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!

Switchgrass

Panicum virgatum • Zones 4 to 9
This easygoing and versatile ornamental grass is a good choice for wet conditions, drought or partial shade, as long as it’s planted in moist, well-draining soil. Growing narrow and upright with a cloud of seed heads in fall, switchgrass can reach more than 5 feet tall. This grass is native to North America.

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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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