Ornamental grass can be the best way to enhance your garden. Whether you are growing in a large or small garden, choosing the right grass can add rich texture, contrast, and movement to your space. Eventually, ornamental garden is the best choice to add the same element throughout the four seasons. Grasses are also the next step to add a professional touch without any need to become a professional to grow them.
What Is Ornamental Grass?
You may think that anything with long and narrow foliage as grass and hope they grow in similar ways, but the popular grasses are grass-like perennials. So, the ornamental grasses have genera with four main families, which are reeds, rushes, sedges, and true grasses. Each of them, of course, has different cultivation needs and spread in various ways.
For example, Everillo sedge grass can thrive in the moist shade. Meanwhile, the Morning Light maiden grass prone to disease. Hameln fountain grass is the well-behaved plant along the pathway. But, the case would be different if you use Northern grass to the pathway.
How To Choose The Best Ornamental Grass
There are many genera and species to deal with and that is the real matter when it is about finding the best grass that fit for your space and lifestyle. Why do you have to choose the ornamental grass that can complete your lifestyle and space? Even it takes time to do so, it will save your time and energy in the long run. The first consideration for all gardeners is the size.
Tall Ornamental Grass
It offers six to ten feet of height. If you place the grass correctly, a tall ornamental grass can create an elegant touch, build your privacy and sense of enclosure in your larger yard. Nevertheless, it is important to make sure that you have enough room to its final size. Large grasses are growing and increasing their size so you have to plan for that. It is important to focus on the final size and adjust the placement accordingly. Here are the examples of tall ornamental grass:
- (Tall) Maiden Grasses (Miscanthus spp.)
- Ravenna grass (Saccharum spp.)
- Pampas Grasses (Cortederia spp.)
Medium Ornamental Grasses
It offers four to five feet of height. Medium ornamental grasses are the most versatile sized in the garden. You can create the layers of texture and movement in your garden without taking too much space and blocking important views. They need less staking while providing a contrast background to the perennials. Eventually, they are very useful in containers. Here are the most popular medium ornament grasses for gardeners:
- Switchgrasses (Panicum spp.)
- Little Bluestem grasses (Schizachyrium spp.)
- (Small) Fountain grasses (Pennisetum spp.)
- Blue oat grasses (Helictotrichon spp.)
- (Medium) Maiden grasses (Miscanthus)
- Feather reed grasses (Calamagrostis spp.)
Small Ornamental Grasses
Small ornamental grasses can be the edge of a pathway, to fill a container, to provide another texture and to create the border. Small ornamental grasses are also fun to use and easy to design. You can choose from lush variegated sedges to bushy gray fescues. They provide important texture in your garden without dealing with larger specimens. Here are some popular options of small ornamental grasses:
- Liriope (Liriope spp.)
- Indiangrass (Sorghastrum spp.)
- Liriope (Liriope spp.)
What Can Ornamental Grasses Do?
Grasses provides many design roles to complete a garden. It provides privacy, pattern, texture, and architectural elements. Also, it can complete the functional needs since they create habitat of wildlife. Grasses are great to offer effective erosion control for a steep bank. If you get confused about the best grasses to add, you should concern on the function you want from the grass. This concept will make you able to narrow down your options.
Planting ornamental grass is the exact way to enhance your landscape design. They look amazing whether you want to plant them in a row or in group, as a background or as the flowering plants. You can even plant them in pots or containers too.
How To Take Care For Ornamental Grasses
If you really want to get the benefits of ornamental grasses in your garden landscape, it means you should support them to grow well with the right maintenance. Here are the useful guidelines to provide the right ornamental grass care:
Light and Temperature Factors – Make list of the name of ornamental grass variety. Some of them need direct sunlight and well-drained soil for their growth. Grass type is also available in various options so you should choose the cool season grass that grows in moderate temperature of spring months as well as the warm season grass that grows during the warm summer period.
Watering Ornamental Grass – It is crucial to moisturize the soil in the first season immediately after planting the ornamental grass. This is important to support the root growth quickly. After that, you can reduce the amount of water you provide for the ornamental grass. It can withstand the short spells of the dry conditions. If it is all about watering frequency, it depends on the grass variety, the soil type, the growing season, and the climate in your area.
Fertilizing Ornamental Grass – Grasses always grow even in the poor soil. If they grow well in that condition, you may think that they do not even need fertilization. In fact, you can apply it to support the new foliage growth. What you can apply is the low dose of the all-purpose fertilizer before the active growth stage. Do not provide excess nitrogen.
Dividing Ornamental Grass – If your ornamental grass profusely, you should remove it and divide it for propagation. There are two possibilities for the type. First, it can form a clump and increase the size but does not spread profusely. Second, it can produce rhizomes and spread easily. Choose the type and thin or divide the grass. After that, transplant it to support healthy growth.
When you are providing care to your ornamental grass, they may look weak and floppy. It can be because of not enough light exposure or too much fertilization. Check whether there is no large shrub or tree above the grass to block the light. Besides, check the soil nutrients and correct if possible.
By the time, your ornamental grass can restore the normal growth to keep beautifying the yard. Some ornamental grasses can add value since they work as herbal medicine and therapeutic properties.