Plant of the Month: Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses are one the most diverse plants in the landscape. Large or small, perennial or annual and in a plethora of different colors. Even better, they’re all deer resistant!

Acorus Ogon

Acorus – Stunning color if mass planted and beautiful in containers. Highly adaptable to most environments, including wet areas. Average 1’ to 2’ tall, Acorus does best in full to part shade. Ogon is one of our favorite varieties.

Blue Fescue – Elijah Blue

Blue Fescue – The only compact, silvery-blue grass! Averaging 6” to 12”, it’s perfect for mass plantings and containers. Full sun preferred. Elijah Blue and Cool as Ice are outstanding varieties.

Calamagrostis – Karl Foerster

Calamagrostis – Also known as Feather Reed, this grass blooms earlier than other grasses (beginning in June) and has a stiff, upright habit. Tolerant of coastal conditions, Calamagrotis is beautiful mass planted or individually as a specimen. Full sun preferred. Karl Forester is one of our favorites for its golden plumes.

Carex – Everillo

Carex – Averaging 6” to 12” tall with a weeping growth habit, Carex comes in a wide variety of colors and is perfect for mass plantings or garden borders. Part shade preferred. Some of our favorite varieties are Red Rooster, Everglow, Evergold and Everillo.

Juncus Blue Mohawk

Juncus – Also known as Rush, these grasses are highly tolerant of wet soils and are a fantastic choice for planting around ponds. Averages 3’ to 4’ tall and does best in full sun. Blue Mohawk is an excellent choice for containers.

Variegated Liriope

Liriope – Available in solid and variegated varieties, Liriope is an evergreen grass with spikes of light purple flowers in mid-summer. Perfect for mass plantings, low borders or as a ground cover. Tolerant of most light conditions, though it blooms more in full sun.

Miscanthus (Maiden Grass)

Miscanthus – This grass averages 5’ to 8’ tall and features graceful seed heads beginning in late summer that last through fall. Full sun preferred. Adagio, Gracillimus and Morning Light are wonderful varieties.

Pink Muhly Grass

Muhlenbergia – Also known as Muhly Grass, this grass creates a glittery haze of delicate fall plumes. Averages 2’ to 3’ tall and prefers full sun. Does best in mass plantings to increase its fall impact. Capillaris (Pink Muhly) is a standout variety due to its pink coloring.

Panicum – Shenandoah

Panicum – More commonly known as Switch Grass, this native is a late summer bloomer with showy flowers. They average 3’ to 9’ tall, depending on varieties and are perfect for naturalizing areas. Full to part sun preferred. Heavy Metal and Shenandoah are two of our favorites.

Pennisetum Little Bunny

Pennisetum – Also known as Fountain Grasses, Pennisetums are gorgeous full sun plants that wow with their feathery plumes in summer. Heights vary between 1.5’ up to 4’ depending on selection. Pennisetums come in both annual and perennial varieties. Perfect for mass plantings, borders and as a specimen plant. Some of our favorite perennials are Hamlin, Little Bunny and Piglet.  For annuals, we love Rebrum and Fireworks.