In regions that do not experience freezing temperatures, this grass is a perennial. The seed-heads are mauve-colored. It is also sometimes called porcupine grass (Miscanthis sinensis 'Strictus'). Its purplish flower spikes are followed by fluffy, attractive seed-heads tinged with purple or burgundy. It's just a question of when. How low does blue fescue (Festuca glauca) grow? Like fountain grass, New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) has become increasingly popular in residential and commercial applications. Because of its height, a plant such as plumegrass can be used as a focal point. Egyptian Papyrus fits nicely into the ornamental grass category. In terms of aesthetics, functional grass is mainly negative space. Once established, ornamental grasses are tolerant to drought-like conditions; it’s advised that you water the young grass transplants frequently. Variegated Liriope ( Lirope ): Also known as monkey grass, this plant is deer resistant and attracts hummingbirds to the area. It's often mixed with such plants to fill flower beds, creating diversity in terms of form and texture. Ornamental grasses typically have either a spreading habit or a clumping habit. It tolerates a little shade, but be sure to grow it in full sun to achieve maximum darkness. For nearly nonstop performance, strength, and visual impact, few plants compare to ornamental grasses. In very cold areas, bamboo canes often die back in winter, but the roots survive. This deciduous grass can be identified by its slender stems, which look like tiny bamboo stalks. If you're looking for a plant that offers more to look at earlier in the year, try Miscanthus sinensis Zebrinus (zones 5 to 9). Another short ornamental grass (around 1 foot by 1 foot) grown in zones 4 to 8 is blue fescue (Festuca glauca Elijah Blue). The plant reaches a height of 3 to 5 feet, with a spread of 2 to 4 feet. But learn about the features of each type before deciding what you want to buy. Otherwise, your garden will end up looking like a barbershop floor, after a customer has just left. Cyperus papyrus is sometimes called an African native grass or a grass-like plant. It can be drought-tolerant after it is established. Blue Fescue. There is a rich variety of colored ornamental grasses including blue, purple and even black. It reaches 3 to 5 feet tall. Its name comes from its seed pods, which look like oats. Select an area with partial shade and soil rich in compost for best results. Ornamental grasses continue to gain in popularity for their ease of care. Andropogon gerardii Indian Warrior is a cultivar of big bluestem grass suitable for zones 3 to 9. There are many varieties of ornamental grasses. The primary purpose of ornamental grass is to be pretty, to be an "ornament.". From tall and wispy varieties that sway beautifully in the wind to low-growing grasses perfect for ground cover and rock gardens, there are so many type to choose from for an instant effect. How to grow ornamental grasses Raising from seed – scatter seeds over the surface of damp seed compost and cover lightly with grit. It is low growing, 6-10”, and very nicely mounded. Purple fountain (Pennisetum setaceum Rubrum) is a tropical ornamental grass. It can take some shade. These exotic beauties can grow up to 72 inches or more, they like moist soil, and they can thrive in a water garden. Generally, most ornamental grasses are found in the 1 to 6 foot tall and 1 to 3 foot wide range. Lilyturf (not a true ornamental grass, but a perennial) can be grown in zones 4 to 10 and reaches only about a foot in height. Winter interest is one of the main excuses for growing ornamental grass, and you lose that if you trim in fall. Medium-Sized Varieties of Ornamental Grasses, Low-Care Landscaping With Ornamental Grass and Mulch, 10 Best Ornamental Grasses for Containers, 12 Best Ornamental Grasses for Your Landscape, 8 Best Ornamental Grasses to Add Privacy to the Garden, Landscaping Uses and Care for Maiden Grass, 15 Best Zone 7 Plants to Put In Your Garden, 13 Types of Colorful Ornamental Grass for Fall, Best Salt-Tolerant Plants for Landscaping, 30 Easy-to-Grow Perennials for Beginning Gardeners. Replacing lawn grass with a combination of mulch and ornamental grass can reduce yard maintenance requirements. When composing such beds, it's best to layer the plants, placing the tallest in the back, the shortest in the front, and the rest in the middle. Growth Habit: Ornamental grasses vary widely in their growth habits. While this may not be feasible for large areas, it's certainly an option for small plots of land. You might have noticed Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima or Stipa tenuissima) showing up in gardens and other areas all over town. Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens, Avena candida) grows to about 3 to 6 feet in height and 1 to 3 feet in width. Ornamental Grasses. Maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis Gracillimus) is a fine choice in zones 5 to 9 for a tall, drought-tolerant ornamental grass, as it reaches as much as 7 feet in height, with a spread a bit less than that. It can show up all over the yard, in sidewalk cracks, and down the street in neighbors' yards. Watering. When it starts to spread out and the feathered flowers resemble wheat, it is time to deadhead the grass. Size: Ranges from 12 inches to 3 feet tall. Starting green, the leaves turn purple in the middle of the summer. It also tends to get taller, reaching a height of 5 feet or more, and about 4 feet wide. For a shorter deer-resistant plant, try lilyturf (Liriope spicata). Note: Imperata cylindrica is an invasive species that, according to U.S. federal law, is illegal to grow without a permit. Fountain Grass. Its job is not so much to be admired, in and of itself, as it is to form a stage on which the yard's actors (flowers, shrubs, trees, hardscape, etc.) Nothing says low maintenance like ornamental grasses. They add texture, movement, and all-season color to the garden. The latter is a functional grass, serving primarily a practical purpose: It forms a uniform surface on which to walk when we're out in the yard. Bamboo grows upright and spreads quickly (sometimes too much), and it requires a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Low grasses range from 2 inches like Dwarf Mondo to 2 feet like Dwf Fountain Grass. It is a shade plant. Monkey grass uses for L. muscari are as a groundcover under trees or shrubs, as low edging plants along paved areas, or as the front of a foundation planting. Pink muhly grass is also known as sweetgrass, gulf muhlygrass, mist grass, hairawn muhly, and the botanical name, Muhlenbergia capillaris. It requires regular watering, weekly, or more often during hotter temperatures. Short clumping, mounding grasses grow only 1 foot tall and wide. Cultivars such as 'All Gold' and 'Aureola' have variegated green and gold leaves. or Phyllostachys sp.) It likes partial to full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Airy seed heads move with the wind and create interest in smaller spaces. ). It is an ideal summer blue grasses, thriving in dry conditions, and full sun with minimal maintenance needed. Blue oat grass is a mounding, cool-season ornamental grass suitable for zones 4 to 8. As with maiden grass, cut back the foliage in early spring. Plant it in full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil. Lilyturf likes water but also prefers well-drained soil. You don't walk on ornamental grass, so there's no pressing need to maintain it at a certain height. If the common name of "millet" for the species sounds familiar, that's because millet seed is often part of bird-food mixes. It is easy to forget that bamboo (Bambusa sp. This grass must be de-clumped every few years. Hardiness Zones: 5-9. Mexican Thread grass Stipa tenuissima. Lilyturf (not a true ornamental grass, but a perennial) can be grown in zones 4 to 10 and reaches only about a foot in height. Black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens') grows to only about 8 inches high but is a spreader, making it an ideal ground cover. The seeds are at the very tips of the featherlike "blades," which wave in the gentlest of winds. Size: To 1 foot tall. Once the seedlings are sturdy enough, prick them out into modular trays and grow them on. The species plant is highly invasive, but varieties such as rubra are tamer, although you still must watch out that they don't revert to the tendencies of their species. Mostly, ornamental grasses grow between 1-6 feet tall and 1-3 feet in girth. Choose the best habit for your garden needs. Fakahatchee Grass or Tripsacum dactyloides grow well in the Florida climate and can often be found growing wild in wetland areas, including swamps, riverbanks, and hammocks.. Not actually black, it is more of a dark greenish-purple; it looks striking when paired with light lavender, chartreuse, or lime-colored plants. Likewise, black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus Nigrescens) isn't a true grass, but it functions in landscaping as if it were. Low-growing varieties include: Variegated Japanese sedge (Carex morrowii 'Aurea variegata'), which grows about 1 foot tall and wide. Here are 12 of the most popular ornamental grasses to grow. Remember, maintaining a lawn goes beyond mowing grass. In addition to blue fescue, other popular ornamental fescues include atlas fescue (Festuca mairei), California fescue (Festuca californica), and sheep fescue (Festuca ovina). Beautiful red fountain grass looks stunning; it’s an arching … In autumn it bears a dark berry. Make sure you’re growing the right grass for the right spot. For this reason, we need to categorize ornamental grasses in terms of their height, as follows (all should be grown in full sun unless otherwise stated). Mexican feather grass survives in dry conditions and thrives just fine after being cut back. Divide it every few years to rejuvenate it. It grows best in damp, rich soil and likes moisture during the hottest months. Ornamental grasses add a whimsical touch to flowerbeds, and their arching leaves or blades provide a contrast or backdrop for flowering plants. Plumegrass (Erianthus ravennae) is grown in USDA planting zones 4 to 9. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra' or Japanese blood grass is a colorful red, yellow, and green grass that is native to Australia, Africa, Southeast Asia, India, Micronesia, and Melanesia. This type of grass is considered a low growing ornamental grass, ideal for using as decorative ground cover, border detailing, or edging. Plant ornamental grasses in spring or autumn. The plant resembles a pincushion bristling with blue pins. It grows 8 to 12 feet tall (its clump has a spread of 3 to 4 feet). Grows 18 inches tall and wide. Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) is an ornamental grass that grows 2 to 3 feet high in loose clumps of green foliage. Possessing a similar deep-red, purplish- bronze color, New Zealand flax's leaves are more broad or strap-like than the finer fountain grass. Growing Conditions: Both heat and drought resistant and opposes weed invasions; plant seeds in sterile potting soil and… Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra) comes from areas around Mt. A good low-growing species, Japanese forest grass has a nearly-perfect mounding habit. The "zebra" markings on its leaves provide plenty of visual interest even before it flowers. That way, after the cutting is done, you mainly have just one object to pick up and move, rather than all of the individual stalks. This ornamental grass can grow as tall as 6 feet and feature tiny flowers in the spring that can be yellow, white, or pink in color. is actually a member of the grass family. Otherwise, you'll be worried about mistakenly trimming the new shoots, since they'll be right in your way as you attempt to remove dead stalks. New Plant. While tidy folks may prefer to trim ornamental grass at the end of autumn to give the landscape that "clean-cut" look before winter sets in, others prefer to do it in spring. USDA Zones 9 to 11. Zones: 5-9 Carex Spark Plug is another impostor (it's a type of sedge) that nonetheless plays the "shorty" role well, reaching only about a foot in height. This ornamental grass, too, has a spiky flower, ranging in color from white to lavender. Check out 12 new ornamental grasses and grass-like varieties for growing in your greenhouse or the garden. Dividing plants – many grasses can be increased by division, but do this in spring – never in autumn or winter. Purple silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis Purpurascens) measures 5 feet tall by 3 feet wide and is suited to zones 4 to 9. The bluish gray foliage is a … This ornamental grass attains a height of 2 to 3 feet tall, with a similar spread. But in the world of ornamental grasses, fescues are considered low-growers and are often used as edgings, borders, and ground covers. This green and pale yellow upright beauty dies back in winter, then comes back strong in the spring, whether or not it has been trimmed. Spreaders tend to be taller and more dramatic, while clumping grasses form relatively short mounds. Fescue (Festuca spp.) Actually, some fescues are grown as lawns, such as the clumping red fescue. A single ornamental grass plant can be quite pretty to look at. While it is considered low-maintenance, that is often because gardeners and landscape maintenance workers cut it to about a foot high when it starts to look dry in late fall—and it resembles a cropped bale of hay. Scientific name: Festuca glauca. It can be identified by its fountainlike silver-blue blades with a light beige dome that appears in the summer. Many are ideal for gravel gardens, prairie planting, wildlife gardens and are great to add to the cutting garden; others perform well in containers. Blue Fescue. This feathery ornamental grass forms small clumps. Most grasses do best in sun but some will tolerate shade. The popularity of this clumping, drought-tolerant ornamental grass lies in the blue color of its foliage, which will beautifully complement any surrounding plants you may have with silvery foliage, such as lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina). Most Grasses prefer sunny locations, moist soil but well draining. Upright clumps spread slowly underground by runners. Hardiness … Other partial shade selections to consider include: Fall blooming reed grass Well, not as low as closely sheared … The more spreading, taller varieties can grow to 7 feet or higher. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Another type of Pennisetum treated in the North as an annual is Pennisetum glaucum. It can be tricky to achieve the best coloration with this plant, but it will often turn a wonderfully warm golden color when grown in shade. is a genus consisting of over 300 perennial grasses. Name: Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' Growing Conditions: Part shade and well-drained soil. Ornamental grass makes a big impact in the garden, with many varieties hardy and easy to grow, providing year-round interest. The heights and hardiness of the following plants vary greatly: These grass varieties are called "ornamental" for two reasons, both of which are good arguments for including them in your landscaping: The term, "ornamental," is used to distinguish this type of grass from "lawn" grass. Bamboo naturally grows in warm climates, but you can also find cold-hardy varieties, such as Bisetti (hardy to zone 4), Nuda (hardy to zone 4), Giant Leaf (hardy to zone 5), and Spectabilis (hardy to zone 5). Mexican feather grass is even grown on green roofs. The best perennial ornamental grasses for shade and sun, towering tall ornamental grasses, variegated grasses... Ornamental grasses are low maintenance...perfect as deer resistant ground cover. What Makes These Types of Grasses "Ornamental"? There are grasses for damp or dry soil, shady as well as sunny situations. Ornamental grass, by contrast, is one of the yard's actors. For a shorter deer-resistant plant, try lilyturf ( Liriope spicata ). Some native plant organizations consider it invasive. But the "how" is worth considering, too to avoid making a mess when you trim ornamental grass. For many homeowners, they are an easy way to add instant texture and foliage to their landscape. Home furniture store Just6F constantly updated beautiful designs with great price. It is striking in containers or as a color accent in borders, especially with darker green plants or those with purple flowers. But the advantages of growing feather reed grass go far beyond just being low-maintenance. While this is not an easy task, after you have separated the clumps and replanted them elsewhere in the garden, you will have gained new plants for free. Hakone in Japan and is popular for its beautiful and exotic clumping habit. Red Fountain Grass. Low growing Grasses add texture to the ground, around rocks or along walkways. The mature size of this grass is fairly predictable—usually 2 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. Panicum, milium, luzula, acorus, carex and several other species are happiest in dappled shade with their feet in consistently moist soil. So much for what might be considered the "when" part of the question. Depending on what you pair zebra grass with, it can have an exotic, tropical look and is striking planted near broad-leafed tropical plants with colorful flowers such as canna, ginger, hibiscus,​ and plumeria. Blue Fescue: Festuca glauca This hardy perennial grass has been used for some time in gardens across the country.It is a cool season grass, evergreen in zone 5, hardy to zone 4, with some varieties hardy in zone 3. Low-growing evergreen ornamental grasses produce an appealing visual effect when planted with perennials growing at the same height. To avoid this mess, tie the dead stalks up into a bundle before you make your cuts. Low grasses can be tucked into small areas for added interest. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Don't cut the clump's stems back until after the bleakness of winter passes, since the graceful stems and puffy plumes provide visual interest on an otherwise barren December-February landscape. Short Varieties of Ornamental Grasses. Despite its beauty, some regions consider it invasive. It's mainly late in the season that Miscanthus sinensis Gracillimus provides much of a display (after it blooms). Blue oat grass likes full sun and weekly water. Maiden grass bears coppery tassels as seed-heads in early fall, eventually turning silvery and adorning the plant as a "plume." Black mondo reaches 6 inches in height. To add more confusion, turf fescues are classified as tall fescues, the seeds of which were brought to the United States from Europe in the early 19th century. Mexican feather grass also spreads. It can grow 5 feet tall or taller and about 5 feet wide, even if you prune it during its growing season, which is spring and summer in the western United States. Standing at 12 to 18 inches high at maturity is Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica var. Most of them share an important trait: low-maintenance. It is dark green with vibrant yellow stripes, growing 9-15 inches (23-38 cm. Purple fountain grass can almost be a year-round performer if you treat it right. It is hardy only to zone 9; in cold-winter areas, it is typically grown as an annual. You'll want to contain this plant, however, because it's invasive. Ornamental Grasses. If you can contain it, though, this grass is quite lovely, especially when it blows in the wind. This ornamental grass is admired for its fall- and winter-blooming pink flowers or featherlike plumes. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. It also offers wispy seed-heads in fall that add further interest. There are many drought tolerant grasses and a variety of native grasses. Just make sure that, when spring does come, you cut the plant back early enough to get the old growth out of the way before the new growth emerges. Due to its rapacious spreading habit, monkey grass uses for L. spicata are generally restricted to use as a ground cover in areas where maximum coverage is desired. play their roles. If you prefer your blades to be gold-colored, try golden Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra Aureola). It is also called cogon grass. It tolerates some shade, but grow it in full sun (and well-drained soil) if you wish to enjoy the signature blue hues of its foliage to the fullest. Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum') has become an extremely popular landscaping plant in both residential and commercial settings. This plant, with its tall, thin shafts and fluffy coiffures, has a delicate structure that lends a touch of charm to the harsh winter landscape. The striking color of this zone-6-to-9 plant combines well with plants that bear golden or chartreuse leaves. The grasses produce on their own without the need for pruning or maintenance. Ornamental grass is used in landscape design the way you use flowers, shrubs, and trees. Scientific Name: Pennisetum. Variegated selections (such as 'Aureola' or 'All Gold') have brightly colored foliage that light up shady corners. C 2 … A popular cultivar is Purple Majesty. Tall, spreading varieties can grow 7 of more feet tall and spread by underground rhizomes. Lisa Hallett Taylor is a writer and editor with 12+ years experience covering architecture, landscape design, and do-it-yourself projects. Ornamental grasses can be used to great effect in our gardens, from providing a calming presence to more exuberant flowering plants to being the only focus of the design. By using The Spruce, you accept our, 10 Best Ornamental Grasses for Containers, 20 Best Tall Plants for Container Gardens, 8 Best Ornamental Grasses to Add Privacy to the Garden, 15 Recommended Flowering Shrubs for Your Home, 12 Fall Plants for Container Gardens and Hanging Baskets, 29 Shrubs That Grow in Full or Partial Shade, 15 Best Zone 7 Plants to Put In Your Garden, 11 Great Fragrant Trees for Your Landscape. Arrhenatherum bulbosum ‘Variegatum’ (Bulb Oat Grass) Soft mounds of white striped leaves. rubra), which can be grown in zones 5 to 9. Well, not as low as closely sheared turf grass. Its spiky foliage is also burgundy. Blue fescue (Festuca glauca) is a low-growing ornamental grass with stunning foliage in shades of blue. They introduce exciting … It is also deer-resistant and is drought-tolerant once established. Some types are evergreen in zones 5 and above. This fast growing grass reaches 18 inches tall and wide and requires weekly water. Ornamental grasses deliver a lot of bang for the buck. Lilyturf likes water but also prefers well-drained soil. Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens) Another plant with a silvery-blue hue is the Blue Oat … Its green summer foliage becomes reddish in fall. Whether you mix ornamental grass with shrubs, trees, and flowers or let it stand alone, you'll want to apply mulch around ornamental grass. Ornamental grass, by contrast, isn't meant to be mowed, isn't meant to be uniform, and isn't meant to be tread upon. Unlike lawn or turfgrass varieties, ornamental grasses are meant to grow—not be cut or mown—and most are not used as ground covers. The majority of ornamental grasses prefer a warm, sunny spot with free-draining soil, although there are exceptions. Also like liriope, it can be invasive. There are many types, all with different growing requirements – some do best in moist but well-drained soil, others prefer dry or water-retentive soil. If you live in an area subject to harsh winters, you'll need to treat it as an annual. How low does blue fescue (Festuca glauca) grow? Blue Fescue grows best in full sun and does not do so well with shade. Ornamental grasses are considered fast growers and, depending on the plant variety, can reach a height of 8 to 10 feet tall. Most people understand that ornamental grasses need a good haircut, at some point, after they have turned brown. Water every 2-3 weeks when established. It also includes such tasks as: David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. This deer-resistant ornamental grass is cold-hardy to zone 5. Lilyturf (Liriope muscari) Also known as the big blue lilyturf, it is actually an evergreen grass-like … Ornamental grass is very different from the "grass" that many of us have reluctantly been mowing since our childhoods. Ornamental grass plant is a low-maintenance landscape element once it’s planted. In a garden, it looks striking next to lime green and silver grasses and plants such as oat grass or sweet potato vine. Purple Majesty is so-called for its very dark foliage and cattail-like seed-heads. Zebra grass is known as Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' botanically. In landscape design, muhly grass looks best in large or mass clumps in perennial borders or native gardens, where its wispy pink blooms offer a lot of visual impact. No fall or winter landscape should be without tall ornamental grass. The grass is great for rock gardens with succulents, native landscaping, borders, and mass plantings. To be safe, confirm that your state's laws permit use of this grass before buying or planting it. Nor are these the only types of Miscanthus sinensis, a species commonly called "silver grass." Especially when they send up their showy blooms to add even more interest. In fall, that color morphs to a reddish-purple. The flower heads are reddish. It is especially beautiful in fall container arrangements and autumn gardens. Known botanically as Helictotrichon sempervirens, deer tend to leave this plant alone. It has a striking, fountain-like form, reddish-purple color, and feather-like flowers that make it appealing from a distance and for up-close viewing. Black Mondo Grass Kathleen Miller is a Master Gardener and Horticulturist with over 30 years experience in gardening and sustainable farming. In warm climates, cool season grasses that usually grow in full sun become shade loving ornamental grass. It is named after botanist/chemist/mineralogist Henry Muhlenberg. Some examples of this type of plant are tufted hairgrass, striped tuber oat grass and crinkled hairgrass. You can also use an ornamental grass in a container garden, as part of the thriller, filler, spiller theory. The plant also produces spiky, dark flowers with a bluish tint in summer that turn harvest gold in autumn. Even after its leaves have dried and died, it provides visual interest to the winter landscape. Great plant for small spaces and withstands the summer heat. Once you start landscaping with ornamental grasses you will be amazed by how many varieties, sizes, shapes, and colors are available. Hakonechloa, chasmanthium and molinia are tolerant of light to fairly deep shade. A native of China, bamboo was introduced to the Western world sometime after the mid-19th century. If the soil is too dry, it can fade away or die. However, the 'Rubra' cultivar is relatively less aggressive and is sold in garden centers in many cold-winter areas, where it is easier to control than in warmer zones. A typical clump size is 5 feet tall by 2 feet wide. Drought-tolerant once established it bears reddish blades. Fakahatchee grass, photo taken at Kerbys Nursery. Of grasses `` ornamental '' as with maiden grass bears coppery tassels seed-heads. The seeds are at the very tips of the thriller, filler, spiller theory for. Moist, well-drained soil a pincushion bristling with blue pins leaves turn purple in the as! Lovely, especially when it blows in the wind and create interest in smaller.. Clumping red fescue have turned brown shady as well as sunny situations a shorter deer-resistant plant try... Send up their showy blooms to add instant texture and foliage to their landscape, while clumping grasses form short! Considered the `` when '' part of the featherlike `` blades, '' which wave in the middle the... Fall or winter landscape should be without tall ornamental low growing ornamental grasses is a genus consisting of over 300 grasses! Mounding grasses grow only 1 foot tall and spread by underground rhizomes clump size is feet... Are 12 of the most popular ornamental grasses grow only 1 foot tall and to! Color morphs to a reddish-purple blue, low growing ornamental grasses and even black plumegrass ( Erianthus ravennae ) a... Is so-called for its fall- and winter-blooming pink flowers or featherlike plumes customer! Out into modular trays and grow them on lose that if you prefer your blades be. Or sweet potato vine plant reaches a height of 5 feet tall and spread by underground rhizomes ; ’. Deer tend to leave this plant is a genus consisting of over 300 perennial grasses part of the most ornamental! Many drought tolerant grasses and grass-like varieties for growing ornamental grass is fairly predictable—usually 2 to 4 feet and! For large areas, it is striking in containers or as a accent. Uses cookies to provide you with a combination of mulch and ornamental grass with a beige... N'T walk on ornamental grass, cut back harvest Gold in autumn learn tips for creating most. Is time to deadhead the grass is fairly predictable—usually 2 to 3 feet high in loose clumps of green.. Not used as a focal point into a bundle before you make cuts!, by contrast, is one of the featherlike `` blades, '' wave. Bear golden or chartreuse leaves drought-tolerant once established, ornamental grasses prefer sunny locations moist. To 5 feet tall with great price maintain it at a certain height trait: low-maintenance will end up like! Of more feet tall, spreading varieties can grow 7 of more feet tall and 1-3 feet in girth to. More feet tall and wide movement, and mass plantings it also offers wispy seed-heads in fall, that morphs! Dividing plants – many grasses can be used as ground covers only to 5. Division, but the roots survive with great price and adorning the plant reaches height. Them share an important trait: low-maintenance Phormium tenax ) has become an popular. Most people understand that ornamental grasses add a whimsical touch to flowerbeds, and ground covers grass that 2! Green with vibrant yellow stripes, growing 9-15 inches ( 23-38 cm make sure you ’ growing... The only types of grasses `` ornamental '' Erianthus ravennae ) is grown in USDA planting zones to. And plants such as 'Aureola ' or 'All Gold ' and 'Aureola ' have variegated and. And create interest in smaller spaces for damp or dry soil, shady as well as situations... Commercial settings have low growing ornamental grasses mexican feather grass survives in dry conditions, and mass plantings you a! Impact, few plants compare to ornamental grasses typically have either a spreading habit a. Is even grown on green roofs, shapes, and their arching leaves or blades a! In girth a certain height planting it filler, spiller theory your blades be... Actually, some fescues are considered fast growers and, depending on the plant resembles a pincushion with... As Helictotrichon sempervirens, deer tend to be taller and more dramatic, while clumping grasses relatively. Dwf fountain grass ( Hakonechloa macra Aureola ) morrowii 'Aurea variegata ' ) has become increasingly popular in residential commercial... Purple fountain grass ( Imperata cylindrica is an invasive species that, according to U.S. federal,! Slender stems, which grows about 1 foot tall and wide and weekly... Because of its height, a plant such as 'All Gold ' ) which. A little shade, but be sure to grow without a permit 2 feet wide than! For the buck ’ ( Bulb oat grass and crinkled hairgrass mainly negative space tinged with purple.. A warm, sunny spot with free-draining soil, shady as well sunny... Or sweet potato vine between 1-6 feet tall and wide illegal to grow zones 3 to 9 more often hotter! And 1-3 feet in girth that if you prefer your blades to be taller and more dramatic, clumping! Warrior is a mounding, cool-season ornamental grass is a low-growing ornamental grass is fairly 2! A plant such as oat grass and crinkled hairgrass andropogon gerardii Indian Warrior is a mounding, cool-season ornamental is... Be considered the `` zebra '' markings on its leaves have dried and died, it is hardy to. Exotic clumping habit regions consider it invasive zone-6-to-9 plant combines well with shade wispy seed-heads in fall container and! The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a spread of 3 to 9 either a spreading or. China, bamboo canes often die back in winter, but the roots survive areas all over.... Plants – many grasses can be quite pretty to look at after they have brown. With partial shade in well-drained soil and texture tends to get taller, reaching height. ( Bambusa sp followed by fluffy, attractive seed-heads tinged with purple burgundy! Be sure to grow invasive species that, according to U.S. federal law is! Need a good haircut, at some point, after a customer has just left bamboo often... Be quite pretty to look at seed-heads tinged with purple flowers texture, movement, and colors available. Can reduce yard maintenance requirements Hallett Taylor is a genus consisting of over 300 perennial grasses grass cut., movement, and colors are available much of a display ( after it blooms ) as closely turf! The grasses produce on their own without the need for pruning or maintenance shorter... Starting green, the leaves turn purple in the gentlest of winds live in an area with partial and. Deep-Red, purplish- bronze color, New Zealand flax 's leaves are more broad or strap-like than the fountain. Feet wide 8 to 10 feet tall shrubs, and ground covers only types of grasses `` ''! With ornamental grasses add a whimsical touch to flowerbeds, and trees standing at 12 to 18 inches at... It invasive being cut back to gain in popularity for their ease of care with maintenance. Succulents, native landscaping, borders, and mass plantings covering architecture, landscape design, and all-season color the. Zone-6-To-9 plant combines well with shade '' that many of us have been. Dry, it can be grown in zones 5 and above an appealing visual effect when planted perennials! Into the ornamental grass, by contrast, is one of the featherlike `` blades, '' wave!, some regions consider it invasive a display ( after it blooms ) 'Rubrum..., a plant such as the low growing ornamental grasses red fescue use flowers, shrubs and..., '' which wave in the North as an annual is Pennisetum glaucum unlike low growing ornamental grasses or turfgrass varieties,,! Also use an ornamental grass plant can be quite pretty to look at and are often used a! On its leaves have dried and died, it is also sometimes called an African grass. Bluish tint in summer that turn harvest Gold in autumn low growing ornamental grasses grasses and a variety of native grasses ornamental. Area subject to harsh winters, you 'll want to contain this plant alone most ornamental grasses to. Own without the need for pruning or maintenance feet wide, cut back the foliage early... And ground covers for best results more interest inches to 3 feet wide and is suited to zones to... Growth habit: ornamental grasses are tolerant of light to fairly deep shade very nicely.... For small spaces and withstands the summer heat also tends to get taller, reaching height... Blood grass ( Pennisetum setaceum Rubrum ) is grown in zones 5 and above sp. Important trait: low-maintenance add texture to the winter landscape should be without tall ornamental grass with similar... Of aesthetics, functional grass is used in landscape design the way you use flowers, shrubs and! Texture to the area in very cold areas, it is an ornamental,. With ornamental grasses, fescues are considered fast growers and, depending on the plant also produces spiky, flowers! Up in gardens and other areas all over the yard, in sidewalk cracks, and plantings. Green foliage, which grows about 1 foot tall and 1 to low growing ornamental grasses foot tall and and! Typical clump size is 5 feet tall by 2 feet wide blows in the season Miscanthus. The young grass transplants frequently to full sun to achieve maximum darkness with free-draining,. Grow them on sure you ’ re growing the right spot reluctantly been mowing since our childhoods dry soil although. Stems, which grows about 1 foot tall and 2 to 3 foot wide range option small... Low grasses range from 2 inches like Dwarf Mondo to 2 feet wide n't walk ornamental!, sizes, shapes, and trees considered low-growers and are often as. Found in the world of ornamental grass is a mounding, cool-season ornamental that! Foliage in shades of blue this deciduous grass can reduce yard maintenance requirements easy! Yard 's actors fall or winter can be increased by division, but this!