Sensational Ornamental Grasses for Your Garden!

Decorative grasses are an excellent addition to the garden, offering a versatile and low-maintenance way to add texture, movement, and beauty. Whether you’re aiming for a contemporary landscape design or a more naturalistic look, there is a decorative ornamental grass to suit every type of garden.

Fountain Grass – Pennisetum

Known for its graceful arching foliage and feathery plumes, fountain grass adds elegance and movement to the garden. There are many different varieties of Fountain Grass, such as Hameln, Burgundy Bunny, Red Head, Karley Rose, Little Bunny, and Purple Fountain Grass. There are a wide variety of different colours and heights to choose from. A favourite, Pennisetum Red Head is a gorgeous tall fountain grass that grows to 120 cm (48”). It features smokey-purple bottlebrush plumes and displays stunning gold foliage in the fall. This gorgeous grass is ideal for adding height and interest to the garden. It prefers a full-to-part sun location, is deer resistant, and is hardy to zone 5.

Japanese Forest Grass – Hakonechloa macra

With its cascading habit and bright green foliage, Japanese forest grass is ideal for adding a soft, flowing effect to shady areas. There are many different Hakonechloa grasses to choose from. Aureola features striking variegated foliage with golden-yellow stripes that brighten shady corners. As the name suggests, All Gold showcases vibrant, chartreuse-yellow foliage that illuminates shaded areas. Sunflare is prized for its vibrant and luminous foliage. Its arching stems bear leaves that emerge in spring with a brilliant chartreuse hue, reminiscent of the first rays of dawn. As the season progresses, the foliage matures to a golden-yellow shade. With its cascading habit and gentle movement in the breeze, Sunflare adds a dynamic and uplifting presence. Hardy to zone 5. Hakonechloa are dog friendly grasses learn more here!

Switchgrass – Panicum virgatum

Switchgrass is prized for its upright growth habit and stunning fall color. Varieties like Shenandoah, Blood Brothers and Heavy Metal offer beautiful red and blue foliage, respectively. Panicum Prairie Sky is a garden giant, growing to 1.8 m (6’) tall. It displays its upright, powdery-blue foliage, and finely textured dark red flowers from August to October. This deer-resistant variety is great for massing and mixed borders and is hardy to zone 4.

Maiden Grass – Miscanthus sinensis

Named for its distinctive horizontal stripes, zebra grass adds a bold, architectural element to the garden. Its tall plumes provide interest well into the fall and winter. Miscanthus Morning Light features a white band along the margin, and pinkish-silver plumes, while another favourite, Graziella showcases sliver-green narrow foliage and pinkish flower plumes. If you are looking for incredible height, Strictus is the grass for you! Growing to 240 cm (8’) this garden giant has upright green foliage banded with yellow, and soft pink flowers. Hardy to at least zone 5.

Grasses Ideal for Containers

While there are many grasses that tower in the garden, creating beautiful backdrops and screening, there are also versatile shorter varieties perfect for containers. Festuca Beyond Blue features intense powder blue foliage, that stays bright throughout the season. It grows to 30 cm (12”), hardy to zone 4 and looks amazing in containers. Add some extreme vibrancy to your containers with Imperata Red Baron. Its 45 cm (18”)leaves are green at the base with intensely blood-red tips, and hardy to zone 5. Sesleria autumnalis is a variety growing to 50 cm (20”). It is hardy to zone 3 and displays light green foliage, medium blade width, with silver panicles. All of these varieties are deer-resistant as well!


Before choosing decorative grasses for your garden, it’s essential to consider their preferred growing conditions. While most grasses are relatively low-maintenance, they thrive in different environments. Also consider the type of garden you want to enjoy have you considered a Sensory Garden? Learn more about sensory gardens here.

Design Tips

Incorporating decorative grasses into your garden design can enhance its overall aesthetic and create a sense of harmony. Planting multiple grasses of the same variety in clusters can create a dramatic impact, especially in larger garden beds or open spaces. Pairing grasses with contrasting textures, colors, and forms can create visual interest. For example, combine the fine foliage of Japanese forest grass with the bold, upright form of zebra grass. Choose a mix of grasses that provide interest throughout the year, from spring through winter. Consider selecting varieties with colorful foliage, interesting seed heads, or attractive fall colour. Take note of the placement of the grasses. At first, starter plants may seem small, but petite grasses can grow into giants! Make sure plan for their mature size, so they do not block smaller perennials in your garden.

Care and Maintenance

One of the main benefits of decorative grasses is their low-maintenance nature. However, they still require some care to thrive. Many grasses benefit from annual pruning in late winter or early spring to remove dead foliage and encourage new growth. Over time, some grasses may become overcrowded, leading to reduced vigor. Dividing clumps every few years can rejuvenate the plants and promote healthier growth. In colder climates, some grasses may benefit from a layer of mulch or straw to protect their crowns from freezing temperatures. Remember leave the seed heads on your grasses in autumn as they are a food source for wintering birds.

By selecting the right grasses and incorporating them thoughtfully into your garden design, you can create a landscape that is both beautiful and low-maintenance. Whether you’re aiming for a modern, minimalist look or a more naturalistic feel, there’s a decorative grass to suit your style and preferences. So why not enhance your garden with the beauty of ornamental grasses today?. Happy gardening! Contact us for a retailer near you.

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