What Is Stipa Grass: Learn About Mexican Feather Grass Care

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

What is stipa grass? Native to Mexico and the southwestern United States, stipa grass is a type of bunch grass that displays feathery fountains of silvery-green, fine-textured grass throughout spring and summer, fading to an attractive buff color in the winter. Silvery panicles rise above the grass in summer and early autumn.

Stipa grass is also known as nassella, stipa feather grass, Mexican feather grass, or Texas needle grass. Botanically, stipa feather grass is referred to as Nassella tenuissima, formerly Stipa tenuissima. Interested in learning how to grow Mexican feather grass? Read on to learn more.

Growing Stipa Grass Plants

Stipa feather grass is suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 11. Purchase this perennial plant at a garden center or nursery, or propagate a new plant by dividing existing mature plants.

Plant stipa grass in full sun in most regions, or in partial shade in hot desert climates. While the plant prefers moderately soil, it is adaptable to nearly any type of well-drained soil, including sand or clay.

Stipa Mexican Feather Grass Care

Once established, stipa feather grass is extremely drought tolerant and thrives with very little supplemental moisture. However, a deep watering once or twice monthly is a good idea during the summer.

Cut down old foliage in early spring. Divide the plant any time when it looks tired and overgrown.

Stipa feather grass is generally disease-resistant, but it may develop moisture-related diseases such as smut or rust in poorly drained soil.

Is Stipa Feather Grass Invasive?

Stipa feather grass self-seeds readily and is considered to be a noxious weed in certain areas, including Southern California. Check with your local cooperative extension office in your area before planting.

Removing seed heads regularly during summer and early fall to prevent rampant self-seeding.

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