Division Size and Shade Density Influence Growth and Container Production of Hakonechloa macra Makino 'Aureola'

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  • 1 Department of Plant Science, U-4067, University of Connecticut, Storrs CT 06269-4067

Hakonechloa macra Makino 'Aureola' is an ornamental, shade tolerant landscape grass that grows slowly and commands high prices. Hakonechloa plants grown from four initial division sizes, of 1-2, 4-6, 8-10, or 12-15 tiller buds, were evaluated following a complete growing season (105 days). Based on visual observation, we rated 100% of plants grown from the two larger division sizes to be salable compared with only 30% of those from divisions containing 4-6 growing points, and none from the smallest division size. However, divisions of 1-2 tiller buds produced twice as many new shoots and tiller buds per initial tiller bud as did larger division sizes. To produce salable plants in one growing season, results suggest the use of 8-10 tiller bud divisions, but for propagation and increase of stock material, where it is important to obtain the greatest number of new growing points per initial growing point, use of the smaller division sizes is indicated. Hakonechloa plants were grown under shading densities of 0%, 30%, 50%, or 70% provided by polypropylene shade cloth. Shading increased overall growth and improved the appearance and leaf color of Hakonechloa, but at 70% shade density, plants appeared languid and open. For this reason, 50% shading is recommended for nursery production of Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'.

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