• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Phalaris arundinacea var. picta

gardener's garters

gardener's garters

© RHS 1999

  • Other common names gardener's garters
    bride's laces

    French grass
    lady grass
    lady's garters
    lady's laces
    lady's ribbons
    painted grass
    ribbon grass
    silver grass

    see more
  • Family Poaceae

  • Genus Phalaris can be annual or rhizomatous perennials grasses with relatively broadly linear leaves and small green flower spikelets in open panicles

  • Details

    P. arundinacea var. picta is a vigorous perennial grass forming an extensive colony of erect stems to 60cm tall, bearing narrow leaves boldly striped with white, pale and dark green, and narrow pale green flowering panicles in summer


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Suckering

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilSand, Loam, Chalk, Clay

  • pHNeutral, Acid, Alkaline


  • Ultimate height

    0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread

    1-1.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height

    2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in any soil in full sun or partial shade. Can spread quickly, so therefore good for covering large areas

Propagation Divide from mid-spring to midsummer

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Ground Cover Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning To keep the variegation, cut down all but the new young shoots in early summer to encourage fresh growth

Pests Generally trouble free

Diseases Generally trouble free

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