Satin Grass (Sisyrinchium striatum) is from Chile and Argentine. It is also called Spring Bell or Yellow-eyed grass. This perennial is an erect plant growing to about one foot tall. The foliage is long and sword like. The creamy yellow flowers are arranged in closely placed spikes of nine to twelve blossoms. They occur in early summer. There is a version with variegated leaves, too.
This member of the Iris family grows in zones five to nine. It gets up to two feet tall and will spread out up to two feet. It blooms May to June. After the blooms are gone, the leaves may turn yellow. Cut the leaves down to six inches tall and they will grow again and keep a tidy appearance for the rest of the growing season.
Satin grass needs to be in a sunny, rich, well drained soil. To make sure the drainage is good and satin grass gets all the nutrients it needs, till the new flower bed to a depth of six inches. Spread three inches of compost over the tilled soil. Till the compost into the soil so it is well mixed. Now you can plant the satin grass in the tilled soil. Each satin grass clump should be planted two feet from its neighbors.
Satin grass requires consistently moist soil. However, if the soil is soggy, the roots will rot. Water weekly to prevent the roots from rotting due to over watering, yet keep the soil moist. Once the satin grass is well rooted, it is somewhat drought tolerant.
Satin grass will spread over time by creeping root stalks. It may also self seed, forming black seed pods. Cut the plant stalk off before the seed heads form to keep it from self seeding.
To propagate satin grass, you can sow seeds in a cold frame in the autumn or in early spring. You will need to transplant them into their regular beds after all danger of frost has passed.
If you all ready have satin grass, you can propagate it by digging it up after it blooms and dividing it. Cut the foot stalks into two inch pieces and make sure each piece of root has at least one bunch of leaves on it. You can then replant the satin grass, making sure that each piece is two feet or more from any other piece.
Satin grass is vulnerable to aphids, spider mites, and rust. It is deer and rabbit tolerant.
Rust is a general term for a large group of fungi that infect plants. One of the conditions that contributes to rust is overcrowding. If you divide your satin grass when it gets crowded, you can prevent rust altogether. However, if your satin grass does develop rust, apply a fungicide containing copper.
Aphids and spider mites can be eliminated by using Neem oil on your plants. Make sure you get both the top and underside of the leaves when spraying the plant. Always follow label directions.