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Top 5 Varieties Of Ornamental Grasses For The Midwest

  • Ornamental Grasses Red Fall Color

Ornamental grasses are a popular low-maintenance landscape option here in the Midwest.

Grasses add visual interest to your landscape all year, durable winter-hardy, and easy to grow. Ornamental grasses are excellent landscape accents that compliment flowering shrubs, perennials, or even flowering annuals. We love our grasses in how they can vary in style, color, and texture.  We hope you love them as much as we do.

Winter-Hardy for the Midwest climate. Ornamental grasses are hardy and require little attention. With varying styles of blades and blooms, ornamental grasses give any landscape character and movement.

Fits in any landscape. Size at maturity can be anywhere from 12 inches to several feet depending on the variety.

Habitat. Leave the stems all winter long for a safe-haven for the song birds.  They love to nestle between the stems.  Frost and snow clinging to the stems and dried seed heads is a really nice visual affect all winter long.

Color. Ornamental grasses come in hues of green, blue, striped or banded, or green with red tips.  Attractive seed heads or plumes form from summer to fall depending on the variety. Some types have fall color on the blades of grass.

Care. Grasses enjoy adequate moisture the first season planted, but once established they are quite drought tolerant and low fuss.  Let your grasses grow naturally all spring and summer. Taller types wave gracefully in the breeze.  In the early spring remove the brown tops of the grass plant and new shoots come back from the base each spring.

Earl May Top 5 Customer Favorite Ornamental Grasses:

  1. Karl Foerester Feather Reed. Strong vertical grower, super hardy, produces showy seed head in early summer.
  2. Ravenna Hardy Pampas. A monumental grass that can reach as high as 10 feet tall for a dramatic show.  Sturdy stems hold large plumes that look fantastic all winter long against frost and snow.  Excellent for privacy.
  3. Hamlen Dwarf Fountain Grass. Low mounds of bright green grass give way to showy seed heads each fall.  Compact short habit makes it a solid choice.
  4. Shenandoah Switch Grass. Later to emerge in the spring but well worth it.  Green foliage with red tips on each blade are striking!  Follow that up with showy seed heads in the fall and red fall color.
  5. Northwind Switch Grass. A striking blue-green color that grows nice and upright.  We love the clean habit and the color!  Several in a group looks great.

Check out our Midwest Plant Library for a complete listing of our ornamental grasses.