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Great Grasses: How to Use Perennial Grasses in Your Landscape Design

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

If you’re looking to add some beauty and unique flavor to your landscape, try perennial grasses. Planting these in your outdoor space can be a great low-maintenance alternative. Read on to find a variety that matches your landscape dreams and enjoy it year after year!

Why You Should Grow Perennial Grasses

Adding perennial grasses to your landscape can provide a variety of benefits for you, your landscape, and nature.

Perennial grasses create movement and music.

Introducing perennial decorative grasses to your landscape can create a symphony of soothing sound as the long blades rustle in the wind, creating a zen garden escape.

They give shelter to wildlife.

Tall, perennial grasses can provide much-needed shelter for wildlife from predators and the harsh elements. Whether it’s insects hunkering down for winter, or bigger creatures like mice, rabbits, or even fawns, you’ll give them a fighting chance to stay safe, warm, and protected.

Pollinators love them.

Many types of perennial grasses are a fan favorite of pollinators. You can expect to see more bees, butterflies, and other pollinators visiting your landscape if you choose to plant decorative perennial grasses.

Ornamental grasses are easy to care for.

While it depends on the variety, ornamental grasses are generally one of the easiest perennials to add to your garden or landscape; they are drought-tolerant and offer beautiful foliage.

Decorative grasses are beautiful!

Adding perennial decorative grasses to your landscape is one of the best ways to bring some style, color, and texture to your outdoor space. Before we get into specific varieties, keep in mind that they come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Many ornamental grasses are in high demand and are considered a staple, must-have landscape element—it’s easy to see why.

Ornamental Perennial Grasses to Try Now!

The next time you’re shopping for perennial grasses to fill your gorgeous garden check to see if some of these ornamental beauties are in stock.

Blue Fescue: Feeling blue? Add some bright icy Blue Fescue to your landscape. These bold perennial grasses soak up the sun and use that energy to deepen their incredible blue hue. They are fast-growing and remain small (up to 12 inches), so if you’re looking to add some color to your landscape fast: go with Blue Fescue!

Oat Grass: For a slightly more subtle shade of blue, try Blue Oat Grass. They are a slightly stiffer and taller-growing version of the Blue Fescue, up to 30 inches tall. These cool-season perennial grasses love a slightly moist environment and can thrive in shady spots. Try to plant them in nutrient-rich, well-draining soil at least 2 feet apart from each other.

Feather Reed/ Karl Foerster: This perennial brings the wow factor with bronze-red flowers during the summer months. Feather Reed Grass looks like a combination of wheat and reeds, creating that magical field vibe in your own backyard. Whether you’re adding them to your landscape or as a thriller in a container, be sure to give Feather Reed Grass part to full sun, and they’ll take care of the rest!

Hakone: Tough but beautiful, Hakone grass grows in a mound-shape with cascading narrow green leaves that transform into a copper-orange hue in fall. It loves moist, wet conditions, so keep it well-watered and in a part-shade area of your garden. Try this perennial grass as a complementing piece to companion plants like Hosta, Columbine, or Holly Fern. Miscanthus: Also known as morning grass, Miscanthus pushes out most of its growth in the warm months from late-spring to mid-summer. Their fountain-shaped plumes create visual interest with the added bonus of burgundy flowers when it blooms. This warm-season grass is light on the maintenance, so you can sit back and enjoy its beauty with just a bit of pruning in fall or early spring.

Putting the “Decor” in “Decorative Grass”

Your perennial grasses go beyond just decorating your landscape; they can work double-duty as home decor, too! Most decorative perennial grasses look great in fresh-cut arrangements or dried out for a permanent decor fixture in your home.

If you’re looking to add perennial grasses to your landscape in Allentown, come visit us! We’re happy to educate you on the benefits of perennial grasses and help you create the landscape you’ve been dreaming of.


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