Background

Tiger grass (also commonly known by its official name ‘Thysanolaena Maxima’) is a tropical plant from Thailand that looks  similar to bamboo.
Despite their similar appearance, tiger grass is actually a perennial grass and it won’t produce side shoots or runners like bamboo. This makes it much easier to control and prevent the spread across your garden, as tiger grass will remain relatively static throughout its lifetime.

Use in Australia

Despite its origins in tropical Thailand, tiger grass will thrive in almost all areas of Australia, barring Tasmania and any cold mountainous regions that encounter frost.

It will compliment a Balinese or Asian themed garden – offering dense vegetation that is often seen to contrast with wide open spaces.

Tiger Grass: The Perfect Pool Screen

This dense grass is thick with long canes, stunning purple flowers and large leaves that make it ideal for providing privacy in the yard. The canes are very tight clumping and the plants can be placed at widths less than 1m apart and still thrive, making them ideal to place next to one another to act as a screen.

The clumps of the plant will grow up to 3-4 metres in height, so it’s an ideal height for privacy. And if you trim the clump down to ground level during garden work in early spring, by the height of summer they should be back to their best. Great if you’re looking for a striking garden plant with fast-growing capabilities.

Tiger grass will do well in tight areas where there might not be much room – ideal if you’ve limited space to play with next to a garden pool.

Remember when planting that tiger grass grows out into a circular footprint, so you should look to plant them at a similar width from one another as the width of the area you’re planting them in. So, if you’re planting them in a 750mm wide trench on the edge of your pool, each plant should be spaced 750mm apart. This will ensure there are no gaps in your screen.

It’s easy to forget that this plant is also aesthetically beautiful with long draping foliage that looks reminiscent of a jungle canopy. Placed strategically next to an outdoor pool, they can help create the feeling of being in your own Balinese jungle pool hideaway. Who wouldn’t want to step into their garden and mirror the experience of tropical Bali?

Caring for Tiger Grass

This plant is extremely low maintenance and will thrive in most Australian gardens. It likes most soils that are rich in organic matter and should be planted in full or part-shade, as they need regular sunlight.

If you live in a climate that is very dry, then it’s recommended to water them as often as you can – particularly in areas of Australia suffering with heat waves during summer. However, the plant is very hardy and tolerant to drought once established, meaning you’ll rarely need to intervene.

For More Information

Check out our feature in Australian House & Garden for a stunning pool design that makes use of tiger grass for additional garden privacy.

If you’re considering using tiger grass in your next garden landscaping project, get in touch to discuss your project today – we’d love to help!