- Can decorative grasses be planted in the fall?
- Most popular ornamental grass. Do ornamental grasses need to be cut back in Autumn?
- Drought tolerant grasses. What ornamental grasses stay green year round?
- Ornamental grass that turns purple in the fall. What is the prettiest ornamental grass?
- Read more...
Mountain gardens are famous for flamboyant Autumn grasses in the landscape. This is the season you'll find the most exotic options for the gardens. From short spreading grass to big, bold pampas grass, this is their time to shine. Treat ornamental grasses like you would a tree or shrub; put them on the same irrigation and watch them thrive for years to come.
Whether grouped in clusters or planted singly as focal points, ornamental grasses add instant texture and form to the garden. The grasses listed here are beneficial for adding an autumn glow to the gardens. Many look great right through winter.
Blue Oat Grass - Helictotrichon sempervirens, forms a tidy porcupine-like clump in the garden. The beautiful blue colors show all season, with beige panicles through Autumn. Blue oat grass can remain evergreen through mild winters.
Feather Reed Grass - Calamagrostis acutiflora, loves spring and is one of the first ornamental grasses to shoot up from the garden in spring and plume. 'Karl Foerster' shows red plumes summer through fall, with 'Overdam' showing golden.
Flame Grass - Miscanthus sinensis, can be a very flashy addition in Autumn. Eye candy in the perennial garden with blazing red flowers all Fall. Sometimes referred to as Maiden Grass, every yard should have at least one.
Fountain Grass - Pennisetum alopecuroides, are some of the most reliable and attractive ornamentals you can grow. 'Rubrum' keeps its red color all season. 'Moudry' is another good choice for fall color, with green leaves as its flowers change to burgundy.
Japanese Forest Grass - Hakonechloa macra, looks genuine any time of year. The golden yellow colors show well against all the purple, rust, and reds in the fall garden. An easy-to-maintain grass with a weeping habit for extra drama.
Pheasant tail grass - Anemanthele lessoniana, is an open grass, ready to sway and flow in the slightest breeze. It's also known as gossamer grass or New Zealand wind grass. In fall, the leaf blades become tinged with copper streaks that reflect the sun. The perfect grass for the lower mountain gardens below 5000' elevation.
Pink Muhly Grass - Muhlenbergia capillaris, grows hip-high and very flashy. The foliage is covered in pink flower heads that catch every breeze, adding a cloud of soft pink to the garden summer through fall. Very tough, even on the windiest mountain hilltops.
Prairie Dropseed - Sporobolus heterolepis, has thin, airy leaves that weeps and flow in the garden. The leaves can turn almost pumpkin orange in fall.
Red Hood Sedge - Uncinia uncinata, is a well-behaved sedge. The plant is small, growing only about a foot in all directions, but it has a glowing bronze color all season and shows off all the more in Autumn. The perfect sedge for the lower mountain gardens below 5000' elevation.
Red Switch Grass - Panicum virgatum, starts to change from green to red early in the growing season, and by fall, it's on fire. 'Shenandoah' is the shortest, slowest growing, and showiest of all the red switch grasses.
Tall Moor Grass - Molinia caerulea, grows foliage 3 ft. tall, then shoots up delicate 6' foot flower stalks. Its narrow width and tall flowers make it perfect for small gardens. The flowers turn aspen gold through Autumn.
You will find the best selection of ornamental grasses now through fall here at Watters Garden Center. Now is the best time to add new ornamentals to your own gardens.
Garden Tip - Autumn sparks the most critical feeding of the year for everything in the garden, especially fruit trees, shrubs, and the native evergreens in the landscape. Before Thanksgiving, spread Watters 7-4-4 All Purpose Plant Food around all your essential plants, especially lawns and the ornamental grasses in the yard. This promotes better rest through winter and sets the stage for more extensive growth in spring.
Until next issue, I'll be helping locals choose perfect grasses here at Watters Garden Center.
Throughout the week, Lisa Watters-Lain can be found at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through her website at WattersGardenCenter.com or Top10Grasses.com.
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Upcoming Garden Classes
August 14 @ 9:30 am - Wildlife & Bug Prevention - Late summer is not only the peak of bug season, there's also intense pressure from furry visitors in our yards. Students start with best practices to keep javelina and pack rats away, then quickly move to solutions for grasshoppers and tomato worms. You can have a nice yard with these easy-to-use tips and a few key plant choices. Frustrated gardeners will have all the tools they need to keep the garden pest free!
August 21 @ 9:30 am – Best Evergreens for Mountain Landscapes – Evergreens can be the anchor of any landscape, providing color and privacy year-round. We'll dispel the myth that the only evergreens are pine trees, when in fact they can be a multitude of different shapes, colors, and sizes—there are even evergreens that aren't green!
August 28 @ 9:30 am - Gardening for Newcomers Learn all the mountain secrets to local garden success. This is an information packed class guaranteed to increase garden blooms and fruit this year. Learn about growing zones, frost dates, soils and more; you'll know exactly what to do in the gardens after this class.
September 4 @ 9:30 am - Top 10 Trees and How to Plant them - Privacy, shade, color, evergreen, and blooms. We cover trees from every angle. With so many choices, picking the perfect tree can seem overwhelming, but not after this class. Our horticultural team will be on-hand after the class to help with individual tree situations. Free tree planting guide to all attendees.
September 11 @ 9:30 am – Climbers & Covers in the Landscape. Vines climb quickly up fence posts, pergolas, barbed wire, walls and trellis. They block, screen, and shade better than any other plants in the nursery, but not all vines are created equal. Learn these vines favorite locals, sun and shade lovers, and all the advice to get these bloomers climbing.
September 18 @ 9:30 am - Easy to Grow Mountain Plants – Rock landscapes without these core plants tend to look strange, immature and lacking. Learn how to garden with these simple, but effective planting combinations for a design that WOWs all four seasons of the year.
September 25 @ 9:30 am - Privacy Screens and the Secret Garden. Tired of looking at the neighbor's RV? This class shows off the best, fastest growing plants to fill in your privacy screens! You can screen unsightly neighbors, enhance your view, or block pesky traffic and cut noise and light pollution. Experts will be on hand to help individuals with unique situations.
October 2 @ 9:30 am - Fall ‘To-do‘ list for a Healthy Yard - Get the most out of your landscape with this easy to use checklist of fall care. Bring the color out of your fall gardens, reduce bugs next spring, or simply put your landscape to bed with these easy to use ideas.
October 9 @ 9:30 am - Autumn Colors Best Enjoyed at Home - Landscapes in autumn can be stunning, but only with proper planning. This easy care advice will bring the silver and blues out of the evergreens, showcasing brilliant bright foliage and crazy colored flowers. Make this the brightest fall of all!
October 16 @ 9:30 am – Fall Containers that Bloom like Crazy! After this class, you’ll have what it takes to design great container gardens that sparkle in the afternoon heat. Learn about proper watering, the best foods, companion plants, and more. Everyone is going to comment on your potting success! Bring your own container or buy one new and we'll have design stations open, with expert advice on hand.
October 23 @ 9:30 am – Succulents, Cacti and the Low Maintenance Garden are all the rage right now, and a great choice for busy gardeners! These are the toughest, drought-tolerant plant that will grow like gangbusters in a tight space with very little care. Students will learn how to use the local favorites that brings warm color and texture to your home.
October 30 @ 9:30 am – Showy Shrubs of Autumn - Shrubs are the backbone of a good design. They provide essential structure, beauty, fragrance and color with a great variety of shapes. Rock landscapes without shrubs tend to look strange, immature and lacking. Learn how to use shrubs to create simple but effective planting combinations for a design impact that will WOW all four seasons of the year. Free to gardeners that want more from their yard.
November 6 @ 9:30 am - Best Mountain Evergreens to Plant in November
- The autumn leaves have dropped, leaving the landscape naked and bare. Late fall is the ideal season for spotting evergreens trees in the naked spots of the yard. The best varieties, planting techniques, and evergreen care are all included in the class.