Decorative grasses for the garden – which ones to choose?

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Ornamental grasses fit into any style of garden and are long-lived. These plants can be a great complement to flowers in beds.

A few words about ornamental grasses

Ornamental grasses have been cultivated in Europe for several centuries. In the Victorian era, grasses were a fixture in English gardens. They are ideal for modern gardens and give them a unique character.

Grasses are among the most adaptable plants, so they grow even in unfavorable places. They tolerate drought and unfavorable conditions well. For the garden, choose grasses that match the rest of the plants.

How do you choose ornamental grasses for your garden?

One of the most important criteria when choosing ornamental grasses for your garden is to match the plants already in your garden. When choosing grass for the garden, it is worth paying attention to:

  • grass height:
    • low up to 50 cm high,
    • medium 50-100 cm high,
    • taller than 1 m;
  • the habit of the grass;
  • the color of the grass;
  • sunny or shaded position.

Ornamental grasses in the garden

Grasses have a very wide range of uses in the garden, the most common of which are:

  • pond decoration;
  • ornamentation of rockeries;
  • decoration of flower beds;

Advantages of ornamental grasses

Ornamental grasses have very many advantages, including:

  • beautiful appearance,
  • low maintenance requirements,
  • resistance to pests and diseases,
  • high resistance to lack of rain,
  • taller grasses are ideal for use as hedges.

6 species of ornamental grasses that work well in the garden

1. Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’

This low grass grows to a maximum height of 60 cm. Very colourful and easy to grow.

2. Filamentous fescue

This low grass grows up to 30 cm tall. This grass is a great company for plants on a rockery.

3. Miscanthus Zebrinus

Tall grass, reaching up to 2 m height, has beautiful ornamental leaves. It looks like bamboo.

4. Sugar Miscanthus

This species is very valued by gardeners because of its colorful leaves and ornamental flowers. It grows up to 1,5 m high

5. Cane Arundo ‘Variegata’

This tall grass grows up to 3 m high. It’s perfect for decorating walls and fences.

6. Pennisetum alopecuroides

This is a tall grass growing up to 1,2 m high. It blooms from summer to winter and is a great background for plants in beds.

Planting and caring for ornamental grasses

When to plant ornamental grasses

Ornamental grasses should be planted in the ground immediately after the spring thaw, when the danger of frost has passed. The area where the grasses will be planted should be thoroughly weeded.

Taking care of ornamental grasses

Most grasses require a sunny position. Grasses with broad, dark green leaves will do well in partial shade.

Soil and fertilization

Grasses do not require constant fertilization. However, it is advisable to fertilize the site before planting to ensure an adequate supply of nutrients throughout the season.

Winter protection

Before the first frost, cover the ground around more sensitive grasses with bark or pine branches. Low grasses can be covered completely with pine branches.

Treatments in the spring

Cut the dead ends off low grass clumps in the spring. Cut the stems of taller grasses completely to a height of a few to several inches off the ground.

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