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Are you looking to add something to your landscaping or garden design that will provide some year round interest? Here’s help from 2013 NJ top landscape design winner!



NJ Garden Design- Favorite Ornamental Grasses For Landscaping


Are you looking to add something to your landscaping or garden design that will provide some interest all-year-long? Could you use a carefree, low-maintenance planting option but don’t have a green thumb? Ornamental grasses are some of the most versatile garden plantings available for your landscape design. They offer unique texture, four-season interest, and a low-maintenance planting option. Here is a list of my four favorite ornamental grasses for your garden design based on their tremendous upside and universal appeal.


  1. Panicum Heavy Metal

This perennial grass is one of my favorites not only for its “heavy metal” name but also for its sharp, bluish, upright foliage. This strong variety of switch grass stands tall in the garden and provides some nice blue color with pinkish panicles in the middle of summer. Panicum Heavy Metal is very hardy, but does require regular watering. It grows as high as 3 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Plant it in partial to full sun in Zones 4-9.


  1. Miscanthus Morning Light

This Maiden Grass has a lot to offer your garden landscape design. First and foremost, its fine texture is a thing of beauty. White margins on the foliage add to the fine, shimmering texture with a glowing effect. Miscanthus Morning Light grows to about 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Its reddish flower will add another foot to the height in late fall, producing some nice contrast to the tan winter foliage. Plant it in full sun to partial shade in Zones 5-9,  .


  1. Pennisetum Hameln

If you’re tight on space and need something to spice of your landscape design, this dwarf fountain grass offers a unique solution with loads of soft texture. This ornamental grass should sit in full sun, and once fully established, will only require occasional watering. Pennisetum Hameln grows up to 2 or 3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide, making it a great plant for tight spaces and borders. Imagine this planting tucked neatly into a sunny waterfall structure. In late summer, it showcases fluffy, attractive plumes. Plant this little fountain grass in Zones 4-9.


  1. Zebra Grass

Zebra grass is named affectionately for the cool, striped pattern of its foliage. The bright green grass features golden stripes across every blade of grass. Throughout the Fall, its gold color expands and eventually transforms the color of the foliage, transitioning to beige just in time for some winter interest. Zebra grass will grow up to 7 feet tall to the top of the plumes and 5 feet tall without the plumes. In terms of width, you can expect 3 to 5 feet. The zebra is low maintenance and tolerant of many soils. Due its intriguing foliage and large size, this ornamental grass works nicely as a focal point in the garden design. Plant the zebra grass in full sun in Zones 5-9.


These are just some of my favorite ornamental grasses for your landscape or garden design. Ornamental grasses can be successfully incorporated into front yard designs, backyard plantings, swimming pool landscaping, rain gardens, or any other type of application. If you would like to know more about these grasses or any other options, please don’t hesitate to contact us!