Great Grasses

Great Grasses

Grasses are a great way to add texture, height and winter interest to a garden. They can be use in mass as a backdrop or as a living fence. They can be grouped for a natural look. Or they can be used alone, as a single specimen within the garden. Ornamental grasses add a natural wispy appearance and provide structure during the winter months. Autumn is when most grasses come into their prime, their ornamental plumes and fall colors shine. But grasses can be planted anytime during the growing season. Almost all ornamental grasses prefer sun or light shade and good drainage. These are some of our favorites. All are deer resistant!

 

 Variegated Sedge 'Ice Dance' Carex or Sedge ‘Ice Dance’
A one foot mound of creamy white  and green striped stiff leaves that grow to one foot tall. Can tolerate considerable shade and moisture. Makes a nice alternative to liriope. 
 Carex Everillo Carex ‘Everillo’
Solid bright golden foliage forms a 1 foot elegant weeping evergreen clump. use in containers, as a ground cover or to brighten up a shady garden spot .
Feather Reed Grass Calamagrostis ‘Karl Forester’ or Feather Reed Grass
‘Karl Forester’ is a narrow upright stiff grass that blooms early in the season. Wheat-like plumes in late spring remain attractive all season. Feather Reed grass stays narrow and upright and does not flop. 5 ft.
 Hakonechloa-All-Gold  Hakonechloa or Japanese Forest Grass
Japanese Forest Grass is a lovely, exotic looking clumping ornamental grass. Green and yellow variegated leaves have a weeping habit. 1-2 foot. Performs best in out climate with some morning sun but afternoon shade. Spreads slowly but is worth the wait.
Imperata or Blood Grass Imperata or Blood Grass
Green leaves with red stripes throughout, completely red in the fall. Popular in the northern states where it spreads slowly. Spreads more rapidly here so consider the planting site carefully.
Miscanthus-Graziella Miscanthus ‘Graziella’ or Maiden Grass
Maiden Grass is a popular go-to grass for many a garden. Rounded mounds of silver-veined green leaves with an arching habit. Fan-like reddish plumes emerge in late summer and remain attractive all winter. 5-6 ft.
Pink Muhly Grass Muhlenbergia or Pink Muhly Grass ‘Fast Forward’
Flowering begins in late July when wispy pinkish-purple seed heads form and float above the compact mounds of fine, flat foliage. Nice for late season color.
2 ft.
 Panicum-Cheyenne-Sky Panicum or Switch Grass ‘Cheyenne Sky’
Tight vase shaped blue-green foliage turns wine red early in the summer. Next comes purple flowers and at only 3 ft. it’s nice even in a pot. A native grass so tough and drought tolerant.
 Pennisetum Burgundy Bunny Pennisetum or Fountain Grass ‘Burgundy Bunny’
This colorful dwarf grass forms a rounded clump of foliage that begins to turn red in the summer. By fall it is red all over and provides winter interest. Cream flowers. 12-16 inches.
 Pennisetum-Hameln Pennisetum ‘Hameln’ or Dwarf Fountain Grass
This is the go-to grass for smaller gardens or where less height is desired, only 2-3 ft. Finely textured airy grass with creamy white plumes in late summer. Dependable and easy to grow.

 

Annual Grasses (not winter hardy)

Tired of purple fountain grass? Check out these fun new grasses that are annuals but really add texture to containers or the garden. All these grasses are heat tolerant, low maintenance and bug free!

Cyperus or Papyrus ‘King Tut’
Also called Egyptian Papyrus. Large heads of pendulous leaves impart an exotic effect to any container or garden. Flower spikes can span a foot and plant stands 4-6 foot tall. Must have moist soil. A true water plant so can even be partly submerged.
 cordyline Cordyline
Large reddish- purple sword shaped leaves on a big bold plant. Can reach 3-5 feet. Best in a large containers or beds.
 Lemon grass Cymbogon or Lemon Grass
Forms a handsome clump of upright, slightly arching foliage. Light-green foliage is lemon scented and purported to repel mosquitoes. A tender perennial that will survive inside over winter.
 Fountain Grass Fireworks Pennisetum or Fountain Grass ‘Fireworks’
Wispy pink and green foliage that is 24-30 inches. Adds texture, heat tolerant. Upright thriller. Not a bully. Great in pots or the garden.

 

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