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tall, 3 ft. wide. Big gardens use big grasses for dramatic compositions. Porcupine is a tall columnar grass that will serve as a strong vertical corner for perennial borders.
Porcupine Grass Care The plant is not drought tolerant and should not be allowed to dry out. Once the plant is several years old, it is a good idea to dig it up and divide it. This will provide you with another plant and keep the center from dying out.
Most established ornamental grasses need little additional watering except in periods of drought. Most grasses go dormant in winter; those planted in the ground will survive with typical snow or rain. You can water grasses in containers only occasionally, since containers dry out so much.
Pruning porcupine grass helps to keep old growth and brown foliage from mixing with new, green growth. Cutting back is best done in spring, because during winter, the grass still has ornamental value and its foliage helps to protect the plant from harsh weather conditions.
Plant Care: Use hand pruners or hedger to cut and remove 2/3 of the total grass height. Trim edges. For warm season grasses (more common), this is best done in late winter to early spring. For cool season grasses apply the same maintenance practices in the late fall, once the plant is dormant.
Annual grasses overwintered in a hot house allow you to have full plants with good color at the earliest possible time. Keep containerized grasses on the dry side. … Grasses are susceptible to rotting and root damage if overwatered. Pay close attention to watering during the winter months.
Zebra grass is similar to porcupine grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Strictus’), another popular tall ornamental grass. The two look very much alike because they both sport horizontal stripes. But zebra grass has more of an arching habit, whereas the porcupine is more upright.
Deciduous, this perennial grass easily grows in a dense, stiffly upright clump up to 6-8 ft. tall (180-240 cm) and 3-5 ft. wide (90-150 cm). Performs best in full sun in moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soils.
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.
- 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.
If the tips of your ornamental grasses are browning, over-watering may be the cause. Always allow soil around the plants to dry out between watering. Brown tips on ornamental grasses can also be caused by over-fertilizing. … If the grass was root-bound in the pot, it will have a hard time absorbing water from the soil.
‘Zebrinus’, known as zebra grass, is a clump-forming grass noted for its horizontally banded foliage. It typically grows in a substantial clump to 4-6′ tall, but sends up flower stalks to 2′ above the foliage, thus bringing the total height of the grass to 6-8′ tall when in flower.
|Botanical Pronunciation||mis-KAN-thus sin-EN-sis gra-SIL-lim-us|
The Shenandoah switch grass grows up to 5 feet tall, and it will spread out to a width of 3 feet. Its feathery panicles rise about 1 to 2 inches above the foliage. Those flowers range in color from red to pink. The red seed heads continue to boost the color of your landscape into the mid-fall season.
Soil TypeAdaptable, Well DrainedMature Height3-4 FeetMature Width3-4 FeetGrowth RatemoderateFall ColorOrange
Plant in a sunny position in the landscape. This grass is deer resistant and will attract birds. Let foliage stand for winter habitat and visual interest and cut back to 2-3 inches above ground in early spring before new growth begins. Foliage plant all season.
Blue fescue (Festuca glauca) is a deer-resistant, sun-loving ornamental grass with icy blue foliage and pale yellow flowers.
- Tufted Hair Grass – Deschampsia cespitosa. Height: 2-3 feet. …
- Northern Sea Oats – Chasmanthium latifolium. Height: 2-3 feet. …
- Japanese Forest Grass – Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ Height: 12-18 inches. …
- Fall Blooming Reed Grass – Calamagrostis arundinacea. …
- Sedges – Carex sp. …
- Greater Wood Rush – Lazula sylvatica.
Zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’) is native to Japan and one of the Miscanthus maiden grass cultivars, all of which are used as ornamental grasses. Zebra grass plants die back in winter, but are perennial and re-sprout in spring.
Zebra grass has a tendency to flop over as it matures, and it should be pruned annually to improve its looks. Pruning is a quick, simple process, but it must be done at the right time of year to allow the plant to recover and grow under the best possible conditions.
Pruning Zebra Grass They recommend mulching to prevent heavy reseeding, but you can also cut the grass back as desired. The stalks can be left alone during the winter, as this provides root and crown protection, and it also looks unique.
It’s perfect for growing in a mixed herbaceous border. Grow Miscanthus sinensis ‘Strictus’ in moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Remove dead foliage and flowering stems in spring.
Grow this grass in full sun except in warmer regions where some afternoon shade is best. Fertilization is not necessary. Divide Miscanthus in spring or early summer to give it time to establish its roots before winter arrives. Only in the mildest of climates should it be divided in the fall.
For the best results with Miscanthus flame grass, you’ll want to plant it somewhere where it has access to full sun. This ensures it not only has enough light and heat to thrive throughout the year but also that it has plenty of exposure to sunlight in the summer and fall months to create the brightest possible colors.
Late winter is the perfect time to cut back ornamental grasses. … Although grasses can be cut back safely anytime from fall to late spring, allowing them to stand throughout most of the winter has several advantages. For one, the plumes and foliage add big interest to an otherwise barren landscape.
What Happens If You Don’t Cut Back the Ornamental Grasses? As mentioned above, you will find that the green is starting to grow through the brown. One problem that will create is that the brown will start creating seeds. Once grass has created seeds, there is a very good chance that the grass will die out.
This adaptable ornamental grass loves shady areas. It produces loose, cascading foliage that arches and moves in the wind. … The golden varieties such as ‘Aureola’ as perfect for shade as they are bright and stand out even in the shade which is what we are looking for in a grass to plant in a shady area of the garden.
You can bring fountain grass plants inside and save them in the basement, garage, or other semi-cool area. As long as there are no freezing temperatures and moderate light, the plant will survive winter.
Most go completely dormant in winter. Warm seasons grasses are not recommended for fall planting. It is best to receive them from early spring through late summer and pot them up immediately.
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.
This year I’ve decided to try my hand at overseeding my lawn with a cool season grass such as fescue, rye or bluegrass. These types of grasses will stay green throughout winter and well into spring. If you live a cooler climate, these grasses will stay green for you all year round.
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.
Which ones are the hardiest and easiest to grow? Consider the 2001 Perennial Plant of the Year, Karl Forester feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Forester’). This is hardy (zones 3 to 8), tolerates difficult growing conditions and grows 4 to 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
Fertilize the grass after dividing or cutting back in spring. Apply 1/4 cup of a 10-10-10 fertilizer per plant. Sprinkle the fertilizer in a ring around the grass, at least six inches out from the base of the grass clump. Water thoroughly after fertilizing so the nutrients leech into the root zone.
Dwarf fountain grass is moderately drought tolerant. Its plumes can rise dramatically, as high as 3 to 6 feet above the foliage. The Dainty Handcrafted Association reports that this ornamental grass dies back every winter, and pruning is the best way to encourage its return the following spring.
Growing conditions: Most types of ornamental grass require well-drained soil, and the roots may rot in soggy, poorly drained conditions. Rot can be a big reason why ornamental grass turns yellow and dies.