Karl Foerster Grass
Reaching New Garden Heights
If you have a damp spot to fill or a narrow gap in your garden, Karl Foerster Grass is a tall and elegant plant to do the job. This ornamental grass will stay compact but it reaches for the sky with elegant plumes of feathery flowers. You’ll get multi-seasonal interest with this towering grass.
Get vertical in your garden! Every landscape needs highs and lows to be visually interesting. Karl Foerster grass can definitely provide height as it stretches for 3 feet up to 5 or even more if it’s got rich soil and plenty of water. It’s a striking contrast to lower growing shrubs and annuals.
The shiny green foliage bears long stalks of soft, feathery flowers in the early spring. This cultivar blooms earlier than most ornamental grasses so it’s a wise choice when you have a short growing season. The flowers emerge in plumes of pinky-purple and eventually fade to golden tan as fall arrives. The stalks stay upright, even after fading, to wave in the wind and give your garden winter appeal.
This attractive ornamental grass is hardy from zone 4 through 9, though it prefers cooler weather. It will thrive in clay soils, unlike many of its cousins, and likes wet conditions. It will reach higher the more water it gets. It will even grow in boggy soils! A love of moisture makes Karl Foerster Grass a sensible choice to plant near water features like ponds and wet weather streams. Put it near your downspout, where many plants are sure to fail, and it will thrive in the excess rainfall. Just make sure it’s a spot that gets full sun so you get the most prolific blooming season.
Some ornamental grasses may become invasive, but Karl Foerster is a well-behaved cultivar. It has a narrow footprint, spreading only about 18 to 24 inches at maturity. Plants only need to spaced about 2 to 3 feet apart. It tends to grow in a clumping habit and doesn’t sprawl outside of its bounds. It makes a stunning display when planted as a border or as the backdrop for a mixed flower bed. Karl Foerster Grass makes a pleasant screen for unattractive features in your yard. It’s a more neighbor-friendly alternative to a privacy hedge or fence, too.
You can plant it at the edges of your landscape even if you live where deer forage. They aren’t fond of this plant’s strappy foliage and rarely damage it. It’s also resistant to most diseases.
You’ll love seeing this grass sprout up early in the spring and wave in the breezes through fall and winter. You’ll enjoy it even more as it returns each year!