If you are looking for a tough plant that doesn’t need much maintenance throughout the year, look no further than ornamental grasses. Ornamental grasses are a huge group of ornamental plants that come in a variety of sizes and colors. Although most require full sun, some varieties will do well in some shade. Ornamental grasses have few pests, and deer do not bother them. What more can one ask?
Growing Conditions For Ornamental Grasses
Light – Most varieties require full sun (6-8 hours per day). As mentioned above, there are a few varieties, such as Hakonechloas, that can tolerate, and even thrive, in some shade.
Soil – Ornamental grasses are not picky about the quality of soil. Most can do well in even poor soils. It never hurts, however, to add some organic matter to the planting holes to give plants the best head start possible.
When To Plant Ornamental Grasses
The best time to plant ornamental grasses is in the spring so they have time to develop a root system before winter. If you live in the southern states, planting in the fall is fine too.
Watering Ornamental Grasses
Most ornamental grasses are drought tolerant and do not required much on-going water. As with most young plants, water generously when newly planted to help them get established.
Fertilizing Ornamental Grasses
Generally, ornamental grasses do not require additional fertilizer. If you are so included, use 5-5-5 or any other balanced fertilizer on them.
Pruning Ornamental Grasses
Besides the sweeping form of these plants, the seed heads that develop in the fall are part of their beauty. Leaving the foliage and seed heads alone for the winter offers some garden interest when there is little else. Seed heads and their stalks can also be cut and brought indoors for decoration. If the plants become battered by snow and wind, the plants can be cut down to within a few inches of the ground. This should also be done a few weeks prior to spring in order to get fresh growth.
Mulching Ornamental Grasses
Mulch in the spring after the plants have been cut back. A one to two inch layer of organic mulch is enough to do the job.
Some more cold sensitive varieties such as Japanese Blood Grass and Maiden Grass can benefit from fall mulching.
Dividing Ornamental Grasses
Divide ornamental grasses in the spring before they start to grow. This is a good way to keep their size in check. Simply dig them up and cut them into smaller pieces. They can be further spread out in the garden or given to friends.
Some Of Our Favorite Ornamental Grasses
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