Plant of the week – Ornamental Grasses
Bring beauty, motion, structure, texture and spectacular fall color to your garden with these low maintenance plants. Ornamental grasses, which can range in height from 12 inches to 10 feet, provide interest in multiple seasons and need very little or no fertilizer. Grasses are notably drought and salt tolerant; disease, pest and deer resistant. Rohsler’s Grown ornamental grasses include dozens of varieties that thrive in a multitude of locations. Foliage colors range from red to yellow, green to blue as well as variegated varieties with plumes of unique colors and shapes. Some enjoy sun, while others perform well in shade or partial shade. About half of the varieties we grow are native species.
As you select your favorites, keep in mind that grasses fall into two general categories: cool season grasses and warm season grasses. Cool season grasses actively grow when temperatures are cooler in fall and spring, and even produce roots during the winter. Many of these grow well in the shade, and are semi-evergreen to evergreen. Warm season grasses usually crave full sun, and bloom during the late summer and fall. Our collection of Rohsler’s Grown ornamental grasses includes Maiden Grass, Moor Grass, Fountain Grass, Muhly Grass, Switchgrass, Little & Big Bluestem, Reed Grass, Prairie Dropseed and more.
We recommend that you do not cut your ornamental grasses until early spring. In addition to providing seasonal interest and habitat for wildlife, the old foliage protects the crown of the plant. Keeping your plants uncut prevents the “doughnut effect” that results when the center of a plant dies due to excessive moisture and freezing in the crown and rootstock, which causes the grass to grow up in a circle around the dead spot. If the foliage becomes unsightly in winter, simply fold it down to the ground.
When selecting ornamental grasses, remember that the blooms and seed heads may be much taller than the plant’s foliage. However, many of these blooms can provide a see-through, transparent element in the landscape. We have the very best selection of ornamental grasses in the area, grown at our nursery. Stop by today to learn more about these versatile plants.