The Gardeners Almanac

The place to find out what to do in the garden this week
My Back Garden


Common name: Quaking Grass

Related Links

Week Numbers





Hardening Off


Planting out

Pricking out

Seed sowing




The common name quaking grass is derived from the plants trembling / quaking habit in the slightest of breezes.

Close up of seed head

Seed head

Cluster of flower heads

Flower & Seed heads

Briza is a slow growing drought tolerant creeping perennial grass, that grows from around 300-500 mm (12"-18") high.

It is one of the easiest and most dependable ornamental grasses to grow, plus it can be used as a single structural plant or in mass as a groundcover plant.

The flower heads which resemble rattlesnake tails appear from May to September.

They then change colour from green through red to gold as they dry.

These are often used fresh or dried, in flower arrangements.


In their first season water regularly to encourge an extensive root system, thereafter in all but the driest of summers it/they will only need the occasional watering.

Week 15:

Sow seed in trays of seed compost and germinate at a temperature of 8°- 10°C (45°- 50°F).

Transplant small clumps rather than individual seedlings into cell trays or boxes of potting compost, and grow on at around 10°C (50°F).

Cover with fleece if frost is forecast.

Gradually increase ventilation and harden off plants, standing them outside under a warm wall during the day and returning them indoors at night.

Alternatively; grow on in a coldframe until planting out time.

Check on established plant and if new growth is visible, remove any old dried growth from the previous year to allow the new growth to flourish unhindered.

Week 20:

Plant out 150-200mm (6"-8") apart in a sunny or partially shaded position.

Established plants can be divided at the same time.

This may only need doing every two to three years.

Week 35:

Seeds can be sown directly into there planting positions and thinned out the following May.