How to Grow Ornamental Grasses in Your Yard
By: Julie Day
Ornamental grasses can add a touch of grace and beauty to your landscape – especially as other plants begin to die back in fall, leaving the gorgeous seed plumes to wave and rustle in the breeze. While often underrated as garden plants, the appeal of the soothing sound and hypnotic sway of ornamental grasses grows over time.
Advantages of Ornamental Grasses
In addition to their gorgeous glowing shape and lovely colors, ornamental grasses have some distinct advantages, including:
- Add motion and sound to the garden.
- Attract birds to your yard.
- Largely disease-free and easy to grow.
- Deer and critter resistant.
- Low maintenance, requiring little attention.
- Offer year-round interest.
- Contribute to any landscape plan, whether featured as specimens, grown in containers, or used as fillers.
About Ornamental Grasses
There are many different kinds of ornamental grasses, from subtle fescues to eye-catching miscanthus, fountain grass, and switchgrass varieties. When choosing an ornamental grass for your garden, there are several things to keep in mind:
- Winter Behavior: Some ornamental grasses are evergreen while others dies back completely in the winter. Still others are a mixture of the two.
Growing Conditions for Ornamental Grasses
- Diseases & Pests: Largely insect and disease free! The biggest problem with ornamental grasses is rot due to waterlogged soil.
Planting and Growing Tips for Ornamental Grasses
- Dormancy: Grasses native to drought-prone or desert climates may go dormant during the dry season, regardless of how much you water them. Allow these ornamental grasses to do their thing, and wait for them to perk back up as the season changes.
- When To Cut Back Ornamental Grasses (article)
- How and When To Trim a Monkey Grass Border (article)
- How To Landscape Your Yard With Deer Resistant Plants (article)
- Ornamental Grasses (University of Illinois)
- 17 Top Ornamental Grasses (bhg.com)