Gardening with Ornamental Grasses

Low-maintenance and versatile, gardening with ornamental grasses is a great way to prove that grass is more than a tidy green carpet in your backyard. With this comprehensive list of our top picks, growing ornamental grasses has never been easier!

Japanese Blood Grass

Imperata cylindrica • Zones 4 to 9
Get ready for color when you plant Japanese blood grass. Its showy apple-green blades turn blood-red from middle to top in the summer and stay lovely through autumn. This ornamental grass stands erect, topping out at 2 feet, and tolerates a variety of soils. It can become invasive.

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  1. Linda Thompson says

    Pampas Grass is extremely hard to eradicate. I believe it is considered an invasive species in California (I believe it originates from Australia). The seeds blow everywhere in the wind.

    • Jo says

      They’ve come out with a sterile variety, but I really don’t know much about its performance as I’m not a big fan of Pampas begin with.
      Use caution with the Japanese Blood Grass also. Although I used it with excellent results when I lived in SoCal, but I’ve since learned that it’s been banned in 25 states due to its invasive nature and its high silica content. The silica renders it ungrazable and it can crowd out all of the nutritious & beneficial pasture area plants within 2-3 years.
      Personally, I would still use it, but I’d be vigilant about removing any inflorescences before they matured. I’d also just pot it. That’s so much easier than using deep root isolation if putting it in the ground. I might be OCD, but there are many times when I’m a lazy OCD.

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