Pink Cotton Candy

“Pink Cotton Candy”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Ornamental grasses are becoming more and more popular, and new varieties are being introduced each year.  For years I have wanted pink muhly grass for my garden.  I fell in love with the lovely pink color of the plumes and the blue-green foliage.  The fact that it is native to this area was an added plus.

Even though I was looking all over for this plant, I couldn’t find it except through mail order or the Internet.  I was hesitant to order it either way because summer heat had already set in by the time I was ready to order it in 2006.  Early in the spring of 2007, I found two plants at Home Depot.  I surely was surprised to find it there.

Since I had read that it was best planted so that it could be back lighted by a rising or a setting sun, I couldn’t decide where to plant it.  Finally, I planted each in a large concrete planter.  This is the first year that the grass was of a size to really show off the blooms.  Early Saturday morning when I was out just walking around, the early morning sun was illuminating the puffs of cotton candy pink inflorescences.

This grass is very drought tolerant, which is great for our summers, and it can also tolerate the high humidity of the Gulf Coast.  It is hardy to zone 7.  It forms clumps about four feet high and can get up to three feet wide.  Though mine is not that large yet.  The blooms are long lasting, and I can imagine how breath-taking several of these being back lit by the sun must be.

I can hardly wait until mine are larger.  I think by next fall when so many other plants are starting to lose leaves and go dormant, my pink muhly grass plants will be big enough to be real show stoppers.


  1. fairegarden said,

    November 3, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Hi Jan, so glad you were able to find and site this fantastic grass. It already looks magical and will only become more so with maturity. I divide mine in late winter to make that mass planting that does literally stop traffic!


  2. Jan said,

    November 3, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Frances, thanks for saying when you divide yours. I was just wondering when would be a good time, and now I know.

  3. deb said,

    November 3, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    We share a favorite. Gulf muhly in bloom is amazing.

  4. Phillip said,

    November 3, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    We just got back from Florida. It is gorgeous down there! I had intended to photograph it with the late afternoon sun coming through it but I didn’t get around to it.

  5. Randy said,

    November 3, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Oooooooooooo that’s pretty. I’ll be getting some of that most any day now. 🙂

  6. Patsi said,

    November 3, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    You can say that again…”show stoppers” !!
    Amazing. Very creative idea with the sun light behind them,makes them glow.

  7. Jan said,

    November 4, 2008 at 5:22 am

    Deb, muhly grass is a wonderful plant, especially in the fall when it starts blooming.

    Phillip, Florida, at this time of year, can be so pretty. I can just imagine how pretty it must have been with white sand and the setting sun.

    Randy, this grass would look good in your garden, and it is so easy to care for and grow. My sister just bought some last Saturday when we were out plant shopping.

    Patsi, these are pretty all the time, but when they are back lighted – WOW!

  8. kevinthegarden said,

    November 4, 2008 at 6:39 am

    Why the surprize that HD had it? I ordered all the live goods at HD in Richmond, Va. for 7 years. I was getting 50 or 60 of the “Smoke Grass” per week in the late summer to early fall. Couldn’t keep it on the tables when it bloomed. I got it from Carolina Nurseries in Monks Corner, S.C. Now we are all lumped in to a consignment vendor, and I don’t have a say on what comes in … Very frustrating. But glad I got mine a few years ago.. Great fall cuttings w/mums & such..

  9. Jan said,

    November 4, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Kevin, our Home Depot usually only has common plants, the typical bedding plants, azaleas, etc. I guess they feel that they should stock only the plants most people are familiar with and rarely have anything the least “unusual”. I wish they would have more perennials, esp. the ones featured in gardening magazines. It is frustrating to see a new plant and not be able to find it locally, though it seems that the big box stores are not the only ones now like this. I guess with the economy like it is, merchants are understandably being cautious.

  10. kevinthegarden said,

    November 4, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Jan, sadly, no, it wasn’t the economy. HD ushered in a program a few years ago for the garden people to achieve, which gave us U of Ga. horticultural certification. Changed you to a specialist status, and more money. Only a few of us completed it company wide. Plants were dying in the stores because no body knew how to tend to them, sooo the went with a jackleg company in MD to ‘Oversee” the yards. My store had 45 % of the district livegoods sales 3 years running, now we, after only one year of this new regieme, are down 17 %. In Sept., they said our season is over, see you in Apr 09….
    Really.. In Richmond, Va.?

  11. Brenda Kula said,

    November 4, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Oh, I want some! Obviously we have humidity here similar to yours. The texture is lovely, so delicate and the hue soft. I’ve been hearing more and more about this plant lately.

  12. Anne said,

    November 5, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Your title grabbed my attention right away, and it was delightful to see such good photos of one of my favorite grasses. Isn’t it the most gorgeous stuff!!

    I’m discovering the world of garden blogs, and really enjoy your posts.

  13. Jan said,

    November 5, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Anne, glad you stopped by my blog. Isn’t pink muhly grass the best? I am so glad you are finding more garden blogs to read. I know I could spend the whole day reading them. Thanks for the kind words about enjoying my posts. I hope you stop by again.

  14. November 5, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Your pink muhly grass looks like a sunset, with such a bright pink colour. Your plants look striking, even if they haven’t reached their full size yet. How lucky you were to find the plants locally, and not have to order them.

  15. Jan said,

    November 5, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    I just love this grass and can’t wait for it to get bigger. I was lucky to find this locally.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: