Ornamental Grasses for Zones 3, 4 and 5

I have a few ornamental grasses in my yard — Blue Fescue, Ribbon Grass and Switch Grass. I’ve been on

I have a few ornamental grasses in my yard — Blue Fescue, Ribbon Grass and Switch Grass. I’ve been on the hunt to find more grasses that likes shade. Well, there aren’t many that are suitable in Midwest zones AND like shade.

ribbon grass | birdsandbloomsblog.com | paula bonelli
ribbon grass

What I love about ornamental grasses is that they are not hard to grow, are perennials and don’t require much attention at all. My kind of plant! LOL

Ornamental grasses add variety to your garden by adding movement and sound. They look especially good against dark backgrounds and can add a vertical element to your garden landscape. I leave mine standing until spring — the birds love to perch in them and eat the seed heads during the winter months.

What kinds of ornamental grasses do you grow?

If you would like to add ornamental grasses to your garden, consider these FACTS:

  • Extremely adaptable
  • Grow in poor soil conditions better than most other garden plants
  • Require little maintenance
  • Seed heads and foliage add winter interest
  • Come in many heights, colors, textures
  • Dried grass can be used decoratively indoors and out
  • Prefer 3-5 hours of direct sun each day (shade-tolerant varieties may grow slower and may not bloom)
  • Mostly pest-resistant

Grasses can also be grown in containers and are best planted in spring.

Grasses Suited for Dry Gardens

Big Bluestem (Andropogan gerardii)

Switch Grass (Panicum virigatum)

Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans)

Grass Suited for Moist Gardens

Maiden grasses like Variegated Japanese Silver Grass and Morning Light (Miscanthus varieties)

Northern Lights (Deschampsia cespitosa)

Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora)

Shade Tolerant Grasses

Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)

Korean Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha)

??? Complete list of grasses suitable for growing in Midwest zones of 3, 4 and 5.

Learn much more about ornamental grasses at Birds and Blooms:

The Versatility of Ornamental Grass

Top 10 Ornamental Grasses

Make Waves with Ornamental Grasses

Fact Source: Colorado State University Extension, www.ext.colostate.edu

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