Ornamental grasses are among the easiest types of landscape plants to maintain. Often forgotten, these easy going plants can energize a landscape installation that has to endure intense temperatures and minimal watering. Here are a few ways to put ornamental grasses to use in your landscape.
En masse: If your landscape has a large area to be filled, look no further than ornamental grasses. Not only do ornamental grasses help with erosion in large spaces, they can add interesting texture and color to your landscape with foliage and flowers. They also help conserve water compared to other types of landscape plants; even turf.
Stand alone: In smaller spaces, or patio containers, ornamental grasses can be used as individual focal points. They are especially reliable for containers in dry regions and will give you fast return on height in your design. On the same note, be sure to consider the mature size of the ornamental grass you use, so it doesn’t look out of scale with your overall design.
Perennial Border: Ornamental grasses are great additions to established or new mixed perennial borders. They look beautiful tucked in between blooming plants and shrubs, or will do fine being the star of the show. Their blooms and foliage texture can help break up any monotony in your design. They pair perfectly with other low maintenance and low water plants.
One of our favorite grasses is Muhlenbergia capillaris, Pink Muhly grass. This mid-sized grass produces attractive pink plumes of color in the fall and has medium green foliage. This grass can be used in any part of your landscape that receives full sun. It is also semi-evergreen, so that’s always a plus in your design.
Another favorite is Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’, Purple Fountain grass. Another mid-sized grass that has striking deep purple foliage and flowers to match. Plants grow quickly and can reach mature size in one season. Purple fountain grass is only cold hardy in USDA Zones 9-11, so keep in mind they may perform as annuals in your area.
This month’s Featured Plants
- Muhlenbergia capillaris
- Hesperaloe parviflora
- Purple Fountain Grass, Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’
- Eldarica Pine, Pinus eldarica
- Dwarf Arborvitae, Thuja orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’
- Texas Sage, Leucophyllum langmaniae ‘Lynn’s Legacy’
- Boston Ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata
- Creeping Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’
- Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina domestica ‘Gulf Stream’
- Graber’s Pyracantha, Pyracantha fortuneana ‘Graberi’