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Ornamental Grass in Garden Design

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Decorative grasses are typically what they are called – type of grasses that is used for ornamental purposes. Usually, this type of grass is not used for lawns, because their sole distinction from the regular grass is that it produces curious ornamental patterns that can’t be seen if cut down.

Use of Ornamental Grass in Your Garden

Ornamental Grass

Feather Reedgrass

One of the biggest misconceptions about ornamental grass is that it is aggressive (invasive) and can capture your entire garden. In fact, most types of grass that are recommended for garden and landscaping grow well, but do not disorder the whole composition in the garden.

Grass seems magical because it is never static. It appears green in early season, and by the summer it grows to large bushes, some of them eve blooming. Throughout the season, it moves with the slightest breeze and makes us listen to the sound of the wind that rustles in them. In autumn, you will have a bush with bright plumage, which changes its color from the golden wheat, then blazing orange to copper color. Wheat color of grass leaves looks attractive the whole winter.

No other plants are so easy to maintain as decorative grass. All you need to do is cut the grass in late winter or early spring, which has regrown over the previous year.

Most grasses and cereal grasses are drought tolerant and need watering only for a few weeks after planting, especially in the dry season. All you really need to do is cut them in early spring.

Ornamental grass can be divided into cold season grass and warm season grass, depending on its growth and flowering.

Cold season grass has rapidly flushing leaves in the spring, when the temperature is cool and there is a lot of moisture. It grows best at a temperature from zero to 24 ° C, especially in early spring, blooms earlier and stunts in midsummer. Cold season grass remains attractive until late summer. Some types of cold season grass can be called evergreen, they have bright colors, require minimal care and cutting in the spring.

Warm season grasses, such as Miscanthus, Pennisetum or Panicum virgatum, begin to grow slowly. Most of them bloom in late summer or early fall. The best way to endure their spring sluggishness is to surround them with tulips or daffodils.

Best Ornamental Grasses


1. Feather Reedgrass

This type of ornamental grass is very popular as it has distinctive upright feature that stays through all winter. This plant is hardy to zones 5 to 9, but it is unfortunately not native to North America.

2. Switchgrass

This grass offers airy plumes that bloom in late summer and early fall. Some varieties offer blue-gray type of foliage and then might turn gold in fall. This grass is hardy to zones 4 to 9, and it is native to North America.

3. Fountaingrass

This variety has beautiful shape with soft graceful feathery plumes that are soft to touch. Hardy to zones 5 to 9 this grass type is not native to North America.

4. Fiber optic grass

This type of grass has a fine texture and curious white plumes. It is perfect for container gardening and can be used in various plant compositions. Hardy to zones 10 to 11, this grass type is native to North America.

Ornamental Grass

Japanese Forest Grass

5. Japanese Forestgrass

This type of grass is rather low-growing species with wide leaves and shady corners. Japanese Forestgrass can grow up to 4 to 6 feet wide. Hardy to zones 5 to 9, this plant is not native to North America.

6. Maidengrass

This variety is one of the most common ornamental grasses to encounter and there are many various types. The arching foliage can grow up to 8 feet tall. Hardy to zones 4 to 9, this plant is not native to North America.

7. Zebragrass



Zebragrass has this distinct striped foliage with upright feature that is both funky and quite ornamental. This plant is hardy to zones 4 to 9 and is not native to North American region.

8. Mexican Feathergrass

This variety has distinctive soft foliage with fine texture that you just can’t resist to run your fingers through. Although quite beautiful, this plant is extremely invasive. Hardy to zones 6 to 10, this plant is native to North American region.

9. ‘Fireworks’ Fountain Grass

Well, this grass has distinctive red center ribs with narrow leaves that sort of fire up and stay upright, which is perfect for creating focal points.. Hardy to zones 9 it can grow up to 6 feet tall.

10. ‘Northern Lights’ Grass

This variety is famous for the unique coloration of the foliage: it has coral highlights that is reminding the beautiful Northern Lights. Hardy to zones 4 to 9, this plant needs moist soil and full shade.

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