Bunny tails ornamental grass

Bunny Grass Plant Info: How To Grow Bunny Tail Grasses

& Anne Baley

If you’re looking for an ornamental edging plant for your annual flower beds, take a look at bunny tail grass (Lagurus ovatus). Bunny grass is an ornamental annual grass. It has spiky inflorescences reminiscent of the furry cotton tails of rabbits. This Mediterranean native is also called hare’s tail grass or rabbit’s tail grass. Growing ornamental bunny tail grass from seed is easy, but you may also purchase starts for quicker foliage and blooms. Learn how to grow bunny tail grass and add a little whimsy to containers, borders and annual gardens.

Bunny Grass Plant Info

Bunny grass is a small clumping grass with soft ivory to white oval flowers. They have a soft touchable texture that is irresistible to both little and big hands. The blades are a soft green color and 1 to 2 feet long. Unlike many ornamental grasses, hare’s tail grass has thin bendable foliage.

Bunny tail grass is a novice gardener’s dream because it’s so forgiving, and bunny grass plant info wouldn’t be complete without noting its drought tolerance. It will thrive in the sandy soil that so many southern gardeners have to contend with, as well as any other well-drained type of soil. It loves lots of summer sun and deals with drought well, so it won’t wilt if you forget to water it every day.

The plant is perfect for xeriscapes, arid gardens and neglected areas. The flowers are a cheerful addition to any annual garden for their texture and interest, and they can be dried for use in everlasting bouquets and craft projects.

How to Grow Bunny Tail Grasses

Ornamental bunny tail grass can be grown in most USDA zones in the United States, but it does best in the southern states in zones 8-11. This is a warm season grass but performs well in summer in cooler zones. The plant sprouts readily from seed and baby grasses can be thinned to give the stronger plants room to grow.

Sow seeds in full sun for best vigor, but established plants can grow well in partial shade too. The plant favors sandy soil but will also thrive in loam. Grow patches of bunny tail grass by loosening the soil and digging in a layer of compost to help with drainage. If your soil includes a lot of clay, consider mixing in some sand.

Rake the top of the bed smooth and sprinkle the seeds on top. Cover the seeds with a sprinkling of soil and press the soil down with your hands.

You can also grow them inside in flats and then transplant them when the seedlings have formed a clump. Space the plants 12 inches apart for a sea of waving soft puffy flowers.

In addition to sowing by seed, bunny tail grass can also be propagated by division. Dig up the plant in late winter to very early spring. Cut the root ball in half, ensuring that the plant has several healthy blades. Replant the new grasses and keep them well moistened until they mature.

Bunny Tail Grass Care

Follow good bunny tail grass care once plants are mature. This plant is not fussy about much, but it does require moderate to bright light and well-drained soil.

Water deeply and then allow the soil around the plant to dry out before further irrigation. This grass doesn’t like to have wet feet and the roots may rot if they are kept constantly wet. Bunny tail grass has few pest issues and is really only bothered by mildew diseases and moist conditions.

The plant does tend to self seed and should have the inflorescences removed before they ripen. The creamy puffs add drama and softness to nearly any everlasting bouquet. Comb out dead and dying blades with your fingers to preserve the best appearance of this fun little grass.

Bunny tail grass flowers can last up to 12 months as part of a dried flower arrangement. Cut the stems near the base when loose pollen begins to form on top of the flowers. Gather a handful into a bunch at the base and tie a length of garden twine or cotton string around the base of these stems. Hang the bunches in a cool, dark and dry place for two to three weeks, or until the stems snap when bent. Your bunny tails will last for years in bouquets and arrangements.

Ornamental Grass Bunny Tails

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Hare’s Tail Grass, Bunny Tails



Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown – Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown – Tell us


Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Menifee, California

Richmond, California

San Anselmo, California

Pueblo, Colorado

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Nampa, Idaho

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Barbourville, Kentucky

Halifax, Massachusetts

Blair, Nebraska

Edison, New Jersey

Binghamton, New York

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Boerne, Texas

Frisco, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Keller, Virginia

Vancouver, Washington

show all

Lagurus Ovatus Seeds – Bunny Tails Ornamental Grass Seed

Grass Specifications

Season: Annual

USDA Zones: 4 – 10

Height: 12 – 24 inches

Width: 12 inches

Foliage Color: Green

Flower Color: Cream

Growth Rate: Moderate

Fall Color: No Change

Soil Requirement: Sandy

Environment: Full sun

Moisture Requirements: Needs well drained soil

Planting Directions

Temperature: 68 – 72F

Average Germ Time: 10 – 12 days

Light Required: Yes

Depth: Cover seeds lightly

Sowing Rate: 4 – 6 seeds per plant

Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination

Plant Spacing: 10 – 12 inches

Care & Maintenance: Lagurus

Bunny Tails (Lagurus ovatus) – Grow Lagurus ovatus seed for this delightful little annual that is excellent for cutting and preserving. This is one of those ornamental grasses that you grow first on a whim, then as an integral part of your garden! Commonly known as both Bunny Tails and Hare’s Tail, this ornamental grass is neat and compact, topped by chartreuse puffballs that really do resemble little rabbit tails!

As summer turns to fall, the Bunny Tails turn to rich tan and dry out beautifully on the plant. You can leave them there — they make spectacular winter accents, lasting until they catch the first heavy snowfall (or all season in mild climates). Or you can cut them and use them in dried arrangements, where they will last for months, refusing to shatter the way some textured grasses do after drying.

How To Grow Bunny Tails From Ornamental Grass Seed: Start the ornamental grass seeds indoors in early spring for transplanting out once temperatures are warm. Press the seeds into the soil and lightly cover. Maintain moisture for successful germination. For areas with a long growing season, you can directly sow Hare’s Tail grass seed directly outside. In the early spring, prepare a seedbed by loosening the soil and raking it to a fine tilth, and press the ornamental grass seeds into the soil and lightly cover. Ornamental Bunny Tails grass is a pleasure to grow, too, because it favors sandy soils that many other plants shun, and once it gets its roots established, it’s quite drought-tolerant. Give it plenty of sunshine, water throughout the growing season, and watch it fill your garden with bobbing, fluffy blooms.

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Where do our seeds come from?

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Stage one begins with a careful selection of the suppliers. Than we proceed with controlling their crops, foreign producers are not excluded from the quality control process. Plants are checked at every stage of their development: when they start to grow, during blooming and when they start bearing fruit (seeds). At this stage the most important thing is to ensure proper spacing of the plants. Thanks to that obtaining the desired morphological characteristics of each particular species or variety, such as colour, height and shape, can be ensured.

Stage two consists of a detailed verification tests in laboratory conditions. With the use of the highest quality equipment by the highly qualified staff, our suppliers perform more than 30 000 quality checks annually. The seeds that do not meet our requirements are subject to technological refining processes, including drying, cleaning, upgrading and testing again.

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We are committed to selling only the highest quality seeds. Taking into consideration the efforts we make daily, please also note that plants are living organisms and their germination and growth depends on many factors, such as temperature, soil type, humidity and the frequency with that they are watered, sowing time and conditions, use of fertilizers and plant protection agents (pesticides), as well as weather and climate conditions. We provide help by sharing the accurate and up-to-date sowing and growing information, however, we cannot bear any responsibility for the plants that were not cultivated in conditions appropriate for given species.

Garden Doctor: Why won’t my bunny grass thrive?

Upcoming events

* UC Davis Arboretum Plant Sale, Sept. 29-Oct. 14; visit www.arboretum.ucdavis.edu for more information

* Davis Farmers Market Fall Festival, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, featuring Halloween-themed entertainment, a pumpkin patch, a scarecrow contest, plant sales and exhibits.

* Heidrick Ag History Center Pumpkin Smash and Bash, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27; visit www.aghistory.org for more information

Q: I planted seven large containers with Pennisetum massaicum, “Red Bunny Tails,” in late spring. All but one plant has died. What happened?

A: Pennisetum massaicum, sometimes called bunny grass, is a type of fountain grass, a perennial in our area. These grasses usually take full sun to partial shade, moderate to regular water and grow to about two feet in height. Tall, vertical bloom spikes form in the spring and summer, adding another foot to the height of the plant. The plants turn brown in the fall and go dormant during the winter months and should be cut back a few inches above ground in late winter or early spring.

The Garden Doctor was intrigued by this question and was able to make a house call to see the actual plants. The plants were definitely ailing, all the green, long, slender leaves a crisp brown. They appeared to be getting a sufficient amount of sunlight (morning till noon, afternoon shade) and the automatic irrigation system looked in order.

Upon closer examination, the potting mix (pots were filled with organic potting mix) appeared to be in good condition, but the plants had been planted too deep, the soil covering the crown or root ball of the plant and even further up the leaf structure.

When planting new plants from nursery containers, plant each plant in its hole so the top of the root ball is even with the soil surface.

Firm the soil around the plant’s roots. Irrigate each plant with a gentle flow of water that won’t disturb the soil or roots, using a watering can if necessary.

Although plants were cut back and soil was removed, sadly, this bunny grass has left the garden for good.

Q: How do I rid my garden of nut grass?

A: The weed commonly called nut grass is a sedge, related to some very desirable garden plants. Prevention involves eliminating poorly drained soils, drying infested areas and correcting leaky pipes and other water sources.

Once established, it is tricky to eradicate. When tops are pulled, nut-like tubers remain to divide and spread via underground stems. The sedge cuticle is waxy so herbicide sprays merely run off the stems. Both tubers and rhizomes die back in fall, readily sprouting again when spring temperatures rise above 40 degrees. Tubers can be found in the top six inches of the soil and survive up to three years. (The Garden Doctor left some on her desk without soil for a year and they still sprouted!)

Eradication of sedge requires commitment and consistency. Remove every small plant before it produces five leaves, about every two to three weeks. Plants at this stage have not formed tubers and will use up their stores of energy (carbohydrates). Consistently removing the tiny plants will starve out new growth. Tilling at this stage may work, tilling in a small confined area where larger plants aren’t evident.

To eradicate larger plants, be sure to dig down at least 8 to 14 inches and remove the entire plant. Tilling at this stage usually spreads the tubers, thus creating more plants. To learn more, see the pest note for sedge at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7432.html.

Two reader questions were left in last month’s Garden Doctor “compost pile”:

Q: Is sulfur considered to be an organic technique for fungus control?

A: Powdered sulfur is no longer recommended as a dust for fungus control, because it is an inhalation hazard to humans and other animals. Look for sulfur compounded in a horticultural soap instead.

Q: Large cockroaches are eating the iron phosphate I put out for slug and snail control. Should I try something stronger?

A: Treat this as two separate problems. The cockroaches indicate excess soil moisture or undigested organic materials. Once you eradicate them, the iron phosphate will be left to do its job of snail/slug control. Read more at http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7467.html, or pick up the Quick Tip on cockroaches at the Master Gardener table at the Davis Farmers Market.

— Send questions, addressed to the “Garden Doctor,” by email to , voice mail to 530-666-8737, or regular mail to UCCE Master Gardeners, 70 Cottonwood, Woodland, CA 95695. Be sure to include your contact information, because any questions not answered in the Garden Doctor column will be answered with a phone call or email to you. You can request the Yolo Gardener newsletter delivered by email and learn more about the Master Gardener program in Yolo County at http://ceyolo.ucdavis.edu/Gardening_and_Master_Gardening.

Stop by and chat with us on Saturdays at the Davis Farmers’ Market!

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