Great Grasses

Great Grasses


Grasses are a great way to add texture, height and winter interest to a garden. They can be used alone or when massed, make a living fence. Autumn is when most grasses come into their prime, their decorative plumes and fall colors shine. Most grasses prefer sun or light shade and good drainage. These are some of our favorites. All are deer resistant!

Calamagrostis Karl Foerster

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.

Miscanthus Morning Light
Cathy Reinhardt

Staff Favorite!

Miscanthus or Maiden Grass Morning Light

Maiden Grass is a popular go-to grass. ‘Morning Light’ is compact and has very narrow, finely textured leaves with fine white edges. Upright arching clump is topped with bronze-red plumes which age to cream. 4-5 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. Pinkish copper blooms late in the season. 4-6 feet.
Miscanthus Little Zebra

Miscanthus Little Zebra or Dwarf Zebra Grass

Narrow blades with horizontal gold banding. Plant forms a rounded, almost ball-shaped clump topped with reddish purple plumes. 3-4 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 purplish flowers. At only 3 ft. tall, it’s nice even in a pot. A native grass so tough and drought tolerant.
Panicum Apache Rose
Ken Shnur

Staff Favorite!

Panicum or Switch Grass Apache Rose

Unique rose-colored flowers instead of cream or tan. Dense, upright columnar habit with gray-green leaves. Tips of leaves are flushed rosy-red in fall.

 Pennisetum-Hameln Pennisetum or Dwarf Fountain Grass Hameln
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.

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.

Schzachirium Smoke Signal

Schzachirium or Little Blue Stem Smoke Signal

A beautifully refined version of the native little blue stem that takes on scarlet red tones in late summer and deeper red-purple in the fall. Upright habit, no flopping. Tiny, tan seed heads appear in early fall.


Annual Grasses (not winter hardy)

Tired of purple fountain grass? Check out these fun grasses that add texture, height and color to pots or containers. All these grasses are heat tolerant, low maintenance and deer resistant.



Large reddish- purple sword shaped leaves on a big bold plant. Can reach 3-5 feet. Best in 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 grass-like plant with small fluffy flowers at the stem tips. Just 10-12 inches tall. 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 and is heat tolerant. Not a bully. Great in pots or the garden.
 Pennisetum Fountain Rubrum Pennisetum  or Purple 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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