Plant Encyclopedia

Morning Light Maiden Grass

Miscanthus sinensis

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Morning Light Maiden Grass. Large grass cluster with yellow and green.

Discover More Information On Morning Light Maiden Grass

The award-winning Morning Light maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) makes a remarkable ornamental grass for your landscape. The unique vase-shaped blades stand out in any garden. In a light breeze, you can enjoy the fine-textured foliage gracefully swaying throughout your landscape. These grasses will soften a harsh landscape as they provide a touch of ivory. If you are looking for a stunning ornamental grass for your outdoor spaces, choose the Morning Light maiden grass.

Plant Attributes

There are several varieties of Miscanthus available on the marketplace. However, the Morning Light is a real showstopper. This variety forms an upright mound of green foliage as each leaf is edged in a creamy-white color. It has a sturdy and compact habit that makes it suitable for those smaller gardens. In the late summer to early fall, the Morning Light displays tiny red-colored plumes. However, you might not see these flowers in those cool summer regions. As the foliage changes for autumn, the plumes display spectacular fall colors. The maiden grass will provide a delicate silvery-white hue towards the winter season.

This warm-season grass grows up to three to seven feet tall. It features upward-reaching stems and leaves that give it a fountain-like appearance. The leaves have tapered tips with silver to white midribs. In the autumn, the foliage turns into a beautiful shade of orange to yellow. The red flowers are almost feather-like in loose terminal panicles that can reach to ten inches long. These flowers will bloom from late August through October. As the seeds mature, you will notice the colors change to beige by mid-fall. The panicles and foliage will both retain their shape throughout the winter. During this time, the Morning Light grass offers a great texture to contrast with fresh snow cover.

Landscape Use

This species of maiden grass provides a whiter color than other plants. For that reason, it is an excellent accent for borders and flower beds. You can add this grass as a vertical accent among dark-green, low-growing plants. However, it would look equally at home as a hedge or informal linear cluster.

The Morning Light can adapt to planters as it softens the edges of a square patio. For those with a water garden, this maiden grass provides a perfect wildlife cover or can disguise your water features’ mechanical components. If you are looking for brilliant foliage to stand out, you should consider planting near plants and trees with darker colors.

As you can tell, the Morning Light is an extremely versatile grass. Whether you use it as a hedge or accent plant, you can enjoy its beauty throughout the year.

Planting & Care

The Morning Light thrives in USDA hardiness regions 5 to 9. This ornamental grass can reach a height of four to six feet tall and has a width of three to four feet. It prefers full sun in average draining soils for the best results. However, it can tolerate partial shade, along with heat and humidity. The Morning Light maiden grass is tolerant to dry soils, salt, and droughts. This hardy plant is also resistant to deer and rabbits, and it makes a perfect nesting spot for some varieties of birds.

You will want to divide the clumps before any new growth starts to appear in the spring. Make sure to cut back the grass to four inches in the late winter to early spring. There is one concern for this plant. It can be invasive in some environments. However, most ornamental species are sterile. As a general rule, you should only plant one grass on your property if you use some self-seeding varieties.

Additional Information

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Morning Light Maiden Grass


If you want delicate silver variegated foliage, you should choose the Morning Light maiden grass. This species is known for its rounded upright habit and light plumes of red. In the winter, you can enjoy the straw-beige color that will last throughout the season. When the sun hits the feathery plumes, you will be treated to a brilliant color throughout your landscape.

We have several varieties of ornamental grasses at Arbor Valley Nursery, including the Morning Light maiden grass. If you would like to learn more about these exquisite species, please fill out the contact form.

Plant Features

  • Watering Needs: Average
  • Botanical Pronunciation: Mis-KAN-thus sin-EN-sis
  • Plant type: Ornamental Grass
  • Deciduous/evergreen: Herbaceous
  • Growth rate: Moderate
  • Average landscape size: Forms clumps 5 ft. tall, 3 to 4 ft. wide; plumes reach 6 ft. tall.
  • Special features: Bird Friendly, Dramatic Foliage Color, Easy Care, Waterwise
  • Dramatic Foliage: Color, Easy Care
  • Foliage color: Variegated
  • Blooms: Late Summer
  • Flower color: Red
  • Flower attributes: Fragrant, Showy Flowers
  • Garden style: Contemporary, Rustic
  • Design Ideas: Perfect near water gardens and fountains as wildlife cover, to disguise mechanical pumps or filters and for the illusion of reeds. Also lovely in cobalt-blue, glazed ceramic pots for patio, porch or terrace.
  • Companion Plants: Ninebark (Physocarpus); Juniper (Juniperus); Potentilla (Potentilla); Aster (Aster); Cranesbill (Geranium); Catmint (Nepeta)

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