How to Plant and Care for Perennial Grasses
If you want your garden to look especially beautiful, do not limit yourself to flowers, shrubs and bushes – perennial ornamental grasses will enhance your garden design.
To spread some fresh evergreen colour in your garden to cover spaces where it is not possible to plant flowers, I would advise you to consider ornamental grasses – a nice solution for any garden all year round.
A lot of evergreen grasses do like to have full sun but there are some grasses that will do perfectly well in partial shade.
You can plant Calamagrostis acutiflora, Calamagrostis brachytricha, Carex, Festuca, Miscanthus giganteus, Phalaris and Sesleria autumnalis in shade gardens.
Most ornamental grasses need a few hours of direct sunlight, but prefer to avoid the hottest part of the day.
If planted in sunny locations, make sure you provide regular watering for them.
Grasses prefer the soils rich in organic matter but at the same time, they are a not heavy feeder. It is therefore recommended to make sure that the soil in your garden is not excessively high-nitrogen; otherwise it will reduce the growth of the grasses.
When to Plant Perennial Grasses
The best time to plant ornamental grasses is in the beginning in spring, or alternatively in the beginning of autumn.
It will help them to develop before the hot summer months or cold winter period.
If you have a reason to perennial grasses in summer time or during the hottest periods of other seasons, it is highly recommended to cut approximately 1/3 of their foliage. It will help them to overcome the heat.
Dividing Ornamental Grasses
You will not have to worry about division for a long time – typically perennial ornamental grasses do not require dividing for about five to seven years.
When it is time to divide them, try to carry out the process in spring when the grasses start their new growth. But you can perform division any time really provided you keep your eye on the new divisions for a while until they are established.
Cut back one third of the grasses if their growth started before you carried out the division.
Insects and Diseases
Usually perennial ornamental grasses are not a target for pests. However, if you choose to plant Miscanthus, it is quite possible that you will have problems with Mealybug. This irritating insect is extremely difficult to get rid of, and the only way to fight it is to dig out the infested plants and to keep them away from the rest of your garden.
Occurrences of rust are not exceptional as well: it can appear in spring as a result of some particular processes. As soon as you notice any rust appearing on the leaves, just prune them off.
Perennial ornamental grasses will decorate your garden and create the atmosphere of neatness and good maintenance. A nice ground cover, created by the grasses, looks beautiful and sophisticated, creating an effect of a lovely carpet.
Blue Ornamental Grass – Elymus magelianicus