Grass with White Stripe: An Ornamental Plant Guide

If you’re looking for a visually-striking addition to your garden that’s easy to care for, consider growing grass with white stripes. 

This type of ornamental grass, also known as zebra grass, variegated grass, or silver grass, has been gaining popularity among gardeners due to its unique, attractive appearance and low-maintenance requirements.

What is a Grass with White Stripe?

Grass with White Stripe

Definition and Characteristics

A grass with a white stripe is a type of ornamental grass that features foliage with white stripes or accents mixed in with green foliage. 

This creates a striking contrast that adds visual interest to any garden. The white stripes may run horizontally across the blades of grass, or they may appear in a variegated pattern where white and green stripes are blended together.

Common Types of White-Striped Grass

There are several types of white-striped grass that make great additions to a garden:

  • Miscanthus sinensis: This is a tall, perennial grass with finely-textured blades of grass that can grow up to eight feet tall. Some cultivars of Miscanthus sinensis, such as ‘Variegatus’ and ‘Zebrinus’, feature attractive white stripes or bands on the leaves.
  • Carex: Carex or sedge grass, offers a great alternative to the larger ornamental grasses. They’re smaller in size and feature different textures and colors. Depending on the carex variety that you choose, you’ll enjoy green foliage with white stripes or other variegated patterns
  • Hakonechloa macra: Also known as Hakone grass or Japanese forest grass. It features thin blades of variegated white and green foliage that spread out in a cascading manner. This is a great option for a shaded garden or to bring some light to a shaded area.

Benefits of Growing a White Striped Grass

There are many reasons to consider growing a white-striped grass in your garden:

  • Low maintenance: White-striped grasses are typically easy to care for, requiring minimal maintenance and attention.
  • Visual interest: The striking white stripes or variegated foliage of these grasses provide an eye-catching focal point in your garden.
  • Versatility: White-striped grasses are versatile plants that can be used in a variety of garden designs, from borders to accents to container plantings.
  • Year-round appeal: Depending on the grass variety you choose, white-striped grasses can provide year-round beauty to your garden, with some varieties even featuring attractive blooms in the fall.

How to Grow White-Striped Grass

Planting and Spacing

White-striped grasses usually do best in well-draining soil that’s consistently moist but not waterlogged. 

Most of these grasses will perform best in full sun, but some will tolerate partial shade and may even do better in areas with light shade to prevent the white stripes and variegated patterns from burning in direct sun.

When planting white-striped grass, you’ll want to consider the plant’s spread and give it enough room to grow without encroaching on other plants. 

The ideal spacing for most varieties typically ranges from one to three feet apart.

Watering and Fertilizing

White-striped grasses usually don’t have high fertilizer needs and can thrive with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer applied once or twice a year. 

Be mindful of the fertilizer timing to help ensure healthy growth while minimizing the risks of over-fertilization that could lead to too much green growth and less white.

Watering will depend on several factors, such as your local climate, soil type, and grass variety. 

Consider keeping the soil moist but not over-watered especially as the plants mature as this can help reduce the risk of splitting the rhizomes and therefore damaging the growth and spread of the grass.

Pruning and Maintenance

The maintenance required for white-striped grass is usually minimal. Although it is technically a perennial grass, some varieties may die back in cold weather and can be cut down to ground level. 

Re-emergence of new blades and foliage signals the beginning of a new growth season. Otherwise, trimming may be done yearly to manage the foliage’s size and maintain its aesthetic appeal.

Design Ideas for White-Striped Grass in Your Garden

Using White Striped Grass as an Accent Plant

White-striped grasses offer unique visual interest that can liven up any garden space. For this reason, they make an excellent accent plant where you need a little extra interest in a space or provide a popsicle that ties the colors of your garden or landscape. 

Examples of grasses that can be used as an accent are Phalaris arundinacea ‘ribbon grass’ and Miscanthus sinensis ‘Everest’

Creating a Striking Border with White-Striped Grass

If you’re looking to add structure and a border to your garden, white-striped grass makes a great option. 

Pair the grass with contrasting medium to large plants for a dramatic look that can extend throughout the seasons. 

Use Miscanthus sinensis ‘Variegatus’ or ‘Zebrinus’to add an attention-grabbing border suitable for any outdoor location.

Combining White Striped Grass with Other Ornamental Grasses

Combining different cultivars of white-striped grass with other complementary ornamental grasses can be a great way to create a cohesive garden design. 

The Japanese sedge or if you prefer something taller and more dramatic, choose miscanthus varieties like ‘Silver Feather’,” ‘Yaku Jima’, and the ‘Cabaret’ cultivar.

Care Tips for White-Striped Grass

Dealing with Invasive White-Striped Grass

It’s important to keep in mind that some varieties of grass with white stripes can be invasive and spread vigorously, thus turning into a weed problem. 

These grasses grow through rhizomes that can split over time, rather than producing seeds, increasing the likelihood that the plant will redistribute and take over an area. 

Reed canary grass and variegated ribbon grass are two white-striped grasses notoriously known to become invasive. 

To avoid this problem, be sure to choose a plant variety that is not known for its invasive tendencies.

Caring for White-Striped Grass in Containers

White-striped grasses can perform well in container gardens. Choose a container that is at least 12 inches deep to provide adequate root space and fill that container with a loose, well-draining soil mixture. 

Keep soil moist but not soaking wet and be sure to fertilize annually or as needed. White-striped grasses do not usually require regular pruning and trimming.

Choosing the Right Spot for White Striped Grass to Grow

Site selection for this plant is crucial to ensure it performs well in the spot you’ve selected. Before planting, consider the plant’s hardiness zones and overall needs. 

Most will appreciate full-sun areas, while others prefer partial shade. Position them to complement any other plantings and keep in mind their growth habits when selecting a spot to plant them.


Grass with white stripe, also known as zebra grass or variegated grass, is a great option for gardeners seeking a stunning, low-maintenance ornamental plant. 

With its unique foliage patterns and versatility, white-striped grass can add visual interest to any garden design. 

By following the tips and suggestions in this guide, you can successfully cultivate and care for white-striped grass in your garden and enjoy it for many years to come.

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