The Korean Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis Brachytricha) Care Guide


The Korean Feather Reed Grass, otherwise known as the Calamagrostis Brachytricha or Reed Grass, Foxtail Grass, Feather Reed Grass, Korean Feather Reed Grass, calamagrostis arundinacea var. brachytricha, is a rather well known ornamental grass plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this ornamental grass will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Korean Feather Reed Grass Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Korean Feather Reed Grass can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Korean Feather Reed Grass grows best with regular watering to keep the soil moist during the dry season. Reduce watering once the plant is established.
  • Light: Keep your Calamagrostis Brachytricha in an environment where it can receive partial shade to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Korean Feather Reed Grass in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Korean Feather Reed Grass this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.

Calamagrostis brachytricha spike

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Korean Feather Reed Grass belongs to the Poaceae family, the genus Calamagrostis and the species Brachytricha, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Calamagrostis Brachytricha (kal-a-ma-GROS-tis bra-KE-tri-ca).

As with other Calamagrostis’s, the Korean Feather Reed Grass is a herbaceous plant, which means it will die back to the ground every year. 

Growing Region

The Korean Feather Reed GrassCentral and Eastern Asia.

Knowing your plant’s native region is very useful, as it can give you tips on which environment is best for your Korean Feather Reed Grass. If you keep it in mind, you can try to replicate these conditions at home, and you’ll likely end with a healthier plant.

With this in mind, the Calamagrostis Brachytricha will be most used to the heat zones in the 5 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a and the ideal climate zone is between 2B, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Korean Feather Reed Grass is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But, what size of Korean Feather Reed Grass are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…

The Calamagrostis Brachytricha can grow up to 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) in 3′ – 4′ (90cm – 120cm) and 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm) in 2′ – 3′ (60cm – 90cm). 

These dimensions make the Korean Feather Reed Grass a relatively medium ornamental grass compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful mounding, and spreading shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 24″ – 36″ (60cm – 90cm) free so the Korean Feather Reed Grass can spread to its best extent.

Water

In terms of watering, the Korean Feather Reed Grass is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Calamagrostis Brachytricha grows best with regular watering to keep the soil moist during the dry season. Reduce watering once the plant is established.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Calamagrostis brachytricha branchy

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Korean Feather Reed Grass in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has occasionally wet properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Korean Feather Reed Grass then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Korean Feather Reed Grass needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Korean Feather Reed Grass prefers to have soil with occasionally wet properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Korean Feather Reed Grass requires soil with clay, high organic matter, and loam (silt), which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Korean Feather Reed Grass requires partial shade to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this ornamental grass will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Calamagrostis Brachytricha in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being a herbaceous plant, the Korean Feather Reed Grass will die back to the ground every year. 

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), the fall, and during the winter.

Flowers

You can expect your Korean Feather Reed Grass to flower around the fall and in the winter months from October to December (fall) and from January to March (winter).

The Korean Feather Reed Grass produces some beautiful pink, or pink, cream/tan and purple/lavender flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the Korean Feather Reed Grass have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

You can expect the leaves from your Calamagrostis Brachytricha to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

Calamagrostis brachytricha care

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Korean Feather Reed Grass is well known for being able to attract birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for clay soil, and animals like rabbit and deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Calamagrostis Brachytricha will be fine.

Garden

Does your Korean Feather Reed Grass have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Calamagrostis Brachytricha owners agree that this ornamental grass will look great in most contemporary, asian/zen and rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, and in prairie and meadow styles. 

In particular, the Korean Feather Reed Grass’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, banks and slopes, and in ponds and streams, others use it for landscaping in a wildlife garden, water garden, urban garden, mass planting, erosion control, cutting garden, border, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Korean Feather Reed Grass’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Physocarpus, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Potentilla will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Korean Feather Reed Grass to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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