Sitka Gear
Miscanthus X Giganteus Rhizomes
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
TROP 10-Aug-20
krieger 10-Aug-20
Todd Harrison 10-Aug-20
CAS_HNTR 10-Aug-20
Turtlebuc22 10-Aug-20
MDcrazyman 15-Aug-20
t-roy 15-Aug-20
RIT 15-Aug-20
t-roy 15-Aug-20
BullBuster 16-Aug-20
Big Snowman 19-Aug-20
Thump 08-Mar-21
Pat Lefemine 23-Mar-24
t-roy 23-Mar-24
BullBuster 24-Mar-24
gjs4 25-Mar-24
t-roy 25-Mar-24
gjs4 26-Mar-24
Pat Lefemine 26-Mar-24
gjs4 26-Mar-24
t-roy 26-Mar-24
gjs4 27-Mar-24
gjs4 27-Mar-24
Mark Watkins 29-Mar-24
t-roy 29-Mar-24
Pat Lefemine 29-Mar-24
HunterR 31-Mar-24
t-roy 31-Mar-24
HunterR 01-Apr-24
From: TROP
10-Aug-20
What is the difference between the reeds (phragmite) that grow all over the swamps of New Jersey and Miscanthus X Giganteus Rhizomes. The plant looks the same & so do the roots. Reeds also get very tall and grow very dense. Any thoughts or help on this would be great. I emailed this question to a few companies that sell Miscanthus X Giganteus Rhizomes and never got a straight answer. They were very short on there answers, like I was bothering them. Anyway thanks for your help TROP

From: krieger
10-Aug-20
Phragmites, I don't know much about it, but have seen it from Buffalo NY to Rockford IL, along the interstate. Looks to be great cover, although I don't see much roadkill where it is thick..

I have some Miscanthus G, planted it 3 years ago. Learned a couple things, it doesn't like to be too wet and it can't take any root competition at all. Native grasses will smother it out in a season or two. Mine is 9' tall now, but not increasing in width as fast as I would like it. If you want it for a screen, you have to plant 4 rhizomes wide. 4' total, IME.

I'm thinking switchgrass and eastern red cedars will be my route from here on out.

10-Aug-20
Phragmites are horribly invasive and you do not want them. Lots of mines around me planted them years ago to clear bonds showing that the ground will allow growth - they will grow on anything.

Miscanthus is sterile and not invasive

From: CAS_HNTR
10-Aug-20
I have a bunch of mischanthus planted as screens. It's does a great job and is not an aggressive spreader by any means. Does grow 10+ ft tall as advertised.

I have killed it areas I no longer wanted it with gly. No real issues that I have seen for being afraid of it.

Note that I am in Ohio so it goes dormant/dies back in winter. Not sure how it would react in different climates.

From: Turtlebuc22
10-Aug-20
Yes, as Todd mentioned avoid Phragmites at all costs. They are listed invasive in most (if not all) states and are crazy aggressive (the stuff in the medians is actually ruining roads with their rhizomes). You might consider reaching out to your local Master Gardener/University Extension office- often they have detailed information about each.

From: MDcrazyman
15-Aug-20
I started my miscanthous journey this year as a screen from my road and neighbor, it is super finicky to start and i had about 30 percent not make it, had extra so put it in. It does stay good in the bags for quite awhile. Grows pretty fast but does seem very sensitive. I hope it takes less maintenance after the first year cause it has been a pain in the ass.

From: t-roy
15-Aug-20

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
I did a thread on here on planting my miscanthus a couple years back. (miscanthus screen planting) I have one stretch of screening that has turned out great, and several others that were either total disasters or marginally successful, due to several factors. Weather, weed pressure, etc. If I had to do it over again, I doubt I’d do it again. Like MDcrazyman said, it’s a PITA. I’m in the process of prepping the perimeter of one of my plots to frost seed switchgrass this winter. Miscanthus would be a better choice for a screen, where a lot of height is needed, but on this plot, the switch will be plenty tall enough, and hopefully WAY easier to get established.

From: RIT
15-Aug-20
Use Kanlow switchgrass if you want robust tall switch. I have 3rd Kanlow that is pushing 8’ tall. I planted 9 acres of switch with a mix of of Cave-in-rock and Kanlow. I mixed it 4 parts CIR to 1 part Kanlow. If I had to do it over I would either use all Kanlow or a small percentage of CIR

From: t-roy
15-Aug-20
RIT.....The switch I bought was from Realworld (I’ve got a buddy that sells their products) It’s not the “bedding in a bag” It’s straight switch. Says in their description, that it’s the best!! Says that it’s better than Cave-in-rock, so it could very well be the Kanlow. No indication on the seed tag (must be proprietary!)

From: BullBuster
16-Aug-20
I too have had a tough go with MG. Finicky and doesn’t like competition. Needs full sun. Put some around my tower blind and did poorly from partial shade.

19-Aug-20
I planted MG about 7 years ago and am not impressed. The bottom leaves have fallen already like corn does at this time of year. I would go with switch Kanlow instead for a good screen p. If you go the MG route make sure you plant a lot of them to make that screen work.

From: Thump
08-Mar-21
The common differences between the two are that Phragmite grows in wet areas, typically areas that are covered most of the season with water such as swamps. Phragmite is very invasive in wet areas but does not seem to do well in dry areas. As far as for bedding, generally they offer good cover but deer don't want to lay down in wet areas for long unless heavily pressured during gun season. Deer will use them for a quick escape. Miscanthus is grown in full to partial sun and avg. to dry soils. Mischanthus generally does not like wet feet (don't plant in wet or mostly shaded areas). Miscanthus is a clump forming grass and generally in most colder climates it is not invasive. Miscanthus is ground hardy to about -15 to -20 degrees. I have seen them die off in NY in prolonged cold periods without snow cover. Best to mulch them in the first season to retain moisture and for winter protection. This will help survival rate. Watering them a few times until rooted in and through drought the first season will be needed but only through the first summer. Once established these will not need to be watered at all. These plants generally do not do much the first season as far as spreading is concerned but by the 3rd or 4th season they will clump out to around 4' so space them out especially if you are planting multiple rows of them as a screen and allow time to grow in. It maybe a good idea to plant10-12 feet behind some Egyptian Wheat the first season or 2 and then just go with the Miscanthus as it will come back year after year at no additional cost. Once you have it you do not have to purchase it as you can dig up and divide the clumps you have in the spring time if you want or need more plants. The switch grass is a better choice for bedding areas as it is more accessible than Miscanthus but the Miscanthus will make an excellent entry/exit screen for sure. It will also screen out a nearby road, trail or neighbors sight line into your food plots. I believe a single row planted 3-4' on center will grow thick enough to act as any type of screen. Don't plant too many rows for a screen or deer will bed up against it and you will blow them out on your way in or out. Good thing about it is deer will not eat the Miscanthus as they will do with many plot screens that use sorghum, sunflowers or other edible plant seeds. Good luck if you choose to use it as a screen.

From: Pat Lefemine
23-Mar-24
I'm planting MG this year. I just did the calculations and if I do everything I want to do for screening and access, I need about 5000 rhizomes or about 3k worth. It damn better work!

From: t-roy
23-Mar-24
I’d like to absolve myself from any blame just on the off chance that it turns out to be an abysmal failure. Just remember…..it’s all about the journey.

From: BullBuster
24-Mar-24
Planting 5000 rhizomes is an insane amount of work!

From: gjs4
25-Mar-24
The two look similar but grow in different conditions. Phragmitis spreads...MG does not at a rate you'd ever notice.

Was part of a 10k rhizome plant last year. Tree planter failed....ditch witch was the ticket. Small scale stuff i use a dibble bar.

From: t-roy
25-Mar-24
gjs4…..how did the dibble bar work for you? I would assume planting would work much better in moist vs dry?

From: gjs4
26-Mar-24
I have used in in moist motosoil clay to sandy areas...and id say great. One at a time process, and it kept me consistent with good cover. Lighter soils NY were dry, like a sandy loam and in OH were a sandy clay (hard, not moist....that red clay you see throughout the SE).

Where we used the trencher was in NY and varied for moisture. Biggest negative there was they were in a tote. Some were crazy long (a few close to a foot) rhizomes and intertangled....just a mess. Our young helpers werent taking things too seriously.

Planted a bunch last year....all were subject to drought or borderline (drought) conditions. It will be interesting to see what they look like this year.

From: Pat Lefemine
26-Mar-24
If the Rhizome is long, like a foot like you mentioned, can it be subdivided? Say in 4, 3” pieces?

From: gjs4
26-Mar-24
Hey Pat.

I dont know. I have broken a bunch down but at separate "nodule" sections. You will see a waist or neck down. Some of these big ones are the same size the entire length. I actually had a few RWS ones like that tonight

From: t-roy
26-Mar-24
From what I’ve read, as long as there is an axillary bud on the section, there is a high probability that it will sprout. Says it’s best to use a sharp knife to split, instead of simply snapping them apart.

From: gjs4
27-Mar-24
I have bought from 3 places now. I think Maple River have been my favorite, though RWS has the most for your money and if you can knife the down thats exponentially greater. The stuff i have from them is only a year old so i cannot comment on how good it is grown.

From: gjs4
27-Mar-24
.

From: Mark Watkins
29-Mar-24
Thanks for the MG update here.

Do you have a couple Boy Scout troops coming in to help out with your planting this spring Pat?

Mark

From: t-roy
29-Mar-24
I’m thinking it’s Amish kids, Mark ;-)

From: Pat Lefemine
29-Mar-24
You guys are funny.

From: HunterR
31-Mar-24
I've had good luck with miscanthus x giganteus, have planted it a few years in a row for screening in a few different spots, probably a total of 350 yards. Every length of screening had 2 rows planted about 2 feet apart and rhizomes were also spaced 2 feet apart in the rows. By year 3 most of it was 10-12 feet tall, I'd say 90% of what was planted grew which I thought seemed good. A little fertilizer a short while after planting and a couple shots of 24D both the 1st and 2nd year and other than that it has been maintenance free. All my rhizomes have come from Maple River Farms, great people to deal with and they sell a great product.

From: t-roy
31-Mar-24
HunterR……if you were to do it over again, would you add an additional row, or do you feel your screeching is sufficient enough to suit your needs?

From: HunterR
01-Apr-24
t-roy, if I were to do it over again I would not add a 3rd row. While my 24 inch spacing was a bit more than the seller recommends (they recommend 18") and although I did have some gaps between the grasses due to the spacing and the small amount of rhizomes that did not take, by the 3rd or 4th year the miscanthus had widened enough to fill in those gaps. During the 1st and 2nd years prior to that widening there were moments where I thought maybe I should have planted a 3rd row.

If not this year then next year at the latest I have some different areas where I'll be planting either kanlow or cave-in-rock or a mix of the 2, so this thread has been helpful to me.

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