If you are looking for a new way to spruce up your yard and add a hint of color and texture to it, landscaping with ornamental grasses might be a good idea. Ornamental grasses complement a garden’s landscape well and are available in various shapes and colors.
Whether you have a small garden or own a commercial garden, there are multiple ornamental grass types to suit your space and enhance its beauty.
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15 Good-Looking Ornamental Grasses to Spruce Your Outdoor
Ornamental grasses make an excellent alternative to grass and are low-maintenance. They have gained immense popularity in the gardening world due to their versatility. It’s important to be aware of the different types of ornamental grasses available before you choose an ornamental grass for your garden
You must consider various factors like climate and vegetation growth before choosing a type of ornamental grass. I have compiled a list of the top fifteen prettiest ornamental grasses below that will surely enhance your garden’s visual appeal.
1- Feather Reed Grass
It is an ornamental grass that gives vertical appeal to landscapes and is resilient plus low-maintenance. Feather Reed Grass features an upright growth habit with attractive, feathery flower spikes in summer. The foliage keeps its upright position all winter long, adding texture and aesthetic interest to your landscape setting.
2- Japanese Silver Grass
Japanese Silver Grass, often referred to as maiden grass, is another ornamental grass I recommend. This grass performs best when it is placed right under the sun, and its height can reach six feet. Fortunately, growing Japanese silver grass requires no special soil type.
However, you need a fertile and moist-planting area to encourage maximum growth. I recommend placing this ornamental grass in a spot where you can clearly see the sun setting. This way, the setting sun will illuminate the grass’s silver plumes. Since taking care of this ornamental grass is no difficult task, it is definitely one of my top recommendations.
3- Zebra Grass
If you are looking for tall grass, I would recommend Zebra Grass. This ornamental grass is botanically known as Miscanthus Sinensis Zebrinus. As the name suggests, this grass is known for its distinct horizontal golden bands across its leaves, representing a Zebra’s stripes.
The fast-growing grass can reach up to 8 feet under the right conditions. Zebra Grass grows best in moist soils, and USDA zones 5 to 9 are ideal to plant them. The grass’s bold appearance makes it an excellent choice for accent plantings or as a striking focal point in your outdoors.
4- Purple Fountain Grass
If you are searching for ornamental grass that will leave your visitors stunned, Purple Fountain Grass is a show-stopper! This grass brings a splash of color to your outdoors. Since it thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, it’s the finest choice if you reside in a region with a warmer climate. As long as you place the grass in a sunny spot, Purple Fountain Grass is typically easy to take care of.
5- Stipa Grass
If you think your garden needs a soft and natural touch, Stipa Grass will be a great addition to your garden! Stipa grass adds a refined and low-maintenance texture to landscapes with its thin, fluffy plumes that sway beautifully in the breeze.
It is a lovely addition to your garden thanks to its drought tolerance, hardiness, and adaptability. Stipa grass offers a unique and attractive addition to landscaping and is perfect for providing beauty throughout the year in your outdoors.
6- Blue Oat Grass
Known for its stunning blue-gray foliage and spiky flower heads, Blue Oat Grass can elevate your garden’s appeal significantly. Also known as Helictotrichon Sempervirens, this grass is a cool-toned accent to a garden’s landscape and compliments other plants beautifully.
The height of the fast-growing grass can reach up to six feet. Similarly, the width shoots up to 3 feet. Blue Oat Grass grows best under full sun and prefers well-drained soil. However, once established, the grass is drought and salt tolerant. It’s also recommended to water the plant weekly.
7- Egyptian Papyrus
Do you want to add a hint of exotic charm to your yard? If so, Egyptian Papyrus, also known as Cyperus Papyrus, is a unique ornamental glass that will surely do the trick. This exotic grass can grow up to 72 inches and is commonly found in water bodies. Egyptian Papyrus requires partial shade to full sun and prefers moist soil.
8- Leatherleaf Sedge
If you are looking for an excellent ornamental grass that will surely impress all your gardening friends, the Leatherleaf Sledge is precisely what you are looking for. This grass stands out from the others I have mentioned above due to its coppery-brown foliage. It thrives in partial shade to full sun and tolerates various soil conditions. The Leatherleaf Sledge reaches up to twelve inches in both height and width. It also grows best in USDA zones 6 through 10. During its first year, you should water the grass weekly. However, once it is established, it can withdraw from light drought conditions.
9- Black Mondo Grass
Black Mondo Grass is a favorite among gardeners globally. If your garden has multiple light-colored plants, this grass with dark, almost black foliage will provide a bold contrast. Unlike most of the popular ornamental grasses I have mentioned above, the Black Mondo Grass grows quite slowly and only reaches up to eight inches high. The grass requires partial to full sun and prefers moist and well-drained soil.
10- Blue Fescue
Are you looking for an ornamental grass that requires little to no maintenance? Blue Fescue is an incredible choice for your garden. One of the primary reasons why gardeners love this grass is due to its tidy appearance and low-maintenance requirements. The grass, also known as Festuca Glauca, thrives in full sun and grows best in well-drained soil.
Blue Fescue reaches up to twelve inches in height and width and grows best in USDA zones 4 to 10. You can plant the grass in rock gardens, perennial gardens, and containers. It is best to position the Blue Fescue somewhere where it’s cool tone can compliment any bronze or tan shaded grasses in your garden.
While this option may not suit all gardeners, it’s definitely one of the most durable and prettiest ornamental grasses. Many gardeners tend to forget that Bamboo is a part of the grass family. A few Bamboo types can grow up to seventeen feet tall!
Bamboo is an extremely fast-growing grass and is known to spread quickly. A few of my gardening friends have complained that Bamboo spreads too much. However, I believe gardeners should take advantage of its rapid growth by creating privacy screens.
The only drawback to growing this grass in your yard is that removing it once it is established can be a challenge. However, I believe that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. With the right conditions, maintaining Bamboo is quite straightforward. Nevertheless, you must water the grass moderately.
12- Juncus Blue Arrows
Are you looking for ornamental grass that will add a touch of sophistication to any garden? Juncus Blue Arrows is an upright, architectural grass with silvery-blue stems that will help you achieve that! It is a fast-growing grass that grows up to 3 feet tall and has a width of 16 inches. Like many other options I mentioned above, this grass prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
13- Stipa Pony Tails
Stipa Pony Tails is a type of ornamental grass known for its beauty. Its features include beautiful and feathery plumes that sway in the breeze, providing elegance to the environment. The thin and delicate texture gives the appearance of being soft and wispy. It can withstand drought, requires little upkeep, and provide your garden seasonal appeal with golden plumes in the autumn.
14- Fountain Grass
Whether you own a residential or a commercial garden, Fountain Grass is a beautiful ornamental grass that will work well with both. As the name suggests, Fountain grass has fluffy, arching flower spikes that resemble water fountains.
This grass is available in various cultivars, offering different heights and flower colors. Typically, Fountain grass grows between four to five feet tall. However, with premature watering, the grass may grow a bit more. If you follow a proper maintenance routine, it will definitely make an excellent addition to your garden.
15- Pampas Grass
The last ornamental grass on our list is the Pampas Grass. It is also referred to as Cortaderia selloana and is known for its tall and feathery flower plumes that can reach impressive heights. It can reach up to twelve feet tall!
If you are looking for grass that will make a bold statement, the Pampas Grass is your best bet. It must be watered moderately and requires little to no fertilizer or compost. The best part about choosing Pampas Grass is its modern look and affordability.
Ornamental grasses are an excellent addition to your garden, providing a variety of textures, colors, and sizes to suit any landscape. They are usually easy to maintain, and their adaptability to different environments makes them an ideal choice for both novice and seasoned gardeners. Whether you are seeking to create an eye-catching focal point, add a hint of color, or establish a privacy screen, there’s an ornamental grass perfect for your needs.
From the vertical elegance of Feather Reed Grass to the dramatic visual of Pampas Grass, you have countless options to explore. Remember to consider your local climate and the specific needs of each grass type before making a decision. Happy gardening!
Where Do Ornamental Grasses Grow Best?
The growing conditions vary depending on the type of ornamental grass you choose. Typically, ornamental grasses grow best in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
What Is The Meaning Of Ornamental Grasses?
Ornamental grasses are a group of grass species cultivated for their decorative value rather than their practical uses.
What Ornamental Grass Is Best For Erosion Control?
A few of the best ornamental grasses for erosion control are switchgrass, little bluestem, and big bluestem.
What Is The Best Soil For Ornamental Grasses In Pots?
Ornamental grasses thrive when placed in a blend of compost, topsoil, and a small quantity of grit, like fine gravel or perlite.
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