Ornamental grasses and decorative grasses are a class unto themselves. Our selection offers all sizes from tall grass varieties to the smaller fountain grass types. While technically they are considered perennials, we give them a special status within our catalog as they truly are unique. These plants are grown for their strap like foliage and interesting seed heads. They provide a unique texture to the garden that no other group of plants can provide. I consider them one of the fundamental planting blocks for sequential season long interest in the garden.
Ornamental Grasses come in an enormous range of sizes, shapes, and foliage colors. They can be used for great effect in situations ranging from front of the border plantings to enormous mass plantings in drifts. I find they work extremely well in transition areas where a garden moves from natural areas to a more cultivated look. They are excellent transition plants. They also work well individually as focal points where their unique structure stands out. I have also inserted them into existing native meadow plantings to great effect. They add a winter structure and interest few plans can match. Sterile cultivars are preferred when used in unique native plantings or restorations.
Most prefer full sun, however, many Carex varieties will tolerate some shade as well.
Depending on the variety, they can start in early summer and continue through fall. Seed heads usually fall into the two categories of "Tassled" and " Bottle Brush" shaped. Many varieties exhibit excellent fall color.
Once established they are very drought tolerant and require little assistance. Plants should be divided when they begin to show green in the spring. Dividing and transplanting many of the Miscanthus and Pennisetum varieties in the fall can be detrimental to their success. Plants can be cut back in the fall or left through the winter. Some varieties are more traction than others in winter. Regular garden fertilizer in spring is helpful.
PESTS AND PROBLEMS
Few pests bother these plants.
Depends on the variety. Anywhere from 6" to 16'
Miscanthus varieties should be regularly divided every three years or so. Otherwise the center of the plants will die out and you will also have a very difficult time dividing and digging the woody center.
Birds are incredibly attracted to the seeds during the winter. The dried heads make great cut flowers for the winter.
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