Basket grass Oplismenus hirtellus 'Variegatus' (v)
Basket Grass 'Variegatus', commonly known as variegated basket grass, is a visually striking ornamental plant. It is characterized by its distinctive foliage which marks its primary appeal. The leaves of this variation possess a charming variegation pattern that includes various shades of green combined with creamy white or yellow stripes. This variegation is irregular and can create a mottled or striped appearance, imbuing each leaf with a unique pattern. The leaves themselves are elongated and arching, providing a texture that is both lush and soft to the touch. They taper to a point, and their edges are slightly wavy or rippled, adding to the overall aesthetic appeal. This variegated foliage lends a bright and lively appearance to the plant, making it a popular choice for adding a splash of color and interest to shaded garden spots or indoor spaces. Overall, the variegated basket grass stands out with its colorful leaves, undulating texture, and vibrant patterns, which create a lush understory or groundcover look, perfect for ornamental purposes in garden beds or containers.
About this plant
Variegated Basket Grass, Variegated Wavewing, Painted Signalgrass, Variegated Woodsgrass.
Oplismenus hirtellus subsp. hirtellus, Panicum variegatum, Oplismenus undulatifolius.
Basket grass is not widely known to be toxic to humans. There is limited information on severe poisoning or toxic effects from ingesting this plant. However, as with any plant, individual allergic reactions or sensitivities are possible, and it's generally advised not to consume plants that are not explicitly meant for human consumption.
Basket grass is not commonly listed as a toxic plant for pets either. However, similar to humans, pets can have individual allergies or sensitivities, and ingestion of non-food plants can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal upset or other issues. Always monitor your pets around plants and consult a veterinarian if you suspect your pet is having a reaction to a plant.
Color of leaves
6 inches (15 cm)
12 inches (30 cm)
- General Benefits
- Low Maintenance: The Basket Grass is relatively easy to care for, requiring minimal maintenance once established.
- Ornamental Appeal: With its variegated foliage, it adds visual interest and texture to gardens and landscapes.
- Ground Cover: It serves as an effective ground cover, helping to suppress weeds and prevent soil erosion.
- Shade Tolerance: Basket Grass is tolerant of lower light conditions, making it suitable for shaded or partially shaded areas.
- Drought Resistance: It has some degree of drought tolerance, reducing the need for frequent watering.
- Soil Versatility: It can adapt to a range of soil types, though it prefers moist, well-draining soil.
- Fast Growing: Basket Grass spreads quickly, which can be beneficial for covering bare spots in a relatively short period.
- Wildlife Habitat: It can provide shelter for small wildlife and insects, contributing to biodiversity.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Craft Projects: Basket Grass, due to its variegated leaves, can be incorporated in floral arrangements and wreaths for decorative purposes.
- Educational Use: This species can be used in educational settings to teach about variegation and plant leaf patterns to students.
- Erosion Control: Basket Grass can be used in landscape settings to help stabilize soil and prevent erosion due to its mat-forming growth habit.
- Garden Borders: Its compact and ornamental foliage makes it suitable for use as a natural border in garden designs.
- Terrariums: Due to its small size and lower light requirements, Basket Grass can be grown in terrariums as a ground cover.
- Photography Backdrop: The attractive foliage of Basket Grass can serve as a green backdrop in macro photography.
- Fairy Gardens: Because of its miniature and delicate appearance, it is a popular choice for fairy and miniature gardens.
- Ground Cover in Shade Gardens: It can be used to cover bare soil in shaded garden areas where other plants might struggle to grow.
- Living Mulch: Basket Grass can serve as living mulch under taller plants by retaining soil moisture and suppressing weed growth.
- Animal Habitat: The ground cover it provides can serve as a habitat for small creatures like insects and frogs.
- Feng Shui
The Basket Grass is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Basket Grass is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Beauty in Diversity: The variegated leaves of 'Variegatus,' a type of Basket Grass, symbolize the beauty that comes from diversity, with its unique patterns representing individuality and the celebration of differences.
- Adaptability: Basket Grass's ability to thrive in a variety of conditions speaks to its symbolic meaning of adaptability and resilience, making the most of the environment it grows in.
- Growth and Expansion: Just as Basket Grass spreads across the ground, it symbolizes growth and expansion in our lives, encouraging a reach for new opportunities and experiences.
- Grounding: As a grass that grows close to the earth, Basket Grass symbolizes grounding, reminding us to stay connected to the physical world and the present moment.
For the Basket Grass, water thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, ensuring that the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Typically, this means watering approximately once a week, but this can vary depending on environmental factors like light and temperature. Use about half a gallon of water per watering session to sufficiently hydrate the roots without causing standing water. During the winter months, reduce watering to every other week as the plant's growth slows down and it requires less moisture.
Basket Grass thrives best in bright indirect light, making it suitable for a spot that's shielded from direct sun exposure, such as behind a sheer curtain or in a room with plenty of natural light. It can also adapt to lower light conditions but might not grow as vigorously. Avoid direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves and damage the variegation.
Basket Grass prefers a warm and stable temperature between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth. The plant can survive minimum temperatures of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit but should never be exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, as cold drafts and sudden temperature drops can harm it. Maintain a consistent temperature to keep your Basket Grass healthy.
Basket Grass may require pruning to maintain its shape, remove any brown or damaged leaves, and encourage new growth. The best time to prune is in the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. Pruning can be done every few months or as needed to keep the plant looking tidy. Always use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts without damaging the plant.
Basket Grass prefers a well-draining, rich, and loose soil mix consisting of peat, pine bark, and coarse sand or perlite. The pH for optimal growth should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 5.5 to 7.0.
Basket Grass should be repotted every 2 to 3 years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth. Spring or early summer is the ideal time for repotting.
- Humidity & Misting
Basket Grass thrives in high humidity levels, ideally between 50% to 70%. It benefits from regular misting or placement on a humidity tray.
- Suitable locations
Place in bright, indirect light and maintain high humidity.
Part shade to full shade; protect from direct sunlight and frost.
- Life cycle
Basket grass (Oplismenus hirtellus 'Variegatus') begins its life cycle with seed germination, where the seeds require warm, moist soil conditions to sprout. The seedlings then grow into juvenile plants, which are characterized by their variegated leaves that have green and white stripes. As the plants mature, they form a low-growing, spreading mat through both rhizomes and stolons, making them effective ground covers. They then reach reproductive maturity and produce small, inconspicuous flowers, which, if pollinated, will produce seeds to complete the life cycle. Throughout their life, they may also propagate vegetatively, by segments of the plant taking root and forming new individuals. This perennial continues to grow and can spread over time, maintaining its life cycle over multiple years unless limited by harsh weather or poor growing conditions.
Propogation: The Basket Grass, known by its botanical name as Oplismenus hirtellus 'Variegatus', is commonly propagated through division, which can be done in the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. The most popular way to propagate the Basket Grass is by taking divisions from an established mother plant. To propagate by division, gently lift the parent plant out of the ground or its container. Shake or wash off the soil carefully so you can see the natural divisions in the root system. Each division should have its own roots and several shoots to ensure a good start. Replant the divisions at the same depth they were growing previously, spacing them about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) apart to give them room to spread. Water the new divisions well and keep the soil consistently moist until they are established.