Though the name sounds peculiar to novice gardeners, it is a popular perennial grass planted in flower gardens and areas that require soil stabilization. Its scientific name is Imperata cylindrica. At maturity, its height reaches to about 10 feet; the dwarf species grow to a maximum height of about 2 feet.
The leaves are about 2 cm in width and taper towards the tip. Compared to the remaining leaf portion, the main vein that runs along the foliage length is lighter in color. This grass has a deep root system and measures about 0.4-1.2 m.
Japanese blood grass is best grown in flower bed borders, container gardening, and rock gardening. Apart from being used for embellishing the gardens, this grass has numerous other uses.
It is harvested on a large-scale for its usage in roof thatching, bag making, mat weaving, and paper making. As the plant parts possess pharmaceutically important active ingredients, it is commonly used as an effective tonic, astringent, and diuretic medicine. The tender leaves, flowers, and roots are also eaten raw or in the cooked form.
It is best adapted in the USDA hardiness zones 6-9. You will get to enjoy the vibrant red foliage when grown in areas with full sunlight or in partly-shaded areas as well. The soil should be moist and well-drained.
Modes of Propagation
It is propagated by sowing seeds or dividing the rhizomes of mature plants. According to your convenience, you can either purchase the seeds or healthy grass clumps from your nearby nursery center.
After the last frost is over, you can remove the brown and discolored foliage from the plant. Being a hardy plant, there is no specific care for this grass as such. Also, the invasive property of this grass has made it a suitable species for soil conservation.
It is grown as a ground cover in areas that are prone to soil erosion. As expected, it spreads profusely, converting the area into a monoculture farm within a short time.