“Little Zebra” (Miscanthus sinensis “Little Zebra”) is a dwarf zebra grass cultivar with long, yellow-banded, arching leaves. It is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9, where it grows to a height of 4 feet. Often planted around ponds and in borders, it can also be grown as an accent or specimen plant. Full sun or partial shade are fine for “Little Zebra,” and it can be combined with plants that have similar requirements for an interesting landscape. "Little Zebra" is considered invasive in some areas.
1. Pond Landscape
“Henry’s Garnet” Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica “Henry’s Garnet”) and daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids) can be combined with “Little Zebra” around ponds. “Henry’s Garnet” grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet and a width of 4 to 6 feet with dark green foliage that changes to red in the fall. In the spring, it produces 3- to 6-inch long drooping clusters of fragrant white flowers. It is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9. A yellow-blooming daylily like “Happy Returns” (Hemerocallis “Happy Returns”) will bring out the yellow stripes on “Little Zebra” and add summer floral interest to the landscape. It grows to a height and width of 1 to 1 1/2 feet and is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9. “Henry’s Garnet” and “Happy Returns” can be grown in either full sun or partial shade.
2. Border Plantings
“Gold Tide” forsythias (Forsythia “Courtasol” or “Gold Tide”) and snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) can be combined with “Little Zebra” in a full-sun to part-shade border. “Gold Tide” forsythias grow to a height of 2 feet and a width of up to 4 feet with medium-green foliage. Hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8, in late winter, their stems are covered with pale yellow flowers. Snapdragon hybrids and cultivars are available in sizes ranging from 8 inches to 3 feet. They bloom from spring to first frost, producing spikes of flowers in a wide variety of colors including apricot, peach, orange and yellow. Shorter varieties can be planted at the front of the border, while taller types can be planted along the back or in between “Little Zebra” and “Gold Tide.” They are hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10 but are grown as annuals everywhere.
3. Accent Plant
“Sungold“ Japanese falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera “Sungold”) is an interesting specimen plant that combines well with “Little Zebra” and orange stonecrop (Sedum kamtschaticum var. ellacombeanum). It is a needle-leaved evergreen with dangling, thread-type leaves and a weeping habit. New leaves are gold when they first emerge but change to lime green. The shrub grows slowly to a height of 8 feet and a width of 12 feet. It is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 7. Orange stonecrop can be planted as a ground cover in USDA zones 3 to 8. It forms a 4-inch high, 6- to 18-inch wide, open mat of fleshy, lime-green foliage. In the spring, it produces clusters of yellow, 1/2-inch diameter flowers on 6-inch high stems. “Sungold” and orange stonecrop thrive in full sun or partial shade. Orange stonecrop is slightly toxic if ingested.
4. Specimen Plant
“Gro-Low” fragrant sumacs (Rhus aromatica “Gro-Low”) and African marigolds (Tagetes erecta) can be planted as accents around “Little Zebra” specimen plants. “Gro-Low” bushes grow to a height of 1 1/2 to 2 feet and width of 6 to 8 feet with fragrant green foliage that changes to orange and red in the fall. In the spring, they produce yellow flowers followed by clusters of red berries that are eaten by birds and other wild animals. They are hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9 and can be grown in full sun or partial shade. African marigolds are annuals that bloom from spring to first frost. Their upright habit brings vertical interest to the landscape. They range in height from 1 to 4 feet, depending on the cultivar, and their flowers can be creamy white, orange or yellow. They grow best in full sun in cooler climates but prefer afternoon shade in hot climates. They can cause skin irritation.
- Floridata: Miscanthus Sinensis
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Miscanthus Sinensis “Little Zebra”
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Itea Virginica “Henry’s Garnet”
- Floridata: Hemerocallis Hybrids
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Hemerocallis “Happy Returns”
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Forsythia “Courtasol” Gold Tide
- Floridata: Antirrhinum Majus
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Antirrhinum Majus
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Chamaecyparis Pisifera “Sungold”
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Sedum Kamtschaticum var. Ellacombeanum
- Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images