While flowering plants usually steal the show in home gardens, ornamental grasses can be great for filling in empty patches between flowers or for marking borders. Plant them under windows and up against outer walls where sun-loving flowers might not do as well. Taller species can also provide privacy and block excessive sunlight in exposed front yards. Find the kind that’s right for your home garden below.
This popular grass is deer resistant and tolerant of abundant sunlight. It will need to be watered about once weekly, and more frequently in intense heat. Other than that, care is a no brainer. Pruning is unnecessary but tolerated well if desired. Expect stalks to rise to between 2 and 3 feet.
One of the most striking specimens on our list, the deep purple tone of this grass makes it a real standout addition to gardens. Tall stalks rise from attractive burgundy foliage and terminate in long purple flower spikes (about 8-12 inches in length) that resemble cattails. The plant itself rises to about 4 feet high.
“Cordgrass” refers to 14 separate species of grass that have many practical, as well as ornamental, uses, including erosion prevention and livestock feed. Cordgrass tends to grow naturally in salt marshes, but can be planted in home gardens, making an attractive border plant.
The slght droop of the Forestgrass blades lend an elegant and graceful look to this popular ornamental plant. The bright green leafblades divide toward the ends, giving the plantings a bushy, full look. Small pale purple flowers emerge from leaf nodes sometime in midsummer, turning beige toward the end of the season.
One of the tallest and most impressive ornamental grasses around, Ravennagrass can rise to a full 12 feet high when healthy. Give it plenty of room to spread out and provide with full sun. Ravennagrass is fairly drought tolerant once established but likes slightly moist soil if possible. It will produce conspicuous purple-brown flowers in late summer.
This common ornamental grass is recognizable by its feathery golden seed heads. Standly ridigly upright, blades will rise to a height of about 4-5 feet if not cut back. It thrives in partial to full sun and will require regular trimmings in early spring for optimal health.
This perennial warm season grass come in many different varieties, some with blades terminating in deep shades of burgundy, others in vibrant shades of pale sea foam green or blue.
The ever-popular Blue Fescue grows in mounds that resemble spiky blue-green pom poms. This grass works great as a border planting or make it a center piece in a mulched garden. It is deer and drought resistant and works great in rock gardens. Small light green flowers will emerge in summer.
Conspicuous flattened seed heads of this grass really steal the show with this grass. Plant Northern Sea Oats in full or part sun (full sun will turn the plant a lighter shade of green) and well-draining, moist soil. Stalks will grow to be roughly 3 feet tall.
Certainly one of the most attractive grasses on our list, Zebra grass features bright green blades with stripes of yellow spaced at irregular intervals, resulting in a unique and eye-catching pattern. Plant in well-draining but moist soil where it can get plenty of sun. Without pruning this grass will rise to about 5 feet high.