Grasses are a familiar piece of the natural landscape, and adding ornamental varieties to your garden or yard can infuse color, texture, height and movement. Grasses can also provide a more rustic, woodsy feel to your home landscape. Ornamental grasses are available in a wide variety of hues and sizes, and do well in borders, beds, and even containers. Best of all, grasses are easy to care for with just a few, basic requirements for health and longevity.
First, be sure to choose an ornamental grass that is suitable for your USDA zone. Varieties such as blue clumping wheat grass, giant silver grass, and palm sedge thrive in zones four through nine. Purple fountain grass is specific to zones nine and ten, while heartier sweet grass loves zones two through six.
Fertilizer is not needed for grasses, as it could encourage over growth. Simply conditioning the soil with organic compounds, placing the root ball in at a depth twice it’s size, and adequate spacing – usually about as far apart as plant will be high - will promote proper growth.
Most ornamental grasses, especially those with genetics linked to the Mediterranean, only need extra watering while they are getting established in your site. Then, only supplemental watering during dry, hot periods is required. Mulching can help grasses conserve water.
Trimming can be done at any time. Many grasses produce flower stalks that can be clipped away when spent. Cutting back a grass at the beginning of spring will promote new growth, but the general rule is that grasses do not need to be trimmed extensively except to remove expired foliage.
After a few years of healthy living, revitalize grasses by dividing and replanting. This is best done in the spring. Grasses quickly and rejuvenate and flourish.
A bonus to ornamental grasses is that they are naturally resilient to diseases and pests.
Your ornamental grasses will succeed by simply being sure that you’ve chosen the best grasses for you climate and location. Extremely care free, even novice landscapers and gardeners can add pizzazz and show off with grasses that will thrive for years.