Hakone Grass Growing Guide

Hakonechloa macra

Hakone Grass

Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil enriched with plenty of compost to help it hold moisture well.


Partial shade.

Frost tolerant

Established plants of hakone grass are winter hardy to -20°F (-29°C).


None needed when plants are grown in the ground. In containers, feed hakone grass monthly during the summer with a liquid organic fertilizer.


Single Plants: 1' 11" (60cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 1' 11" (60cm) with 1' 11" (60cm) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Hakone grass does not breed true from seed, but vegetatively propagated plants of distinctive cultivars retain the leaf colors of the parents. Set out container-grown plants from spring to early summer, water well, and follow up with an organic mulch to help retain soil moisture. Hakone grass rarely needs dividing. To increase your supply, dig plantlets from the outside of the clump in spring and transplant them to containers or new locations.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Native to central Japan, hakone grass is an ideal texture plant for shade, with a cascading, windswept form and leaf colors that change with the season. It is often combined with hostas. Easily grown in containers or beds, hakone grass asks only for consistent moisture and protection from baking sun. The plants slowly form clumps, but do not spread or shed significant numbers of seeds. Hakone grass produces insignificant little flowers in summer, but this is basically a foliage plant. In cold winters areas, leave the dead foliage intact until early spring to shelter the plants from harsh weather. In early spring, mow or clip off old growth to make way for new leaves.



Too much sun can cause hakone leaves to show scalded spots, a problem most likely with light-leafed varieties. Drought also can severely stress the plants. Hakone grass is seldom bothered by pests or diseases.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Hakone Grass