true beauty does wonders as an accent plant, or an effective groundcover, and looks fabulous along paths, around trees or in containers.
While extraordinarily good-looking on its own, Hakone Grass, however, looks most stunning when planted with companion plants.
- Typically growing in a dense mound, up to 1-2 ft. tall and wide (30-60 cm), Hakone Grass spreads gently by rhizomes to eventually form a broad attractive patch.
- Performs best in part shade, in consistently moist, humus rich and well-drained soils. It's important to note that light exposure will allow for the best coloration of certain varieties. While the variegated and golden selections of Hakone Grass prefer some shade to avoid summer scorching, the greener varieties can tolerate more sun without the summer burning.
- Easy to grow, resilient to pests and diseases, this perennial grass requires little maintenance.
- Cut back foliage to the ground in late winter or early spring before the new shoots appear. Provide winter mulch.
- Best divided in spring. Though this grass does spread by rhizomes, it is a slow grower and it will not be necessary to divide this grass for many years.