Ornamental Grasses: Plant Profiles

Doug Green
Oct 19 · 2 min read
Ornamental grasses. Image Doug Green

Ornamental Grasses

I’ve grown ornamental grasses for years but it’s only in the last few that I’ve really started to appreciate their strength and power in the perennial garden. Maybe it’s me becoming a more mature gardener and perhaps it’s just another way of looking at the garden. Whatever it is, here are some of the great grasses I’ve grown.

  • Arundo donax is one of the plants I wished I could grow. I managed to get it through one winter (once) with a heavy cover of mulch but the second winter did it in. Sigh… Like most plants, if you give it what it wants, it can become a bit of a weed so be aware of this if you live in an area where it thrives.
  • Carex isn’t really a grass but for this page, “close counts” Here’s what you need to know to grow it succesfully.
  • Japanese blood grass You can grow this in the north if you follow one simple rule. Ignore this one though, and you’ll have dead plants in the spring.
  • Northern Pampas Grass — Saccharum ravennae is tall (and imho ugly flowering) and it’s not like the Southern named plant.
  • Hakonechloa — here’s how to grow it and pronounce it. It’s a delightful shady plant that thrives on decent soil.
  • Miscanthus is one of the most popular of ornamental grasses and here’s how to grow and propagate it.
  • Molinia or purple moor grass is a grass for the damp garden.
  • Pampas Grass: Be Careful Because It Can Bite Back This lovely Southern blooming grass is ubiquitous from the Carolinas southward and is much envied by northern gardeners (until they try to prune it)
  • Panicum is an excellent ornamental grass with multiple excellent varieties. (just don’t buy them from seed as they don’t come true)


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Doug Greens Garden

A practical organic gardening resource helping you have a better garden

Doug Green

Written by

Former nurseryman, now writer and curious about what’s over the next hill and how to get there in either my Triumph Spitfire or sailboat.

Doug Greens Garden

A practical organic gardening resource helping you have a better garden

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