For avid gardeners and landscapers, Grass trees are very desirable additions. They are elegant feature plants that are well-suited to both wild and formal gardens and don’t require special care and maintenance. What’s more, they can be easily grown from seed.
While they are slow-growing, choosing a local species that’s best-suited to the regional climate will ensure greater success with cultivating a beautiful dense crown of grassy leaves that will become a showpiece in your garden.
You can purchase Grass tree seeds or harvest them from a matured plant to get started with sowing. The seeds can be planted any time of the year although spring and autumn are the preferred months when the temperatures are less extreme for germination. It’s possible that not every seed will germinate, so it’s best to plant several at a time.
Take a seed tray or container and fill it with potting mix and sand for improved drainage. Moisten the mix and then place the seeds on the surface before covering them with a layer of soil. Apply a fine mist spray of water and cover the tray or container with a plastic lid to keep the moisture level constant.
For best germination results, keep the covered Grass tree seeds in a warm area (between 18–22°C) and whenever the moisture seems to be drying out, apply another gentle spray of water. Germination typically occurs from 4 to 6 weeks; however, in some species, it can take as long as 52 weeks.
Leave the seedlings to grow until they start touching the ceiling of the container lid. When the baby Grass trees are ready to be moved, gently take them out while keeping the young root intact. Each seedling will need its own separate pot filled with well-drained potting mix. Leave them in the pot for about a year in a semi-shaded area and apply the misty spray of water regularly to ensure the soil doesn’t dry out.
When you start noticing the Grass tree roots protruding from the bottom of the pot, you’ll need to slide the seedling out to keep checking when the root ball is well-developed. Once the root ball has grown, it’s time to plant it into the garden. Early spring or autumn is the ideal season to move the Grass trees outside. Because the Xanthorrhoea species don’t like being transplanted, you should only plant them in the ground once when they’re young and not move them around the garden later on. So, find a permanent position that gets full and has good drainage.
The plants will be small and barely noticeable in their first few years. It may be a long journey to watch your Grass trees grow but it is an exciting one. Continue to water weekly until they become established, after which they’ll only need water on very hot days. After some time, you’ll see the tuft of leaves grow in size, which eventually turns into large leafy crowns. When the Grass tree matures, a giant spike develops becoming a striking focal point in your garden.