Miscanthus: Planting and Growing (PB5421)

Annual Growing Cycle

The growth pattern of the crop is simple. It produces new shoots annually and these usually emerge from the soil during April. These shoots develop into erect, robust stems, which reach 1 - 2 m in height by late August of the year of planting, with a diameter of 10 mm. The stems, which have an appearance similar to bamboo canes, are usually unbranched and contain a solid pith.

From late July the lower leaves start to dry. Crop drying accelerates during autumn, as  nutrients move back to the rhizome. Leaves then fall and a deep leaf litter develops. Any remaining foliage dies following the first air frost, and the stems dry to a relatively low moisture content (30-50%) during winter. By February, free standing, almost leafless canes remain and it is these which are harvested mechanically. This growth cycle is repeated once spring-time temperatures increase again. From the second season onwards the crop can be expected to achieve a maximum height of 2.5 - 3.5 m.

Click to enlarge image

ADLib logo Content provided by the Agricultural Document Library
© University of Hertfordshire, 2011