Ornamental Grasses

This post, “Ornamental Grasses” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

Grasses have become very popular in the last few years.  I was kind of late in getting on the “grass band wagon”.  The first grass I tried was Purple Fountain grass.  I placed it in two urns in front of an arbor.  I did not know how hardy it was here, so I was afraid to place it in the ground.  I have had it now for three years, and it is still doing well, so I am going to keep it in the containers.  I just cut it back last week, and already there is new growth showing.

The next was Strawberries and Cream.  I bought it to place in the white & green garden.  Unfortunately, after I bought two containers of it, I found out that it is very vigorous and can be very invasive here in the Deep South.  So, I decided that I better keep them in containers.  They seem to be happy in two large green pots.


My next purchase was Gulf Muhly Grass.  I had a hard time finding it locally but was finally successful in finding two small pots.  This grass took a little longer to get established than I thought it would.  I did get a few pink fluoresces this year.  It seems to just now to be starting to settle in, and I hope it will be getting bigger.


The last grass I tried was Mexican Hair grass.  It did just great last summer.  It moves in just the slightest breeze and gives some movement in the garden.  I cut it back and cleaned it out about two weeks ago, and already it is putting out a lot of new green growth.


This spring I am thinking about putting in some miscanthus  Cosmopolitan. I saw some at the fall garden show at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens, and it was just magnificent.  Of course, they had the room to grow extremely large swaths of it, but I think it would make a lovely show even on a smaller scale, esp. at the end of the growing season when so many plants are not at their best.

Another grass I thought I might give a try is Sea Oats.  My sister had a large container of this on her side patio.  It made a very striking display even into the winter. 

One aspect of gardening that I feel makes things so interesting and fun is the fact that there is always something new to try.  I enjoy hearing about other gardeners trying out a new garden style, new plants, or new techniques.  This, to me, is what keeps gardening fresh and inspiring.


  1. jodi said,

    February 9, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Yes, you’re exactly right…as I always say, so many plants, so little time…

    Thanks, Jodi. It is good to know I am not the only one who feels this way.

  2. hayefield said,

    February 10, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Hi Jan! I’m a big fan of ornamental grasses too, and those you mentioned are some of my favorites. You’re right that the ‘Strawberries and Cream’ ribbon grass should do well in pots. I’ve even grown it in window boxes. It does decline in hot weather, but a midsummer trim to the ground clears the way for bright new growth once cooler weather returns.
    -Nan Ondra

    Thanks for the feedback. I am looking forward to the grasses flushing out this year.

  3. February 13, 2008 at 7:21 am

    I love Sea Oats, too. The only thing is, if you have some, you will – pun unavoidable – see oats everywhere. They really are free seeding.

    Thanks, Patrick, for the warning. Where I live the ground is a pretty hard clay. So, if there is no amended soil things really do not grow too well. However, if I do decide to get the sea oats, I’ll probably dead head before they start falling to prevent too many coming up.

  4. Bonnie Jones said,

    May 1, 2008 at 5:52 am

    Jan,what a delightful blog. My husband and I love to garden and read about what other people are doing in their gardens. The sea oats are beautiful and graceful moving in the wind; but, they are extremely hardy!!! We live in Natchez, MS. and one day I hope to visit your town during the craft festival.

  5. Jan said,

    May 1, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks, for stopping by my blog. You’ve convinced me that I need to put some sea oats in my garden.

  6. December 1, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Just finished dividing those ornamental grasses in our own yard a few weeks ago. Which provide more new plants, or gifts for other home gardeners.

    We may even see if our son wants to propagate this one for extra pocket change.

    MDV / Oregon

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