Grasses can often be overlooked when landscaping your yard. Usually we think of grass as the type we mow or what invades our gardens as a weed. However, many varieties of ornamental grasses exist that make wonderful additions to any landscape. They come in many forms- from low growing and spreading, to large clumps with attractive blades. Not only do they peak in the fall with colorful plumes, but they also add year-round interest with their form and texture. In addition to the grass family, many sedges, rushes, and lilies are also grass-like plants that add color and beauty to our gardens.
Care and Maintenance:
Grasses are generally very low-maintenance. With the popularity of natural and easy-care landscapes on the rise, grasses are one of the top picks for these gardens. They rarely have problems with pests and diseases, and most varieties tolerate drought very well. They can be left tall through the winter to provide interest and movement during the cold months, and sheared back in the spring before the new growth emerges. Most grasses prefer full sun, but some are shade lovers. You can find a grass to grow in any location, hot and dry or wet and swampy. Be sure to investigate what varieties will prosper in your landscape conditions before selecting a plant.
Benefits and Uses:
Grasses can serve any purpose, from a groundcover for erosion control, to a screen to cover up an unsightly utility (or neighbor!), or as an accent plant. Their forms range from upright, spilling plumes, or low and mounding. Some stay in a mound of only about a foot tall, others can reach up to 12 feet or more in height. Also, their colors range from every shade of green imaginable, as well as blues, reds, purples, or even black foliage. With this colorful spectrum, grasses can offer color during seasons when other perennials are not in flower. Grasses tend to be deer and rabbit resistant, so you won’t have to worry about those pests munching on them.
Below are a few of our favorite varieties of grasses that are in stock now at our garden center:
Ruby Ribbons Switchgrass
An early switching variety with red tips. Soft green foliage takes on a wine-red color in early summer.
It stands about 4 ft. tall.
Easy to grow in full sun.
‘Prairie Sky’ Switch Grass
A nice true “blue” switchgrass with delicate wispy plumes and seedheads in late summer.
Grows about 5 ft. tall
Easy to grow in full sun in most well-drained soils.
‘Peppermint Stick’ Giant Reed Grass
Not for the faint at heart. This tall growing reed grass can tower 8-12 ft. tall.
This variety has wide blue bamboo like foliage with white edges that has a pink hue in the spring and again in fall.
Great as a back border plant. It can spread so give it some space. Benefits from some mulch in the winter.
‘Superstripe’ Maiden Grass
This hardy, drought tolerant grass is great as a dramatic eye-catching accent in any landscape.
Similar to zebra grass but with stronger yellow banding on the leaves. The plumes are silvery-white. It
Prefers full sun and reaches a height of 5 to 7 feet tall.
‘Red Baron’ Japanese Blood Grass
This grass is a shorter variety with a height between 12 and 18inches.
It is often used in rock gardens, along borders, or even incontainers as an accent plant.
It grows in sun to partial shade.
The green blades develop blood red tips as the season progresses.
‘Piglet’ Fountain Grass
Similar to Hameln but shorter and more floriferous.
Usually stays about 18 inches tall.
Prefers full sun in any soil.
We also have these varieties in stock:
Hameln Fountain Grass Little Blue Stem Grass
Other Switch Grass Varieties Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass
Japanese Forest Grass Blue Zinger Sedge