Ornamental grasses are adaptable and attractive additions to any garden or landscape. With a wide range of colors, textures, and sizes, they can add beauty, movement, and appeal to your outdoor space. With so many choices, picking the best ornamental grasses can be challenging. In this blog, we'll explore ornamental grasses, highlighting their characteristics and offering tips on choosing the perfect ones for your garden.

1. Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora):

This Feather Reed Grass ornamental grass has a moderate growth rate. It reaches a mature height of 4-5 feet with a width spanning 2-3 feet. It grows well in full sun and tolerates partial shade. It displays lavish golden tan blooms from summer through fall. It is adaptable to various soil conditions. It is suitable for mass plantings, roadside landscapes, beds and borders, hedges, and waterfront regions. It exhibits resilience to cold and heat.

2. Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus sinensis):

Japanese silver grass has tall, graceful plumes and attractive leafage that changes color throughout the seasons. It's a low-maintenance grass that thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It is a terrific option for various garden styles. Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) works well as a live hedge or border when planted 3 to 4 feet (1 m) apart. It also makes an appealing plant whether placed in the center of a bed or a large container as an accent. Autumn Light and November Sunset are two kinds that can be cultivated in USDA Zone 4.

3. Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides):

Fountain grass is known for its arching, fountain-like growth habit, and soft, feathery plumes that sway gracefully in the breeze. It's a drought-tolerant grass that grows well in full sun and well-drained soil, making it perfect for adding texture and movement to borders and containers. Fountain grass is a low-maintenance and undemanding plant, that adapts to a wide range of growing situations. Plants will soon grow a strong root system, making them durable once grown. They come in a variety of colors and sizes and can be used in mixed borders, beds, pots, rock gardens, curbside strips, and mass plantings.

4. Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca):

Blue fescue has striking blue-gray foliage and a compact, clumping habit. It's a low-maintenance grass, making it perfect for rock gardens, borders, and edging. Blue fescue (Festuca glauca) is a wonderfully adaptable perennial grass with an eye-catching blue color that lasts throughout the year. Blue fescue's clump-forming habit produces uniform balls of foliage topped with feathery straw flower stalks in the summer. It can be utilized as an accent plant in large plantings, containers, or niches. Blue fescue is particularly drought-tolerant, making it ideal for rock gardens.

5. Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum):

Switch Grass, scientifically known as Panicum virgatum, is a true native of the North American prairie, providing a touch of natural beauty to landscaping. Its airy plumes appear in late summer and autumn, adding a delicate grace to gardens.  Switch Grass is a native grass known for its upright habit, airy plumes, and beautiful fall color. It thrives in a variety of soil types and growing conditions, making it perfect for naturalistic landscapes and prairie gardens.Varieties like 'Dallas Blues' have blue-gray foliage all season, which complements the environment with its distinct color. As autumn approaches, switchgrass transforms into a spectacle of vivid gold or crimson, providing warmth and color to the landscape.

6. Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ):

Karl Foerster feather reed grass is known for its tall, upright habit and attractive plumes that emerge in early summer and persist throughout the season. It's a low-maintenance grass that thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, making it perfect for borders and mass plantings.

7. Big Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium):

Big bluestem is a tall, attractive grass that is native to the American grassland and easily adapts to any type of environment. Big bluestem leaves are blue-green in the spring, gradually turning green with reddish undertones, and then changing again to a reddish-bronze in the autumn. Plants thrive in both dry and damp soils. Despite often taking a while to take root, this grass eventually forms enormous, erect clumps.

8. Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'):

Zebra grass has unique horizontal striping on its leafage and attractive plumes that emerge in late summer. It's perfect for borders, containers, and focal points in the landscape. It's clear how zebra grass earned its name: Each leaf blade has a succession of vivid yellow bands. The plant sticks out in the landscape! Zebra grass also has a good erect habit that works well in the perennial border.


When choosing ornamental grasses for your garden, consider factors such as size, growth habit, color, and maintenance requirements. Whether you're looking for tall grass to add drama and height to your landscape or compact grass for edging and borders, there's a perfect ornamental grass for every garden style and preference. With the top 8 ornamental grasses highlighted in this guide, you can confidently select the perfect grasses to enhance your outdoor space and create a beautiful and inviting garden for years to come.