Top 10 Ornamental Grasses

Give your garden four seasons of interest with low-maintenance ornamental grasses. Here are some of the best varieties.

1. Feather Reedgrass


The most popular ornamental grass, feather reedgrass offers a distinct upright habit that looks fantastic all winter long. Like many grasses, this tough plant tolerates a wide range of conditions.

2. Fountaingrass

A beautiful, mounding plant, fountaingrass offers a beautiful shape - as well as soft, feathery plumes that dance in the breeze.

3. Little Bluestem

A lovely, tough-as-nails prairie native, little bluestem offers gray-green leaf blades that turn bold shades of purple, red, and orange in autumn.

4. Switchgrass

One of our favorite grasses, switchgrass offers airy plumes in late summer and fall. It looks great during the season, too: Many varieties offer blue-gray foliage during the season and turn brilliant shades of gold or red in autumn.

5. Blue Oatgrass

It's tough to beat blue oatgrass for a low-care plant with steel-blue color. It also has a wonderful mounded habit and won't spread and take over your garden.

6. Purple Millet

This incredibly tough annual grass offers fantastic burgundy foliage and rich purple foliage that look like fuzzy cattails. The plants are beautiful and attract birds.

7. Cordgrass

An underutilized selection, cordgrass is a spreading prairie grass that thrives in moist or wet soils. As such, it's a good choice for growing along the side of a pond or stream.

8. Japanese Forestgrass

One of our favorite low-growing species, this gorgeous plant offers a perfect mounding habit. Variegated selections bear brightly colored foliage that light up shady corners.

9. Maidengrass

One of the most common grasses, maidengrass is big, beautiful, and easy to grow. It offers narrow, arching foliage and silvery plumes that are enchanting when the light catches them just right.

10. Fiber Opticgrass

An unusual tender perennial often grown as an annual, fiber opticgrass has a fine texture and low, mounding habit perfect for container gardens.

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