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Ornamental grasses are the new garden stars in home gardens and landscaping. Lovers knew for a long time about the charm of filigree grasses and combined them with perennials or put on pure grass beds. Of course, they can not take on the flowery beauty of a flowerbed, but grasses loosen up and through their structure bring lightness to every bed.
With their many species - from the 10 cm small tuft to the four-meter high giant - they set charming accents in every garden. In addition, ornamental grasses score with their easy care and look attractive even in wintry gardens.
General information about ornamental grasses
At the beginning of the 20th century, the famous perennial breeder Karl Foerster judged "horrible, a garden without grass," and even then offered over a hundred different ornamental grasses for sale. And he is right: Whether as a companion or as a soloist, grasses unite aesthetics and closeness to nature, grace and wildness, lightness and robustness. They convince by their structure and for every style and taste there is the right kind. So you can find low sedges and fescue as well as half-high spring and panicle grasses up to the impressive pampas grass and miscanthus. In addition, ornamental grasses are not monotonous green in their colors. The color palette ranges from light to dark green, with white or yellow speckles and stripes, to deep red, brownish-red and even black grasses.
Many grasses develop their full splendor only with the autumn coloring. But the flowers of the grasses form interesting contrasts. Small springy-delicate clumps, ears and panicles and the long flower fountains of the tall grasses. As different as the grasses are their claims. There are annual and perennial, early and late flowering, for moist and dry soils and for sun and shade. High grasses are suitable as a specimen plant, as a screen or as a background of perennial beds and hedges, medium and low to loosen up in perennial beds or as pure ornamental garden beds.
Grass species for dry locations
Dry locations are sunny and semi-shady flowerbeds with loose, well-drained soils or pebble beds. Some particularly beautiful types of grass are:
- pampas grass 'Cortaderia selloana', white flowering, taut upright, grows up to 4 m tall
- Stipa gigantea 'Stipa gigantea', creamy white, slightly overhanging, about 2 m high
- Fountain Grass 'Rubrum'Flowering, pink-brown, overhanging, about 1 m high
- Moorgrass 'Greyhound', golden yellow ears, upright, up to 2 m high
- Silver Oat Grass 'Allgäu', yellowish-white flowering, long-flowering, arched overhanging, up to 80 cm high
- switchgrass 'Häns Herms', Stalks turn coppery in late summer, growing loosely, up to 1.20 m high
- Riding grass, yellow-brown flower spikes, upright, up to 1.50 m high
- Blue and bear fuzz, brown-yellow flower spikes, upright, up to 30 cm high
- Japanese blood grass 'Red Baron', deep red foliage, up to 40 cm high
Humid locations mean damp, well water-storing soils, in the shade and at pond edges. Ideal ornamental grasses for this are:
- miscanthus 'Malepartus', red-flowered variety, overhanging, becomes about 2-3 m high
- Gold ribbon grass 'All Gold', yellowish leaves and greenish flowers, slightly overhanging, about 40 cm high
- White groves 'Schneemarbel', dark green, pointed stems, white flower tufts, slightly overhanging, up to 40 cm high
- Black snake beard 'Nigrescens', almost black leaves and pink-white flowers, forming loose carpets in the shade, up to 20 cm high
- various sedges, colors: green with yellow or white edges, reddish brown, heights of 10-50 cm
- Forest Schmiele 'Bronze veil', golden brown flowers, long flowering, slightly overhanging, up to 1.00 m high
Ornamental grasses are easy to care for and thrive when planted in the appropriate location. The ideal planting time is the spring, perennial grasses can also be planted in the fall. When planting, make sure that the base is above the ground. New plantings receive a gift of compost or fertilizer mixed among the excavated soil. This is then filled around the plant, pressed and poured. Existing plantations are fertilized in early spring, large ornamental grasses receive a fertilizer shortly before flowering. Be careful, too much fertilizer will soften and bend the stalks. Pouring is usually only required during prolonged periods of drought.
Many ornamental grasses sow themselves.If you want to avoid this, the flower spikes must be cut off before maturity. For their own cultivation of ornamental grasses, the panicles can then be dried and the seeds removed. In potted potting soil, the seeds germinate rapidly when the soil is kept moist evenly. The simplest way, however, is to multiply the grass plant. This is dug up and shared with a spade. Then you plant the pieces to their new place.
Wintering and cutting ornamental grasses
The perennial grasses are almost all hardy. However, the grass creatures should be tied together in the fall, so that the winter wetness does not penetrate into the interior. Otherwise there is a risk that the roots rot. You do not cut grasses until spring, when they drive out again. Be careful so that the shoot tips are not injured. Incidentally, diseases and pests are almost never seen in ornamental grasses. Even snails are spared.
Worth knowing about ornamental grasses soon
- Grasses loosen perennial beds
- Pebble beds planted with grasses are particularly attractive
- With the colors of the grasses and their flowers you can create interesting contrasts
- Grasses are easy to care for at the right location
- Ornamental grasses are not affected by diseases and pests, even snails stay away from them
Since grasses are at home all over the world, there are also suitable species for every type of soil and climate. Among them are evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous perennials as well as various annual forms. The bamboo species are sometimes counted among the woody plants, as they form thick, woody, silicon-reinforced stems. But even such tree-like grasses are not only in warm climates.
- Grasses are among the flowering plants. Although their individual flowers are small and usually inconspicuous, och the feathery panicles or some upright, partly nodding ears, to which the flowers unite, look very shapely.
- Many grasses tolerate the polluted air of the cities and are therefore well suited for urban gardens. Which grasses are suitable for which gardens depends on the size of the plants, the foliage color and the demands on the respective location, which can be partly read off in shape and coloring of the inflorescences.
- Many ornamental grasses feel good in open, sunny spots in the garden. They are a popular ornament for perennial beds and serve as an effective background for plants with striking flowers.
- One or the other large-growing species can also be an eye-catcher in the middle of the lawn or on a surface with einförmgen vegetation plant.
- elephant grass
- garden bamboo
- Zebra grass