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Best Ornamental Grasses

Best Ornamental Grasses to Add Privacy to the Garden

Adding privacy to the garden is essential to adding security to your property. But at the same time, if you plan to add ornamental grass, you can shoot two birds with one stone. Planning perennial ornamental grasses instead of installing structures is always a good idea. Unlike the options like shrubs and trees, planting ornamental grasses is quick and often reaches their mature size in two different seasons. 

Thanks to their quick growth rate, they are the best privacy hedges as many new plants quickly fill over any gaps. Also, ornamental grass gives your existing landscape an additional amount of beauty and privacy. Here we will be exploring a wide range of Ornamental Grasses that can help in adding privacy elements to your garden, have a look: 

Feather Reed Grass

Feather Reed Grass is a dense clump of narrow, erect and green leaves, which helps in growing around 3 feet long. You can find the grass coming up with pinkish purple and feathery flowers above the grass leaves during the summer season. It spreads to two feet, reaching 5 feet tall. This grass demands a decent amount of moisture to sustain. 

At the same time, unlike any other ornamental grass, feather reed grass can easily sustain in heavy clay soil that drains very slowly. If your home has a rain garden and you want to have a low-maintenance and medium height screening plant that can bear some shade, this grass option will suffice all your requirements. 

Feather Reed Grass

The grass often requires a considerable amount of water; hence frequent watering is essential. You can always cut the plant during fall or early spring if you want to promote new growth. The grass can offer a good privacy screening, and thus, you can enjoy a good conversation in the seating area. These grasses are found in diverse configurations and sizes. 

The gorgeous feather reed grass demands minimal care having the site requirements as very versatile. It is free from disease or pests, making the maintenance part minimal and straightforward. Little pruning is required to see them growing new foliage. 

Pink Muhly Grass

Pink muhly grass, also known as Pink hair grass, is a native beauty that homeowners can easily grow without much efforts. The type of this plant is perennial and primarily found in the Southern and Eastern areas of North America. It comes up with showy pink flowers that appear during the fall, allowing it to gain some winter interest. 

It demands lean soil with dry conditions preventing erosion on the slopes. Adding consistent moisture can help in gaining some height. Pinky muhly grass is also known for its beauty as a low-maintenance plant. It demands full sun for its growth, while its peak time is fall when you can find pink or pinkish-red flowers. 

If you are planting the plant in the sheltered area, it is found in the raised bed, which can further stretch the northern limit in its growing zone. These can quickly grow at a moderate rate, usually found in the ground during the springs or fall a month before you see the initial frost. During the fall, all you can see a pink fuzzy and soft flower that makes the environment fragrant; 

During the winter, the plant remains dormant, losing flowers and their color. However, the dried-out plumes often continue to offer visual appeal during the dormant season. The plant’s mature size is 1 to 3 feet tall, while the width is 2-3 feet. As said, it is a low-maintenance plant demanding dry and warm climates. It shields your property, giving you enough private space to enjoy on your lawn. It does not demand much water once it is established and can easily survive without any fertilizer

Miscanthus Sinensis ‘Strictus’ (Porcupine Grass)

Porcupine Grass ‘Strictus’ or Porcupine grass remains a distinctive ornamental grass known for its variegated foliage that showcases the unusual, soft and horizontal displaying yellow rings and having arching leaves. You can find it extended by some gorgeous, pinkish and attractive plumes during the fall. They appear in silver color during the fall. 

The distinctive feature of the plant is that it has very unusual variegated foliage having soft and horizontal soft yellow rings. It comes with leaves that turn brown during the fall. It is very similar to Zebra grass, having a stiff, dense and upright clump having 6 to 8 feet fall. It is known for being salt and drought-tolerant, apart from benign rabbit and deer-resistant. 

Miscanthus Sinensis ‘Strictus' (Porcupine Grass)

During the late summer, you can find the plant forming a bronze inflorescence, which moves over the blades having plum heads in the wind. The plant is a fuss-free plant having no significant diseases or pets. They can seldom get rust fungus over the leaves that further hamper the beauty and vitality of the plant. It is not drought-tolerant, and hence it should be kept away from drying out. The aesthetically pleasing grass gives a perfect shield over the garden, allowing you to have your private space with these plants. It adds all-around beauty with less care and maintenance.

Purple Majesty Ornamental Millet

The Purple Majesty Ornamental Millet grass is known to have its origin in an ordinary millet, which happens to be a cereal grain. It is an important food crop found in Africa and Asia semi-and areas. The plant is developed in the US like a forage crop. It comes with a fantastic seed spike apart from having no agricultural value. We can find it becoming an award-winning example for many more home landscapes. 

The blooming season of this ornamental grass is autumn, summer, late summer and late spring. The plant habit is known to have spring and columnar. The hardness is 32 degrees F, and when we see the plants fully developed. It becomes dark when the plants come under full sun. It also makes a good-cut flower. The stunning plant can grow up to 5 feet, while the flower plumes for 8 to 12 inches. 

Planting them in a partial sun gives you good prominence in your garden. In complete fun, it can appear in a burgundy color and improve the architecture of blended plantings. Some of the other critical features of this plant include low maintenance, internet interest, and attractive and collage foliage, which produces fragrant flowers. It remains heat tolerant. 

If you look at the growing ornament plant, it demands two things – sunny exposure and good draining soil. For good care, you need to keep it moist hence using mulch or any other organic compost is a welcoming idea. Lastly, it adds excellent privacy to your garden, allowing you to have your private space to have a chit-chat. 

Ravenna Grass

It is also known as elephant grass or hardy pampas grass, but Ravenna is its common name. It is a perennial and large size grass which is native to the Mediterranean and is commonly known as the ornamental plant. It offers a perfect blend of elegance and towering magnificence. You can call it a massive specimen grass that helps become an ideal screen in your landscape, allowing decent privacy in your garden. 

This ornamental grass is known to have a year-round appeal, and it comes up with a large ornament that allows it to gain a height of 2 to 4 meters. The grass is frost, drought and deer resistant. It is also used as an alternative to pampas grass as found in the northern gardens. One of the more vital features of this ornament grass is its leaf blades, which remain 3 to 4 feet. 

Ravenna Grass

long. These are blue-green colors having hairy bases giving a distinctive white mid-vein. In the late summer season, the plant produces tall, silver-white feathery plumes that remain attractive in floral arrangements and long-lasting. 

It can grow well only in full sun and adequately drained soil. It is tolerant to diverse soil conditions; however, it grows well in loose soil having moderate fertility. It is always a good idea to plant it infertile and rich soil, and it comes with a tendency to develop weak stems and does not remain flop over these conditions. It acts as a good shield giving you good privacy. An established plant can easily survive with less water and fertile soil. 

Switchgrass

Switchgrass is one of the best ornamental grasses that fall under perennial grasses’ warm season. It is native to North America and remains a natural component of the tallgrass prairie covered among the great plains. Its botanical name is Panicum virgatum; however, the most common names include Tall Panic Grass and Switchgrass, to name a few. 

It comes from the clan of Poaceae with a plant perennial. Well-established Switchgrass can grow to a height of 6 feet tall. It can easily sustain both full and partial, while the ideal soil type includes moist, clay and sandy soil with acidic pH values including alkaline and neutral. It comes up in pink color. 

The favorable light for Switchgrass is full sun position, which allows vigorous growth, upright and tall stalks giving you the best color. Although it can sustain in any soil type, it is more favorable to the clay variety. Overly rich soil can provide a good result. A drought-tolerant species can easily manage both hot and dry conditions. 

It is tolerant to different weather conditions, and it can cope with intense summer heat and freezing water conditions. Once it establishes, it barely needs additional feeding with fertilizer. Having too many nutrient values can cause grass stalks to droll. It gives a good privacy option on your lawn, acting as a good shield. 

Big Bluestem Grass

Big Bluestem grass is among the warm grasses that sustain in dry seasons. The tall perennial ornamental grass is native to the US. It starts in spring being blueish-green and turns a brownish shade during the Fall. It attracts too much wildlife, including too many insects feed on its foliage and grasshoppers also hop around them. Besides, there are few birds which consume its seed. 

It can reach up to the height of 10 inches in favorable conditions. You can notice too many shades and colors during different seasons. In spring, you can find it in blueshgresn, while it is brown and tan during the fall. During the warm season, the clump is seen forming. One of the key reasons it is planted in the US is to prevent soil erosion. 

It has solid stem grass, and some species have hollow stems. You can feel its ultimate beauty when it sways with the breeze. If you look at them on any windy autumn day, you think of the grass dancing while you see them moving back and forth. All these features make it a perfect ornamental grass having a specimen that moves smoothly. 

Growing it in favorable conditions like full sun and moist soil, you find them blooming with minimal care. During the springs, when you see the springs around, you can cut down and get rid of the stalks of the earlier season. With such simple maintenance and good privacy elements, you can find Big Bluestem Grass, a perfect choice for ornamental grass. 

Umbrella Bamboo

Umbrella bamboo, also known as fargesia murielae remains a gorgeous variety of ornamental grass native to mountainous parts of China. It has been found in the US for the past few decades. The ravishing look of the grass comes with the arch coming down like an umbrella. The dense clumps of this grass make it lush green during the winter season. 

They are known for their tendency to grow faster and with a minimal level of care, allowing you to enjoy an impressive 3 meters. It has sprawling leaves that further make an ideal outdoor landscape. You can find some gorgeous flowers that are additionally showcased while growing them on this grass in favorable conditions. You can find them in dense clumps that further help keep their lush color green during the winter months. 

Umbrella Bamboo

Umbrella bamboos are simple to care for as they are a bit fussy when it comes to soil and sunlight. You need to give their flowing leaves a good amount of trimming. If you intend to plant them directly over any ground, you need to be aware that they need to take over the garden if they are not contained quickly. Bamboos can remain perfectly happy when they stand over their pots and even watch the world at ease. 

As bamboo remains an evergreen perennial, they do not lose its leaves with the growing season. Instead, they start regrowing it during the spring season when they start growing again. As these fall under the category of garden grass, it remains very tolerant of animals. They barely suffer any nibble as they remain toxic. Lastly, it needs a good balance of shade and sunlight to grow. 

Pampas Grass

This grass is of South American origin and was introduced to Europe and North America in the previous century. These are known as ornamental grass having some feathers in it. You can find them in a gorgeous display with lovely details for any flower arrangement when they are dried out. Animals are also fed with this grass. 

These grasses are found in around 25 varieties and are known by many names, including silver pampas grass, pluma, Toradora, paint and tussock grass, to name a few. However, the popular ones in the garden include only the three pampas grass planted today. The pampas grass remains invasive during the mild climates and can quickly reach a height upto 12 feet tall. 

The grass is drought tolerant, and it needs water only during the extended spells when these are established. It does not demand any fertilizer, and you can find a tough version of plant in it that grows upto zones 5 to 9. These perennial grass remain popular garden favorites that further bear tall plumes of silvery flowers found in the mid-green foliage. 

This is self-sowing grass, and it can spread via the traveling roots. They can boost in size and width while starting quickly. The grass requires minimal maintenance and care. However, with conditions like open and sunny spots in your garden, having good circulation, well-drained soil, and good air circulation can help grow the grass effectively. The suitable height of the grass allows you to enjoy perfect privacy in your garden, allowing you to have a good time with family and friends. 

Blue Oat Grass

Blue oat grass is native to Europe and is defined as perennial grass having a clumping and dense habit of the foot that remains 3 m long and stiff. It looks like Blue fescue, but the only difference is the size. The former is a larger plant that grows upto 30 inches in width and 75 cm tall. 

These are unique in their look and color and prove perfect ornamental grass for the garden owners. Flowers have tips over the tapered leaves and remain tipped with many more golden oat kinds of seed heads. It gains a light brown hue during the fall, while it remains a beautiful light brown fall in the winters. 

The grass demands a well-drained and moist soil in part to full shade. It often likes fertile soils and even tolerates some less fertile, heavy, sandy clay soil. The plants are set with a two-foot gap that can further form a solid mass of soliage. Also,  we see Rhizomes remain a less invasive option for landscape. 

It demands minimal care as it remains hardy and forgiving grass. However, they have issues with heavy shade and little air circulation that can cause first foliar ailment. When you find it overly humid during the heavy shade, you will face problems. You do not have to worry about feeding them regularly, as annual feeding can suffice the requirements. It acts as a perfect privacy space in your garden with a good height. 

Chinese Silver Grass

Chinese silver grass is also known as Miscanthus Sinensis, and it remains a widespread and clump-forming ornamental grass. This helps add an effortless, breezy to your garden and its landscape. You can find the grass boasting feather plumed seed heads that can appear during the late summer and go upto the early fall. The upright stem of the plant seems to go smoothly inside the winter. 

You can find the blades appearing on the grass, giving a gorgeous cascading effect when they end up rippling in the wind. These remain native to eastern Asia and are available in a wide variety of cultivars known in different color shades and heights. The color shades include red, purple, silver, and pink. You can find them planted the best during the spring season from potted nursery plants. 

Chinese Silver Grass

Some of the common names include Chinese silver grass, Eulalia grass and Japanese silver grass, while its botanical name is Miscanthus Sinensis falling in the family of Poaceae. During its maturity, it grows upto 10 feet and 3 to 6 feet wide. The sun exposure comes to partial and complete, while it thrives on moist and well-drained soil. The flower on the plant is reddish silver, and the hardiness zone is 5 to 9 inches. 

This grass demands minimal care, and you get the best results with little effort. Hence these are called as easy to grow grass. Thanks to the versatile nature of the grass, that allows you to get the best result. They need to cut the springs during the new growth. They require consistent moisture, so you only have to water them once a week. Lastly, with a good garden focal point, these work ideally like a privacy screen, a hedging option and the best border plant. 

Giant Canes

Giant Canes, also known as Arundinaria, is defined as a genus of bamboos and canes. It falls under the grass family, while these are primarily found in temperate areas. These plants mainly grow in the marshy areas or are found along the riverbanks. You can find the stems can be woven into mats and baskets. These are mainly used to make pipes and fishing poles but, at the same time, are considered the best ornamental grass.

The height of giant canes reaches the size of 26 feet. These remain vegetative, with creeping rhizomes, which can further form dense colonies that often exclude other plants. It has cylindrical stems that are attributed to leaf sheaths having rough bristles. You can find the leaves to belong and narrow, and you can find the new branches producing a distinctive fan of leaves that is further known as the top knot. 

These are considered among the most common and maiden grass known for their rich beauty. These are simple to grow and offer a narrow and arching foliage having silver plumes that can further help in enchanting some light catches. The best time to plant this ornamental grass is that it can be planted during the spring or the fall. The whole idea is to render the grass an effective root system before the advent of winter. 

Fall planting is counted among the most credible options with additional precautions, particularly during the early or tough winter seasons. When it comes to caring about this grass, it demands a rich and properly draining potting soil that brings in indirect light. The grass is perfect for adding privacy to your garden with its good height. 

Amur Silvergrass

 Amur silvergrass falls under an invasive species, and It falls under the warm season grass having a height of 6-8 feet tall. It is defined as a highly showy and vigorous grass, forming a dense mat. It is considered to be an invasive species. These invade semi and cunny shade areas, including roadsides, clearings and woodland borders. 

These fall under the warm season grass category with a height of 6 to 8 feet. The leaves are arching, having whitish midribs less than one inch wide. You can find white shoots of Amur silver grass as found in water. It gives white amur silver grass in water. These flowers are silky, and they resemble corn tassels. These vegetate via rhizomes and, in the end, form a dense mat. 

The spread quickly spreads in moist areas and not in any dry places. Some of the species resemble the sugar cane flower. You can see the leaves becoming orange during the fall. At the same time, you can find them becoming huge colonies. Watering remains an integral part of its care when it comes to its care. It demands loads of watering during the summers, while average water can suffice during the winters. 

For a big garden, you can find plants demanding too much water, and you can easily decide upon the irrigation method and then get a chance to install it in your yard. Lastly, they also require proper fertilizer, which is essential in caring. You also need to prune and trim the plant to grow fast and stay upright. You should know the appropriate weight and width to consider for effective pruning. Amur Silvergrass offers good privacy in their yard with its good looks and size. 

Fountain Grass

Fountain grass is defined as attractive perennial grass having a densely clumped growth. The blooming phase for this glass is in the late summer. It comes up with small flowers that remain pink, purple or tan. During the fall season in the winter, this plant gives the gardener the best rewards with the spectacular foliage displays. 

It comes with cascading leaves, which give a fountain kind of appearance. The clump-forming grasses are often known to grow clumps and mounds that further help in making them ideal for many more areas without making them invasive. The plant flourishes in full sun, while at the same time, it can even tolerate some amount of shade. 

Fountain Grass

The foliage of fountain grass appears very attractive during the winter season. It grows in clumps that remain around 3 to 5 feet in width and height, respectively. Now, it is easy to manage if you talk about the maintenance part. When the plant is young, watering once a week will suffice all your requirements. Once the grass is well established, you can further reduce the watering frequency. 

Although adding fertilizer is not required, adding it can help in boosting growth. Similarly, these grasses need a small amount of maintenance for their growth and sustenance. The soil requirement for this grass is average and medium to wet. The grass adds a good amount of privacy and visual interest to a landscape. 

How can Grasses Provide Privacy?

For all the gardeners who are willing to block their neighbors’ yards without constructing a wall, choosing ornamental grasses will suffice. Adding these grasses not only helps offer them the required privacy element but also enjoys a gorgeous landscape. 

The growth of ornamental grasses is quick compared to any shrub or tree. They are quirk to gain their mature size with a faster growth rate. It helps in making it ideal for privacy hedges. These plants leave no space and thus quickly fill in the gaps. At the same time, these grasses offer inexpensive options for one and all. 

The above list of ornamental grass can help you choose them as per your requirements. All you need to do is check your climate and other conditions and then choose the appropriate grass. Once you select the one sufficing your requirement, the grass is ready to fit inside your planting area. 

What is the Fastest Growing Grass for Privacy?

Ornamental grasses are called the hot rods of landscaping. Some of these grasses remain fast-growing and full-sized clumps along with tall varieties that help you result in the best reward for landscaping decisions within any one season. 

If you check the list of some of the fastest-growing grasses, the height can range between 10 to 30 feet a year. You can always use tall ornamental grasses for privacy hedges, focal points and privacy hedges. Whether you want a tropical, spare or lush look in your garden to add privacy, relying on any fast-growing grass is always a good idea. 

Some of the fastest-growing grass for privacy include the following: 

  • Giant Silvergrass
  • Clumping Bamboo
  • Running Bamboo 
  • Giant Reed Grass

These are some of the fastest-growing grasses, which you can grow in your garden and enjoy quicker privacy. 

How to Maintain Tall Grasses for Privacy

Typically any ornamental grass demands limited care, especially when selecting native grass material. Thus you need some low maintenance activities, including getting drought tolerant and a little bit of fertilization. However, when the grasses grow fast and tall, you need to bring them in the right shape. Experts also recommend clumping some of the grass and discarding them. 

Also, these grasses tend to become too large in no time and can invade your entire area if they remain unattended. For maintaining the grasses, the following tips can help you a lot. 

  • Tall grasses for privacy demand regular water as it helps produce healthy and long roots. A deep watering once a week can help you give the grass a good shape. 
  • Don’t forget to add fertilizer to the soil having these tall grasses. However, you just have to apply light fertilizer. Sprinkle them around the grass with deep water can suffice all your requirements. 
  • Pruning the grass for 4 – 6 inches from the surface should be done during the spring season, allowing new and vibrant grass growth. 
  • Division of plants may vary from one plant to another; however, most of them benefit from a three-year division option. Dividing the plants between the late summer and early fall helps a lot. 

Maintaining grass can become an easy exercise with the above tips. However, you can explore more for a better understanding. 

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