Add Ornamental Grass To Your Landscape

Blog Category: Gardening
June 13, 2016 by Wright Outdoor Solutions

Ornamental grass first gained popularity in the 1930s in Germany. Karl Foerster, a German nurseryman, collected seeds and plants from America and other countries for years. Back at his nurseries, he planted, observed and tested several varieties before releasing his findings to the gardening world.

Over the years, ornamental grasses have continued to gain popularity. They are an excellent addition to any landscape, adding color, height, texture, and a touch of grace and movement as they flow in the breeze. Today, there are several varieties available to suit your design preference, as well as shape and size needs.

More than just a beautiful accent to your landscape, ornamental grasses require minimal maintenance and prove to be a great choice for the environmentally minded gardener. Less chemicals and fertilizers are needed as they are predominantly pest and disease resistant. Some varieties are also drought tolerant, requiring less watering.

How To Select The Right Variety For Your Landscape

  1. Choose the right grass for your climate and conditions.
  2. Take your landscaping needs into consideration when choosing the size and shape.
  3. Consider your preferred season of color:
    1. Cool-season: grow in late winter/early spring and flower from winter to early summer
    2. Warm-season: grow in early spring when temperatures warm up and flower from summer to fall

To see more ideas on how to use ornamental grasses in your landscape, check out Better Homes and Gardens’ ideas list here.


Ornamental grasses have two main requirements when it comes to care.

  1. Cut back spent foliage annually.
    1. Cut back the grass in late winter to early spring, but make sure to cut down before the new spring growth.
    2. Best to cut down to within a few inches of the ground.
  2. Divide large clumps.
    1. Every three to four years, you should divide large clumps of grass to promote proper growth.
    2. You should divide before spring growth starts or late summer to fall after the growing season has completed.
    3. To divide, you dig up the clump of grass with the root ball intact and cut into large segments with a sharp knife or digging spade. It is best to then plant one section where it was originally and transplant or share the other sections.


You can view a short video on dividing grass properly here.


Wright Outdoor Solutions Garden Center Selection

We offer several varieties of ornamental grasses here at the Garden Center.

Black Flowering Fountain Grass (5.18.16) (2)











Black Flowering Fountain Grass
Glossy foliage with black flowers. Turns yellow/orange in the fall.


 Blue Oat Grass (5.18.16) (1)










Blue Oat Grass
Silver/blue coloring. Beige/light brown oat-like flower from June to August.


Cabaret Japanese Silver Grass (5.18.16) (2)










Cabaret Japanese Silver Grass
Green blades with milky white stripes. Copper colored blumes in fall.


Foresters Feather Reed Orn. Grass (5.18.16) (3)









Foerster’s Feather Reed Grass
Red/brown feathery stalks. Turns golden in fall.


Karley Rose Oriental Fountain Grass (5.18.16) (1)











Karley Rose Oriental Fountain Grass
Smoky rose/purple flowers. Dark green foliage.


Morning Light Maiden Grass (5.18.16) (1)









Morning Light Maiden Grass
Green blades with a hint of white.


Northwind Switch Grass Orn. (5.18.16) (3)









Northwind Switch Grass
Olive to blue/green foliage. Turns golden yellow in the fall.


Overdam Feather Reed Grass (5.18.16) (1)









Overdam Feather Reed Grass
Red/brown feathery blooms. Turns golden in the fall.


Prairie Dropseed Orn. Grass (5.18.16) (2)









Prairie Dropseed
Fine textured grass. Turns copper/gold in the fall.


Shenandoah Switch Grass (5.18.16) (3)









Shenandoah Switch Grass
Green leaves with red tips in the spring. Tips turn burgundy in the fall.


Not sure where to begin or what grass would best suit your landscape? Our friendly, knowledgeable Garden Center staff can help you make a great selection. For more information on our Garden Center, visit us online, or give us a call at 515.987.6334. Or stop by and see us any day of the week! You can find direction to our location and hours by clicking here.