For many perennial gardeners, ornamental grass is not the first thing that comes to mind when planting a new garden. However, ornamental grasses may add incredible depth, contrast, texture, and movement to any garden. They’re generally hardy, provide year-round interest, and can be a focal point or a filler. Better yet, they are available in a variety of colors and textures.
Let’s dive into different types of ornamental grasses, including their benefits and how to care for them in your property’s landscape.
Why Use Ornamental Grasses in Your Landscape
Ornamental grasses are ideal if you want a low-maintenance filler or focal piece in your landscape. They usually don’t require much upkeep once established, are relatively pest-resistant, and require little watering as they are drought-tolerant and love the sun.
These kinds of grasses grow well on slopes, which can help avoid soil erosion. They can also provide a beautiful habitat for wildlife in the garden, and they are environmentally friendly because they require so little water.
Depending on the species, you can use ornamental grasses for various purposes. For example, shorter grass is a great garden border, while tall decorative grasses can create a privacy barrier or fill gaps in the landscape. Use ornamental grasses in tall pots or trellised vining annuals during warmer months. Switchgrass, for example, stays upright and compact. In addition, blueberry bushes have phenomenal ornamental value.
Ways to Use Ornamental Grass in Your Landscape
Create a Focal Point Feature
Ornamental grasses may be a beautiful focal point in the landscape with distinctive textures, colors, and whimsical forms. You can place them on walkways or driveways or liven up a front porch by planting beautiful grasses on opposing ends of the front door.
While many people think of shrubs when they think of making a natural privacy wall, attractive grasses work just as well! Switchgrass, for example, is a North American native that can grow to be three to six feet tall, providing adequate privacy for your garden. In addition, it thrives in wet and dry environments, as its oil-rich seeds offer an excellent food source for birds throughout the winter months.
Once you’ve chosen the purpose of your grass, you can have fun picking out the shapes, colors, and other features you would like to see in your garden. There are so many varieites available!
Varieties of Ornamental Grass
Zebra grass botanical name is Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’. This grass is a tall, green sentinel to arch in your landscape during the summer. Akin to its name, the zebra pattern portrays bright gold stripes that zip across the green leaves horizontally. It has a fast growth rate and is recommended to plant in the spring so it has time to mature in the following season. It will reach 7 feet tall when fully grown.
Karl Forester’s botanical name is Calmagrostis x acutiflora and is a wonderful ornamental grass for ponds, water gardens, and other damp areas. This grass thrives in moisture, cool environments. It has a medium to fast-growing rate and reachess 6 feet tall at maturity. It has different appearances during seasons; in the spring, it has leaf textured blade shapes and during the summer, it develops pink feathery ends.
Imperata Red Baron
Imperata Red Baron is a summer grass that stands out with its luscious red-ombre color. The unique shape and texture add to its allure. In addition, it requires low maintenance as you only have to trim the clump at the end of the wintertime, typically mid-March. Since they don’t grow too tall, you can place them in your flower beds that pair nicely with other perennials such as Bellflower.
Some other varieties we like include:
To find beautiful ornamental grasses near you, Visit Platt Hill Nursery to check out our selection today! We promise it will be a gorgeous addition to your landscape that you’ll enjoy all season.