Ornamental grasses are great if you are looking to make a statement in your landscaping, or fill in some empty spaces that just need a little extra pizzazz. The below ornamental grasses are the perfect solution.
Ornamental grasses are a bold statement in your garden and landscape and add color, texture, and movement. With many varieties available for a range of growing zones it’s easy to find plants that suit your taste.
After the initial planting, ornamental grasses are usually easy to care for. They need watered when they are dry and cut back in late fall or early spring to promote new growth in the coming season.
Ornamental grasses work really well as border plants or edging. Their size and shape also lends them to filling in narrow spaces well.
If you’re looking to add some ornamental grasses to your garden or landscape here are 10 popular varieties:
Top 10 Types of Ornamental Grasses
- Blue Fescue
- Blue Oat Grass
- Dwarf Pampas Grass
- Feather Reed Grass
- Japanese Forest Grass
- Maiden Grass
- Purple Fountain Grass
- Rush Grass
- Zebra Grass
Most people don’t consider bamboo when thinking about ornamental grasses, even though it is a member of the grass family.
It grows upright, and quickly, making it a great addition to new landscapes or gardens that warrant quick establishment.
A small ornamental grass, blue fescue is commonly used at the base of tall, leggy shrubs, as accents or edging, or as ground cover when planted in masses.
Blue fescue grows to be about 6-10” tall and about as wide.
It does well in a variety of zones but prefers full to partial sun and well drained soil. The bluish foliage looks best in early summer; trim seed heads off plants to keep them looking compact and neat.
Blue Oat Grass
The steel blue color of blue oat grass sets it apart from other ornamental grasses.
An easy to grow grass, blue oat grass has a mounded shape that gives it a unique look. Blue oat grass also won’t spread and take over your garden.
Dwarf Pampas Grass
A medium sized ornamental grass, dwarf pampas grass grows to about 4-5’ tall and produces beautiful, showy, white plumes in the late summer and fall.
Dwarf pampas grass is one of the showiest ornamental grasses, loves full sun, and is resistant to deer and rabbits.
Feather Reed Grass
One of the most popular ornamental grasses, feather reed-grass tolerates many different growing conditions. It grows to approximately 6-8’ in height, 2-3’ in width, and tends to grow upright and straight.
Many grasses arch outward so this erectness gives it an architectural advantage over some of the others. By midsummer seed-heads mature to a deep golden color and remain attractive well into the fall and winter.
Japanese Forest Grass
This graceful ground cover almost looks like a miniature version of bamboo: having bright yellow leaves with thin green stripes. As the weather cools in the fall the foliage takes on a tinge of pink.
Japanese forest grass is slow growing and is best suited for partially shaded locations. It grows to about 18-24” tall; the arching leaf blades gracefully re-touching the ground.
Growing 6-10’ tall and 3-5’ wide, these easy to grow, arching ornamental grasses are popular in landscapes.
Maiden Grass has narrow foliage that comes in a variety of colors – from green-and-white striped, to yellow striped, dark green or greenish white – and silvery plumage that catches the light.
Purple Fountain Grass
The beautiful burgundy-red foliage of purple fountain grass makes it a favorite among gardeners. Its stunning color is present all season long and blooms in midsummer.
Plants grow to about 3’ tall and do best in full sun locations with well drained soil. It is a tender perennial and is often grown as an annual in cooler climates.
A perfect option for wet, poorly drained soils, rush thrives in damp conditions and produces richly colored, grass like foliage.
It does well in full sun and grows to a height of 18-24” tall.
If you’re looking for something that really stands out in your garden, zebra grass is a great option. Each blade features a series of bright yellow bands, giving it a striped appearance.
It is smaller in stature than some ornamental grasses (growing up to 5’ tall) and has an upright habit that makes it look great in borders.
It is also known as porcupine grass.
Benefits of Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental grasses add an architectural element to garden and landscapes. Their movement, color and texture set them apart from other garden plants giving them a unique place in garden designs.
With many different colors and shapes available to choose from, it’s easy to find one that fits your garden style.