The Q&A Archives: Miscanthus Sinensis Turning Brown

Question: I bought the grass about one month ago, brought it home and promptly planted it as directed. I had prepared the soil by testing it, adding peat moss, and adjusting the pH. Since planting, I have watered and fertilized as specified. A subsequent soil test has revealed no discrepancy. Yet the blades are slowly turning brown, and I fear that the plant itself will die in a few weeks. From this limited description, can you prescribe any fix? I sure would appreciate it...Bruce

Answer: Miscanthus prefers a moist soil during the growing season, so it is possible that the dry weather combined with transplanting has caused some root stress. Make sure that you are watering enough to saturate the entire root ball, since some potting mixes dry out quickly and once dry really repel water. (This is also true of peat moss.) The goal of watering is to keep the soil moist yet not sopping wet, so it is also conceivable you have been overwatering the plant. This could also cause browning. Finally, overfertilizing can cause browning, as could fertilizing when the soil is dry or applying a foliar feed in extreme heat. If you can keep the soil moist and be patient, the plant is likely to settle in thrive for you. You might also consult with the nursery where you purchased the plant if the problem continues.

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