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How to Grow Ornamental Grass


Annuals and Perennials

Ornamental grasses are not to be tread upon. Rather, they are decorative grasses, some of which grow several feet high. Some ornamental grasses are grown for uniqueness of the plant, while others, like Hare's Tail, produce attractive or colorful "plumage". They add a striking contrast to your landscape.

Try ornamental grasses in your flower gardens, along a pond or reflecting pool, in a rock garden, amongst flowering shrubs, or anywhere else where they will add to the uniqueness of your garden design. 

Some of the most common varieties include:

  • Bunny tail

  • Pampas Grass

  • Hare's Tail

  • Festuca Glauca Blue

  • Fountain Grass

You can find both both annual and perennial ornamental grasses. Varieties range from just a foot tall. to several feet tall. Ornamental grasses have attractive leaves, or blades, and are often highlighted with striking, colorful flowerheads.

Tip: Try drying ornamental grasses for use indoors in dried arrangements.  

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Plant Propagation:

Ornamental Grass are grown from seed. Ornamental grass seeds usually directly seeded into your flower garden. They can also be started indoors for transplanting later.

If planting outdoors, sow seeds after the soil has begun to warm in the spring. Sow seeds early in the season and cover lightly with soil. Plant spacing varies, depending upon variety. Check the seed packet for proper spacing.

For indoor starts, grow them in flats, beginning four to six weeks before setting them out.

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How to Grow Ornamental Grass:

Ornamental Grass plants are very easy to grow. The plants prefer full sun. Soil and moisture requirements can vary by variety. In general, keeping the soil moist and well fertilized, will promote the healthiest plants. To help you remember, fertilize them when you fertilize your lawn. Ditto with water.

Once your Ornamental Grass are established, they will grow well until frost. Annual varieties will need to be replanted each year. Sometimes seeds drop  to reseed the space.

Harvest plant stalks and flowerheads for indoor decorating in the fall. Hang upside down to dry in a cool, well ventilated area out of direct sunlight.

Note: Perennial varieties can be somewhat invasive. Without a border, they can spread to your lawn. We recommend using border edging 12" deep, to keep them from spreading.

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Insect and Disease:

Ornamental Grass can experience molds and fungus similar to lawn grasses, especially in wet weather. This is most common when plants are overcrowded. Insect problems are infrequent.

If insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.

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More Information:

How to Grow Ornamental Grasses

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