Glorious Grasses in Containers


1. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Arabesque’ (common name: Japanese silver grass; 1.2 x 1 m/4 ft. x 3 ft.; silvery-pink plumes; blooms August to November; zone 6) 2. Stipa tenuissima (Mexican feather grass; 60 x 45 cm/24 in. x 18 in.; fluffy gold-blond plumes; June to September; zone 6) 3. Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea ‘Variegata’ (variegated moor grass; 60 x 75 cm/24 in. x 36 in.; purplish flowers on golden stems; late summer; zone 3) 4. Chasmanthium latifolium (northern sea oats; 75 x 60 cm/36 in. x 24 in.; tan; July to September; zone 5) 5. Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ (Japanese blood grass; 45 x 45 cm/18 in. x 18 in.; rarely flowers; blood-red leaf tips; zone 5)

Who says you have to have flowers in a container?

This arrangement demonstrates the dramatic effect made possible by combining the varying leaf textures and colours of ornamental grasses. It begins to have interest in early summer as the fresh foliage emerges. By mid summer the textures really start to stand out, and it is in its glory during late summer and fall. The grasses continue to have appeal into winter until heavy rain and winds take their toll. At that point, cut the foliage down to just above the soil line. Care: This container will hold for a second year, but the large size of the plants makes it impractical to keep for longer. Cut back faded foliage in fall and tuck the container in a protected area, watering only when dry throughout the winter. Place it in a bright location in April and top-dress with a controlled-release fertilizer; water regularly as needed.

Glorious Grasses Glorious Grasses

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