Ornamental grasses have become increasingly popular over recent years. They provide a wide array of functions in gardens and landscapes. They can be used as backdrops, borders, screens, accents, ground cover, and erosion control. There are hundreds to choose from with different heights, colors, and textures. Some are grown for their plumes while others are grown for their foliage and form. They come in many forms from low-growing and spreading to large clumps. Most ornamental grasses bloom late summer into fall and can provide beautiful late-season color and many offer year-round interest. There are ornamental grasses available to fit the needs of any garden!
Short Grasses: Under 2’
Short clumping grasses make excellent border & sidewalk plants, while shorter spreading grasses work well in mass-plantings as ground-covers. Short grasses also standout in rock garden plantings and in planters. Some of our favorite shorter grasses include Blue Fescue, Blue Oat Grass, Tuft Hair Grass, and sedges like Ice Dance. Some good companion plants with short grasses include lavender and bell flowers.
Medium Grasses: 2’-4’
Mid-sized grasses work well in perennial borders, as accents among shrubs and perennials and should also be considered for screens. Some of our favorite mid-sized grasses include Switch Grasses, some of the Maiden Grasses, Little Blue Stem and Karl Foerster Grass. Mid-sized grasses pair nicely with daylilies, Coreopsis and Liatris.
Tall Grasses: 5’+
Tall grasses add a nice vertical element to landscapes. There are some ornamental grasses that will grow up to 15’ tall. Of the tall grasses, Pampas grass is probably the most well-known. Unfortunately, it is not hardy in this area, so some nice alternatives include Indian Grass, Maiden Grasses (Silver Grasses), and Tall Bluestem. Tall grasses standout in the garden and make nice screens or statement plants. Some nice companion plants include Sage, Joe Pye Weed & Rudbeckia.