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!

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. 4-5 ft.
 Festuca Elijah Blue Blue Fescue ‘Elijah Blue’
Soft powdery-blue spiky foliage forms a rounded clump and keeps its color all year. Small wheat-like seed heads. Semi evergreen. 8-10 inches.
Miscanthus-Graziella Miscanthus or Maiden Grass
Maiden Grass is a popular go-to grass. 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.
 Miscanthus Strict Porcupine Miscanthus ‘Strictus’ or Porcupine Grass
Tall blades of grass with striking creamy yellow, horizontal bands. Spiky textured foliage grows strictly upright like porcupine spines, thus the name. Pinkish copper blooms late in the season. 4-6 feet.
 Miscanthus Variegatus Miscanthus ‘Variegatus’ or Japanese Silver Grass
Tall clumps of arched leaves with silvery plumes rise in the fall to almost 9 feet. Strong vertical stripes of white give a distinct variegated look even from a distance.
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 feet.
 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. tall, it’s nice even in a pot. A native grass so tough and drought tolerant.
 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.
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.
Little Bunny Fountain Grass Pennisetum or Fountain Grass ‘Little Bunny’
Forms a petite, rounded mound of finely textured foliage. Small bottle-brush-like plumes just above the foliage in late summer. Good choice for containers, rock gardens or the front of the border.
 sporobolus

Sporobulus or Prairie Dropseed

Native prairie grass with a soft fountain-like look. Thread- like green leaves turn golden orange in fall. Lightly fragrant, pinkish brown flowers appear atop the tall arching stems. heat and drought tolerant. 2-3 ft.

 

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!

 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.
Fiber Optic Grass

Fiber Optic Grass


Bright green grasslike plant with small fluffy flowers at the stem tips. Just 10-12 inches tall. it can be used alone or in mixed planters. Heat tolerant and can handle wet soil.

 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.
 Pennisetum Fountain Rubrum Pennisetum  or Fountain Grass ‘Rubrum’
Striking burgundy foliage with pinkish burgundy flowers all season. Great for mass planting or containers. 18-24 inches

 

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