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Growing Grasses

Growing Grasses

Fireworks Fountain Grass


Ornamental grasses are grown for their attractive foliage and flowers. Good for garden beds, mixed planters, and containers. Generally purchased as plants, as seed can be tricky to germinate and seedlings slow to establish. Many newer varieties are vegetative and not true from seed. The most brightly colored ornamental grasses are usually annuals or tender perennials, though there are some colorful hardy grasses. Plant outdoors after the last frost of spring.


Tolerant of a wide range of soils, grasses are happy in well-drained sites in full sun to part shade. Can cut back plants if they overgrow. Most forms remain attractive in fall and early winter.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use low rates of Algoflash All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 (51085), Neptune's Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221), or Osmocote 14-14-14 (51173).

Alternative Products

Other plants with attractive foliage include Purple Majesty Hybrid Ornamental Millet (06975) and Chocolate Covered Cherry Coleus Plants (09152). Shenandoah Red Switch Grass (12132) is a perennial grass with red foliage in summer and fall.

Complimentary Products

Generally low feeders and benefit from occasional fertilization. Combine with trailing plants like Wave Petunia or Mediterranean Trailing Vinca (08016) in mixed containers.

Grass Facts

Easy-to-grow plants with few problems or pests. Over-fertilization can reduce color intensity of foliage and result in floppy plants. Can use flowers and leaves in cut or dry flower arrangements. There are also a number of attractive perennial grasses.

Growing Tips