Fast Free Shipping On All Orders $119+
Call to Order!
(800) 399-9514
  Fast Free Shipping On All Orders $119+   Call to Order! (800) 399-9514

There’s not a lot of ornamental appeal to green turf-grass. Oh sure, it provides a canvas of green against which you place your landscape plants, but it typically requires a lot of maintenance to keep it looking lush and green. On the flip side is an array of ornamental grasses — colorful, low-maintenance and aesthetically more diverse than a conventional lawn. 

A Round of Applause

Although different types of ornamental grasses have varying needs, most share these outstanding characteristics, worthy of a botanical standing ovation:

  • Drought-tolerant. Most ornamental grasses meet the plant requirements of xeriscaping, which is the efficient use of water in the landscape. Some ornamental grasses are so drought-tolerant that you may never have to water them again — after you’ve transplanted them and watered them well until they become established.
  • Adaptable to different types of soil. Lots of ornamental grasses are not too picky about the type soil where you plant them, although they do appreciate soil that drains well.
  • Low fertilization requirements. Save the labor and expense, because here’s one group of plants that typically requires little to no fertilizer.
  • No need to mow. Put your lawn mower away! One of the absolute best features of ornamental grasses is their natural shape. This means you won’t have to keep them manicured by mowing them as you do your lawn.
  • Pest- and disease-tolerant. For all their appeal as landscape plants, ornamental grasses have little to no appeal to pests and diseases — good news for the gardener who’d rather not spend time and money to spray chemicals all over the yard.
  • Bird-friendly. Birds love ornamental grasses! The seed heads provide a ready-made food source in the form of free birdseed. And the taller grasses offer shelter from predators and cold weather.

Top Ornamental Grasses

    1. Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’). Yes, it really is purple! The cascading foliage from this 3-5 foot tall beauty lets you know why its common name contains the word “fountain.”
    2. Fireworks Red Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Fireworks’). If you want to make a colorful statement with an ornamental grass, this is the one for you. Picture a 4-foot tall clump of foliage with leaves that are burgundy in the middle and hot-pink on the edges…with green and white splashes in between. Now picture this plant growing in your yard!
    3. Variegated Liriope (Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’). A neat and tidy 12-inch-high clumping grass that is typically used for borders, variegated liriope is sometimes referred to as “monkey grass.” Contrasting green and cream leaves frame the purple flower spikes that bloom in summer.
    4. Karl Foerster Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’). When this ornamental grass won the 2001 Perennial Plant of the Year award, it beat out the competition, which included many flowering perennials. Six-foot-tall plumes add a dynamic punch to your landscape.

Some Design Tips

  • Ornamental grasses are super in containers. For larger species, choose large pots that balance the scale of the plants’ mature heights.
  • Plant a row of ornamental grasses instead of shrubs to add more “movement” to your landscape.
  • Use ornamental grasses to border islands that contain shrubs and trees. Consider the mature height of an ornamental grass when choosing a border plant so it won’t hide smaller shrubs inside an island. Edge sidewalks, driveways or patios with your favorite ornamental grass.
  • If you plant ornamental grasses on a hill in your lawn, you won’t have to maneuver a lawn mower unsafely on a steep grade.
  • Ornamental grasses are superior in floral arrangements, particularly those with feathery plumes or vivid foliage.
  • Be sure and include at least one ornamental grass in your landscape that produces seed-bearing flower spikes or plumes. But don’t forget to place this new plant where you can see it from a window to enjoy watching the birds that fly in and eat the seeds!