Commonly known as African love grass, weeping love grass (Eragrostis curvula) is a drought tolerant perennial grass used for erosion control along hills and highways. The deep green, ornamental grass forms dense clumps that measure 12 inches long and 24 to 36 inches wide. Native to Southern Africa, the grass is adapted to warm summers and mild winters, which is why it thrives in United States Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 7 through 10. Provide the ornamental grass a 3-by-3-foot space, so it fills it with its characteristic “weeping” or drooping form and fine-textured foliage.
Things You'll Need
- Drip irrigation system
- Wood and wire fence
- Pruning shears
Grow weeping love grass in well-draining soil with full sun exposure. Loosen the soil before spreading 3 to 5 pounds of grass seed per 1,000 square feet of land. Cover the seeds lightly to assist germination -- no more than 1/4-inch in silt loam soils or 1/2- to 1-inch in sandy soils.
Water the seed bed regularly during the first month after planting to keep the soil evenly moist most of the time. Afterward, provide the grass 1 inch of water every week, unless supplemented by rainfall.
Protect the ornamental grass from livestock that find it palatable. If the grass is susceptible to grazing livestock, consider enclosing the area in a wood and wire fence. Keep the fence 6 feet high and use high-tensile or barbed wires to keep the animals out.
Divide weeping love grass every three to four years to prevent them from dying out in the center. Cut back the previous year’s growth down to 6 to 8 inches with shears. Determine how many clumps you want to divide the grass into, depending on its size, so each features its own roots and grass blades. Dig out the clump from the soil to reveal its roots. Cut through the roots to divide the clump into smaller sections and transplant them to other parts of the yard.
Tips & Warnings
- Weeping love grass is grown as an annual in northern parts of the United States.
- Although it prefers fertile soil, the ornamental grass also grows in infertile soils. If planting by seed, till the soil to a depth of 6 inches to loosen compacted mounds. You can plant creeping love grass when the danger of severe frost is over and the soil is workable or anytime during the summer.
- When watering weeping love grass, use a drip irrigation system that provides water directly to the roots and thus reduces waste and the risk of foliage diseases developing due to wet leaves.