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RE: Grasses for Zone 5 (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: Jroot on 01.28.2005 at 06:07 pm in Ornamental Grasses Forum

Like Jake, I do not recommend growing ornamental grass from seed for the following reason....most ornamental grass seed is STERILE. Most of the truly beautiful grasses spread from clumps and not seeds. Those that spread from seeds are truly INVASIVE, and most gardeners do NOT want those in his/her garden at all. If one does want them ( for some reason) they can gather the seeds by the highways. These ones are INVASIVE, and that gardener will have ample jobs to do each spring, pulling grass from his/her garden. I hope I made my point. I have a friend who planted ribbon grass, which is a pretty variegated grass, but is extremely aggressive from seeds. She absolutely curses the day she planted it, as it is everywhere,- in her lawn, in her garden 40 feet away. I would never plant that grass.

Here in zone 5, I have successfully grown the following:

Sinensis Malepartus has blooms that come in August. The flowers are coppery, the flowers are white. The foliage turns a beautiful copper colour in the fall, and stays intact for the winter, unless hit by strong winds. I have it at the front of my house. I find it slowly clumping, with sterile seeds.

I also have the sinensis gracillimus ( maiden's hair) which I truly love. There are two types, one variegated, and one straight green. I have the green one, but my neighbour has the variegated one. Both are doing well.

Sinensis giganticus (goliath), which grows about 10 feet tall. I love it as a backdrop for my bog garden.

Blue oat grass, which I grow in an urn with the bottom cut out. It looks like a fountain in the part shade.

Japanese blood grass, which is about a foot tall, and grows as an ornament on the corner of a garden. Very impressive.

Miscanthus Sinensis ------- (zebra grass), which grows a little taller than the gracillimus (graciella), and is quite hardy. It has not yet bloomed for me.

some unknown blue grass which has never bloomed but has leaves about 3 feet long. Actually, it kind of flops onto the ground, and does not really do much for me. It was given to me by a friend in a trade.

Some sort of perennial hardy fountain grass, Pennestium I thing, but I can't remember the name... some type of perennial fountain grass good for zone 5 all memory fails me at the moment. It has been doing well for me. It grows about a foot tall, and is slowly spreading from the root. I became aware of it when a landscape contractor was picking up as much as he could when a nursery was going out of business. He knew that it would be a good bet for him here in zone 5. (Canada)


Lotta helpul info here. In fact, this whole thread is more than I came for. Thanks to all.
clipped on: 07.01.2009 at 11:14 pm    last updated on: 07.01.2009 at 11:15 pm