The most popular ornamental grasses of our community


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Ornamental grasses are available for every taste, for every garden style and for (almost) all locations. Despite their filigree growth, they are surprisingly robust and easy to care for. Especially in combination with perennials they are an indispensable focal point in the garden. They bring liveliness to the bed and captivate with their natural charm. In late summer, many species develop to full beauty and decorate the garden for many weeks. Also the users of our Facebook page are big fans of the easy-care autumnal splendor and have given us in a small survey the species and varieties that they like the most.

Clear winner: the pampas grass

A favorite of our community is the pampas grass. Brigitte A. and Tina U., for example, both have a copy in their garden. The pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) comes from South America and impresses in late summer with its large silver-white inflorescences on almost vertically towering stems. It is up to 2.50 meters high and developed over the years large clumps.

Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana)

The pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is one of the most popular ornamental grasses. It is however somewhat sensitive to winter wet

Pampas grasses are outspoken sun worshipers and used to full-sun, warm and dry locations from their homes. In winter, not only the cold, but above all the winter wetness increases. In order to keep rainwater away from the sensitive pampas grass interior, the clumps are tied up like a booby. In early spring you open the winter shelter again. Then cut the stems back to about 40 centimeters (knee height).

The lamp cleaner grass charms with its flower puddles

In addition to the pampas grass, the lamprey grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) is one of the most popular grasses. Brigitte K. and Heidi S. do not get enough of the ornamental grass, whose "flower puddle" shine so beautifully in the autumn sun and remind of small brushes. The slow-growing grass grows to a height of about 70 centimeters and, even as a young plant, produces many flowers that are in great demand in floristry as well. His homeland are the sunny meadows of Japan and large parts of Southeast Asia. Pennisetum is hardy and fairly undemanding.

Lamp cleaner grass (Pennisetum rubrum)

The lamp cleaner grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum') charms with beautiful autumn colors and filigree flower decoration

The red leaves and inflorescences of the African Lamprey Grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum') are especially exclusive. However, it is not hardy and is therefore re-seeded every spring.

Imposing bed frame: The miscanthus

Miscanthus sinensis is also very popular. At Christa W. it enriches the garden in full splendor. Fifty years ago, miscanthus varieties were neither hardy nor flowering. Since then, plant breeders such as the well-known perennial gardener Ernst Pagels have done amazing things: pink flowers and a chocolate-colored autumn color, even patterned leaves have created them. Between one and two and a half meters, most specimens are high. The flower spikes tower even further.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'

The miscanthus 'Zebrinus' impresses with striking spotted leaves

The zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus') is a real eye-catcher. In summer yellow streaks form on the stalks. The vigorous grass grows 180 centimeters high. From August, imposing flowers join the foliage.

In the trend: the barley millet

The millet (Panicum virgatum) has many fans in our community. Theresia H. is one of them and enjoys the beautiful, often brown-red autumn color of the robust grass. The millet is originally distributed in middle to northern America and Mexico. The large, attractive grass is characteristic of the landscape of the high grass prairies. It grows in open locations and is characterized by a beautiful growth and longevity.

Barley Millet (Panicum virgatum)

The switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is native to the North American plains

Feather grasses provide filigree lightness in the bed

Feather grasses (Stipa) convince with filigree growth and graceful flowering spikes that weigh in the wind in autumn - a magic that Barbet D., for example, can hardly escape. Feather grasses grow on dry soil and the stems of their flower spikes are so fine that they remind of blowing hair.

Heron feather grass (Stipa pulcherrima)

Feather grass species such as the heron feather grass (Stipa pulcherrima) move gracefully in the wind

Eye catcher in the bed: The garden riding grass

Also the garden riding grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster') has its fans in our Facebook community - for example Bärbel L. It grows tautly upright and its spikes of flowers turn bright golden yellow in autumn. Even in winter, it sets accents in the bed with its typical growth, as it remains upright even in heavy snowfall.

Garden riding grass 'Karl Foerster' (Calamagrostis x acutiflora)

The garden riding grass 'Karl Foerster' (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) forms slender upright flowers, which turn yellow in autumn

Ornamental grasses in winter

Snow or hoarfrost can turn grasses into fantastic sculptures. So that you do not miss this spectacle, you should cut back the clumps only in the spring. At the same time, the roots of plants are better protected from cold and moisture in winter. Because in the cut blades of grass can penetrate water and lead to decay. Only a few species need a special winter protection: Like the pampas grass, the moisture-sensitive miscanthus should be tied together. Rainwater can drain on the outside and the "heart" of the plants stays dry. In very cold regions, it is recommended that the clumps additionally pack with Nadelreisig.
Tip: As a precaution, wear gloves for all care measures on grasses, because the leaf margins can be very sharp.

Video Board: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA | Ron Finley.

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