Golden Japanese Forest Grass – How To Grow Japanese Forest Grass Plant
Japanese forest grass is one of the most popular companion plants for your garden. You will get many benefits from growing it with your other companion plants such as: increased soil fertility, drought tolerance, pest control, disease resistance and much more. It is very easy to grow and requires little care. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind when growing japanese forest grass plant.
Japonica species are native to Japan and they have been cultivated for centuries. They were first introduced into Europe during the Edo period (1603–1868). Since then, they have become a common companion plant in gardens throughout the world. There are two kinds of japonica plants: Japanese and Chinese.
Both types produce flowers but their colors vary greatly depending on which type of japonica is used.
The Japanese variety produces white or pink flowers while the Chinese variety produces yellow or red flowers. These varieties are commonly known as “golden” and “silver” japonicas. The best way to tell them apart is by looking at the flower petals. If the petal color is silver, then it means that the plant belongs to the Chinese group while if it’s golden, then it belongs to the Japanese group.
Why you should grow a japanese forest grass with your other plants
The dense thatch of the japonica plant helps keep out most weeds. In fact, it’s so effective that you can get away without using any mulch in your garden beds. It’s an excellent ground cover plant which is very low-maintenance. Not only does it help to suppress weeds, but also it keeps the soil cool by reducing evaporation.
In arid zones, the japonica plant is able to reduce water loss by up to 65%.
Providing habitat for other plants and animals
The flowers of japonica are attractive to many types of insects which in turn provide a valuable food source for birds and other wildlife. It’s been found that bees are particularly attracted to japonais forest grass and so are butterflies. If you want to grow a companion plant that will provide food for wildlife, then this is it!
Keeping moisture in the soil
The leaves of the japonica plant help to keep moisture in the soil. This makes it an excellent choice for companion planting in dry conditions or periods of time. It also helps to prevent soil erosion. There are few things more unattractive than a field full of mud.
It’s unsightly and it can ruin your property. If you’re a gardener in an arid climate, you can rest easy knowing that the dense mat of foliage of the japonica plant will help to prevent mud from forming.
Japonica plants play a role in nutrient cycling. As they grow, they slowly release nutrients back into the soil which helps other plants to grow. It also means that you don’t have to use as many chemical fertilizers. If you’re an organic gardener, this is great news.
It’s much better for the environment and it keeps more money in your pocket.
Food for animals
The flowers of the japonica plant are a good source of nutrients for bees. If you want to encourage bees into your garden, then this is an excellent companion plant to use. It was traditionally used in European beekeeping because it helps to produce more honey. As if that isn’t enough reason to love this plant, it also happens to be edible!
The flowers can be eaten raw or they can be used as a flavoring in soups and stews.
Easy to propagate
It’s easy to grow from seed which makes it very convenient if you want to quickly increase the amount of japonica growing in your garden. The seeds need to be kept moist for around 48 hours before planting. You can then plant them about an inch deep and keep the soil moist but not soggy.
The seeds are generally distributed by wind. It’s rare for birds to eat them because of the hairy coating but they do provide food for small mammals and some insects. Japonica forest grass is also commonly found growing in the wild so if you want to grow this plant organically, you can collect the seeds off the plants in your own local area.
Can be invasive
This is more of a caution rather than a benefit but some varieties of japonica plant are considered to be invasive. You need to be careful which variety you choose to plant. The highly invasive types can take over an area with other plants struggling to grow in their shade. They also produce a lot of seeds which are spread by the wind so can quickly take over areas which are adjacent to your own garden if you’re not careful.
It’s better to stick to the less invasive varieties if you want to avoid taking over your neighbors lawn!
The most common variety grown in North America is called ‘fuller’s teasel’. It can be grown in damp or wet soil which makes it suitable for areas of pasture. It’s also used as a natural fertilizer and even as an animal repellent! If you have any problems with rabbits or other pests, then growing fuller’s teasel can help to keep them away.
Another popular variety is ‘Japanese needles’. It has smaller flowers than the fuller’s teasel but it’s just as hardy and grows in a similar way.
How to plant
If you want to start your own japonica plants from seed, you need to know when to plant them out in the spring. Unlike some plants which are best planted in the spring, it’s better to wait until the summer. This is because japonica plants tend to go dormant in the spring so will be less likely to grow if you plant them out too early.
You should wait until early to mid-June before planting them out into your garden. They can be planted either directly into the ground or into pots or trays. When planting out into the ground, you’ll need to dig a hole deep and wide enough to accommodate the roots of the plant. If you’re planting in a pot or tray, make sure you add plenty of compost or well-rotted manure.
After making the hole or placing your japonica plant into it, fill the hole or container up with soil and firm it down gently but firmly. Water the soil until it is evenly moist but not soggy.
Sources & references used in this article:
Nonnative invasive plants of southern forests: a field guide for identification and control by JH Miller – 2003 – books.google.com
Plant life forms and their carbon, water and nutrient relations by ED Schulze – Physiological plant ecology II, 1982 – Springer
Consumers’ attitudes towards edible wild plants: a case study of Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan by B Chen, Z Qiu – International Journal of Forestry Research, 2012 – hindawi.com
A quantitative analysis of plant form-the pipe model theory: I. Basic analyses by K Shinozaki, K Yoda, K Hozumi, T Kira – Japanese Journal of …, 1964 – jstage.jst.go.jp
Dictionary of cultivated plants and their regions of diversity: excluding most ornamentals, forest trees and lower plants by AC Zeven, JMJ De Wet – 1982 – library.wur.nl