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The term elephant grass got the grass, as it is one of the favorite grasses of elephants. It also found its way into German gardens and is also occasionally found in nature. The grass thrives best where there is a moist surface. In Africa, the precipitation provided for good growth, while in Germany by vigorous watering must provide sufficient moisture. Nevertheless, the elephant grass is an easy-care plant, which brings some African flair in the cold climes such as Germany.
Sowing and propagation of elephant grass
The Napier grass grows up to three meters high. Depending on which species you want to purchase, it can create powerful plants. The sowing takes place via a distribution of seeds. You can put the seeds directly into the soil or put the seeds in a pot. Spring is ideally suited for both variants. Although the elephant grass can be sown all year round, it grows faster in the spring to small plants. In the period from May to September, the Uganda grass grows best. During this time, delicate yellow flowers that contain the seed form. So you can use the seeds of existing plants for propagation. However, this also spreads through the root system of the elephant grass. Thus, the Napiergras can propagate vegetatively. You can also use hardened cuttings and multiply the Napiergras in this way.
Plant elephant grass
Since the plants grow up to a height of three meters, they need a lot of space. So it happens that the individual plants should be planted at a distance of 90 to 150 cm. An advantage is that the elephant grass grows relatively slowly until it reaches the height. The look is gorgeous. The green stems have slightly darker leaves that are arranged to change. From May to September, yellow flowers can be seen on the panicles. If you have planted the elephant grass in a pot, you can put the growing plants well into the open. However, you should keep in mind that the grass is of African origin and does not tolerate frost. For successful wintering Napiergras should be placed in closed rooms and protected from frost.
If you keep the grass in a pot, it is advisable to use a larger pot every year. The best time to repot plants is spring.
Care of elephant grass
The Uganda grass is very easy to care for and does not require much care. Every now and then some water and maybe some fertilizer - the plant is already satisfied. Even a short drought can not harm the plant. So if you go on vacation, give the plant some water and it will not be damaged until you return. If you water too much, the plant will not handle it and will die. Floods and waterlogging are pure poison for the Napiergras. But if you still complain a little sun, she thanks you with a beautiful beauty. However, as soon as the temperature drops to the freezing level, the plant should be brought to the winter garden or to the house.
Location of elephant grass
- To prevent waterlogging, the elephant grass needs a loose and well-drained soil.
- A gravel-clay mixture is perfectly adequate for the plant.
- Add some compost as a nutrient and the elephant grass will grow optimally.
- For all those who value optimum quality, the soil pH should be between 5.2 and 8.7.
- The grass also loves it when the location is bright. Sun does not necessarily have to be, but it can not hurt.
Avoid waterlogging when watering the grass. In the pot, you can avoid the waterlogging with potsherds that you lay out at the bottom of the pot. In the garden area, the soil should be sufficiently permeable. About some food is also the elephant grass. However, if you use the elephant grass as food for other animals, you should avoid chemical fertilizers and use a natural fertilizer such as nettle gruel or compost. In the growth phase from May to September may be fertilized once a month.
Cut elephant grass and overwinter
- As soon as the frost announces, the plant should be moved to a warmer room.
- For this it is usually necessary to cut the grass. You can cut the grass down to less than a meter.
- Brown spots should also be cut off regularly.
- Protect the elephant grass from frost. Before it gets colder, give the plant a warm home.
- The dry heating air should be avoided by regular spraying with water.
Diseases and pests
The grass is well prepared against pests. However, what can harm the grass is waterlogging and rot. Always keep in mind that too much water can damage the plant when watering. For all other pests the habitat elephant grass is limited in time. As soon as a pest wants to lay eggs in the plant, it excretes a viscous mucus, which kills the pests.