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While purple fountain grass is known as a perennial, it is actually considered a tender perennial. This ornamental grass cannot survive cold winters and is hardy only in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 and warmer (though in Zones 7-8 it can sometimes reappear given adequate winter protection).
Blue lyme grass will stay evergreen as long as you water it year round. It grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 10 and can be invasive if planted in the ground. Contrast the lovely blue-green of the grass with a warm terracotta pot or one in muted brown tones.
Colourful foliage and textural flower heads bring plenty of interest to the garden, and evergreen grasses can even be used to create year round structure. Most grasses associate beautifully with each other, blending gracefully into perennial borders and creating a rich tapestry.
Most ornamental grasses develop tall seed heads late in the summer that naturally persist through the winter. When temperatures start to drop the plant will die back, leaving the dried foliage, stalks, and seed heads. … Many people enjoy the colors and movement that these elements provide in winter.
Pennisetum x advena ‘Rubrum’ (Red Fountain Grass) – A clumping semi-evergreen grass that grows upright to 4-5+ feet tall with dark burgundy-red foliage that arches gracefully outwards and produces one foot long red plume-like inflorescences that rise above the foliage and arch over nicely toward the tips.
Red or purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) is hardy in zones 8 to 11 so it will not survive Wisconsin winters. … The goal is to keep the fountain grass dormant, not growing and not shriveling up, throughout the winter. In mid March, move the plants to a warm sunny location to get them started growing.
- Anemanthele lessoniana. Image: Neil Lucas.
- Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’. Image: Neil Lucas.
- Calamagrostis ‘Waldenbuch’. Image: Neil Lucas.
- Miscanthus ‘Flamingo’. Image: Neil Lucas.
- Pennisetum Dark Desire. Image: Neil Lucas.
Blue oat grass (Helictoctrichon sempervirens) is my favorite blue foliaged grass. Hardy in zones 3 to 8 it is more tolerant of heavy soils than blue fescue. Blue oat grass forms an attractive clump 2 to 3 feet tall. The smaller blue fescue (Festuca) is good for well-drained areas subject to salty conditions.
When & Where to Plant Ornamental Grass Soil Conditions: Ornamental grasses are not picky about soil conditions. … Planting: Plant ornamental grasses in spring so they have time to get established before winter. You can also plant in fall in warmer parts of the country, where winters aren’t as severe.
- Pampas Grass. This monumental grass can reach heights of up to 10′ and creates easy, year-long privacy with tall stems and showy plumes. …
- Miscanthus Grass. …
- Feather Reed Grass.
A non-invasive, tuft-forming, semi-evergreen grass with lovely, blue-green foliage whose colouration is most pronounced early in the season.
As you can see, despite Chicago’s freezing temperatures during winter months, there are several beautiful ornamental grasses that will thrive in winter’s frost. Japanese silver, purple fountain, Ravenna, and miscanthus maiden grasses are all phenomenal choices.
Tip. Most ornamental grasses are perennial plants, coming back year after year. 1 But a few are grown as annuals that last for just one growing season, especially in cold northern climates.
Most ornamental grasses are perennials, living for two or more years. Annual grasses live for only one growing season because of their natural growth habit or they are not hardy in our climate.
Plant Care These ornamental grasses are evergreen and quick growing during the summer months but are not at all hardy in the UK. Grow in a sunny well drained position or ideally in a container for the summer but bring inside with good light and minimum temperature of 10’c before the first frosts.
Graceful Grasses® Purple Fountain Grass Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’
Care of Pink Muhly Grass The grass is semi-evergreen but you may want to cut it back in early spring to remove any brown blades and make way for new green growth. One other aspect of muhly grass care is division. … Simply dig up the plant in late fall to early spring.
Ornamental Evergreen Grasses These easy-going evergreen grass plants handle various soil conditions in Sunset’s Climate Zones 4 through 24. … A common ornamental grass that grows in Sunset’s Climate Zones 4 through 24 is fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides).
Hi Joyce, yes, you should be able to bring your ornamental grass indoors, to a cool location for the winter, as long as they also receive moderate sunlight. For the best results, you should wait until spring to cut them back, and then do so leaving at least four inches above ground.
Some of the more popular cool season grasses include, Fescues, Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichon), Tufted Hair Grass (Deschampsia), and Autumn Moor Grass (Sesleria).
Grasses are my latest ‘must have’ plants. … They provide colour, texture and movement all year, and not only on evergreen plants. The movement of leaves, flower stems and seed heads on tall grasses in the wind is hugely attractive.
One of the most common grasses, maiden grass is big, beautiful, and easy to grow. It offers narrow, arching foliage (many selections are variegated; look for them to add more color to your landscape) and silvery plumes that are enchanting when the light catches them just right.
- Carex. …
- Orange New Zealand Sedge. …
- Mexican Feather Grass. …
- Ornamental Millet. …
- Umbrella Grass. …
- Scottish Tufted Hair Grass. …
- Purple Fountain Grass. …
- Pink Muhly Grass. ‘Plumetastic’ Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) has a mounding growth habit, with green, grass-like foliage.
- Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana, C. jubata)–This stuff is everywhere. …
- Maidengrass (Miscanthus spp.) …
- Reed canary grass or ribbon grass (Phalaris arundinacea)–in the wild P. …
- Fountain grass (Pennisetum sp.)
Ornamental grasses have seen a huge increase in popularity over the last decade. They’re highly valued as low-maintenance plants and many grow well in poor soil. They provide interest for most, if not all of the year. Grasses are hardy, resistant to pests and diseases and are quick growing.
Pampas grass is a perennial that will survive winters in USDA growing zones 7 to 11 (and is considered marginally hardy in zone 6). Plant pampas grass in a sunny spot (with at least six hours a day of sun) and in well-drained soil.
Ornamental Grasses: At Their Finest in the Fall And fall is an excellent time to plant them, rewarding the gardener with much bigger and showier blooming plants next year. Planting ornamental grasses in the fall is almost like picking up an entire growing season without the work and water.
When to Cut Back and Divide Ornamental Grasses Most gardeners leave their native grasses in place for winter interest and to provide food for birds. The time when you should cut back ornamental grasses is in late winter or early spring. Cut them back to within a few inches of the ground.
Miscanthus transmorrisonensis is an evergreen clumping grass with narrow green leaves which grows 2-3 foot high. Inflorescences are held high above foliage starting in spring and lasting into winter. Cut flowers make excellent additions to flower arrangments. Give this grass plenty of space as it becomes quite wide.
Miscanthus sinensis Zebrinus is a deciduous grass, the old foliage should be left over the Winter as this will protect the crown of the plant from inclement weather conditions and will still provide structure and interest, especially on frosty days.
The plants are hardy to USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 9. Choose a sunny to partially sunny location when growing zebra grass. Its clumping habit makes it perfect when planted in groups as a hedge or alone in a container.
Evergreen grass plants Evergreen grasses are perfect for adding year-round colour and interest to your garden. They provide the permanent framework, structure and texture to borders and containers. … They tend to have slightly thicker, more architectural foliage with most whispy grasses normally being deciduous.
- Northern sea oats.
- Mosquito grass.
- Berkeley sedge.
- Variegated bulbous oat grass.
- Determine the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone for your area to narrow the types of ornamental grasses that can grow in your yard. …
- Test your soil with a soil pH test kit. …
- Evaluate the kind of sunlight and irrigation the ornamental grass has available.
Most Ornamental Grass varieties appreciate sun, and will perform best when grown in full sunlight. Some varieties, though sun-loving will do well in partial shade, but would be taller or more sturdy when given an exposure of full sun.
Ornamental Grasses That Run Unlike the tidy growth habit of clump-forming grasses, ornamental grasses that increase by rhizomes will spread, or run, throughout a garden bed and can quickly take over. Their growth habit is a lot like turf grass.