Unless noted, these are sun lovers. Grasses add great texture to the landscape in all seasons!
Foliage emerges dark green to dark purple, turning nearly black by fall. Thrive in dry, unfertile soils. Warm season grass that is drought tolerant once established.
Silver foliage with smoky purple and red highlights from May- October. Very strong, upright stems. Thrive in dry, unfertile soils. Warm season grass that is drought tolerant once established.
Dark green foliage turns burgundy to red. Thrive in dry, unfertile soils. Warm season grass that is drought tolerant once established.
Bright Silver Blue foliage forms a fully round, robust clump. Prefers drier, well drained soils. Warm season grass.
Early foliage is bright green with white stripes. One of the few grasses that performs well in partial shade. Cool season grass.
Rosy colord seedheads turn tan and last through winter. This grass has an upright, arching habit. Cool season grass.
Early to set seedheads, usually by the 4th of July. Mostly upright habit with a clump of grass at the base. Cool season grass.
Variegated striped blades. One of the few grasses that performs well in partial shade. Cool season grass.
Green and Yellow Veriegated Foliage. This is a grass for shade to part shade. Requires average to high moisture. Mix in amongst Hostas to a lighter texture to the shade garden. Warm season grass.
Bright steel blue foliage with purple highlights turn a colorful mix of purple, red, pink and orange in the fall. This selection is taller, more upright and has a non-flopping habit. Seedheads are found all along the blade. Warm season grass.
Scarlet red in the summer and turns deep red/purple in fall. Stays strictly upright in the fall without flopping. Seedheads are found all along the blade. Warm season grass.
Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, even heavy clay. Leaf blades are wider and a nice blue color. Has an upright and rigid habit. Warm season grass.
Silvery Mauve-purple foliage all summer turns deeper purple in the fall. Forms an upright columnar clump. Warm season grass.
Red and orange fall color. This grass mimics the flowing white seed heads in late summer you see in the road ditches in Iowa, but will not run and spread like them. Stays in a clump. Warm season grass.
Large flowers make a show, turning from pink and red to silver. Plant stands strong through fall and winter. Clump is quick to spread, but stays in a clump. Warm season grass.
Excellent front of the border in mass plantings. Semi evergreen foliage will just need a light clean up in the spring. Cool season grass.
Iowa Native. Arching seedheads are delicate and held above the clump of foliage. Plant this one in the front of middle of the border because it is very see-through. Adds great texture. Easy to grow in most soil types.
Very vertical, vase shaped habit. Sturdy plants stand tall through the fall and winter. Fall color is golden yellow. Warm season grass.
Pro Tip – Ornamental grasses are either warm or cool season. Cool Season grasses will emerge earlier in the season. Warm season grasses require not just warm air, but also warm soil to start growing. Unless noted, ornamental grasses perform best in full sun, which is at least 6 hours of sun per day.
Ornamental grasses should be left standing through the winter months for multiple reasons. It provides food and coverage for birds and insects in the fall and winter months. It also adds winter interest to the landscape. By leaving the foliage covering the crown, you are also protecting the crown of the plant in case we have extremely cold temperatures without much snow cover.
In the spring, you need to cut all grasses back to about 3″ so the new growth can push through and start growing.
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