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Embracing Ornamental Grasses: Adding Year-Round Interest and Movement to Your Landscape

In the realm of landscape design, there exists a versatile (yet often overlooked) element that can transform any garden into a mesmerizing tapestry of texture and form: ornamental grasses! These graceful plants offer a myriad of benefits, from providing year-round interest and movement to creating striking contrasts in texture and form. Embraced by renowned landscape designers and increasingly favored by DIY home landscapers, ornamental grasses have recently emerged as essential components of modern outdoor spaces.


The Allure of Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses possess a unique charm that sets them apart from traditional garden flora. With their swaying blades and gentle rustling in the breeze, they introduce an element of movement that adds a dynamic dimension to any landscape. Whether used as focal points, borders, or mass plantings, these grasses infuse spaces with a sense of natural rhythm and tranquility.


Landscape Designers’ Secret Weapon

Renowned landscape designers like Piet Oudolf, Thomas Rainier , and Benjamin Vogt have long recognized the invaluable role of ornamental grasses in creating visually captivating and ecologically sustainable landscapes. By incorporating these indigenous plants into their designs, they thoughtfully achieve a harmonious balance between aesthetics and functionality. Ornamental grasses not only serve as focal points and structural elements but also contribute to soil stabilization, erosion control, and habitat creation for wildlife.


A Growing Trend Among Home Landscapers

The appeal of ornamental grasses extends beyond professional landscapes, captivating the hearts of DIY home landscapers worldwide. With their low maintenance requirements, adaptability to various soil types and climates, and ability to thrive in both sun and shade, these grasses empower homeowners to enhance their outdoor spaces with ease and creativity. Whether adorning urban gardens, suburban yards, or rural homesteads, ornamental grasses offer a simple yet effective way to elevate the beauty and functionality of any landscape.


Must-Have Ornamental Grasses

To inspire your landscape endeavors, here’s a curated list of essential ornamental grasses along with their characteristics:


‘Blonde Ambition’ Blue Grama

    • Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’
    • Height: 18-30 inches
    • Width: 18-24 inches
    • Sunlight: Full sun to part shade
    • Value: Unique blonde seed heads provide year-round interest; drought-tolerant.



Bushy Bluestem

    • Andropogon glomeratus
    • Height: 3-5 feet
    • Width: 2-3 feet
    • Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
    • Value: Thrives in poor draining soils, provides habitat and food for wildlife; beautiful fall foliage.



Eastern Gammagrass

    • Tripsacum dactyloides
    • Height: 3-5 feet
    • Width: 2-3 feet
    • Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
    • Value: Ideal for erosion control and wetter areas; attracts birds and butterflies.



Gulf Muhly

    • Muhlenbergia capillaris
    • Height: 2-3.5 feet
    • Width: 2-3 feet
    • Sunlight: Full sun to part sun
    • Value: Showy pinkish-purple plumes in fall; drought-tolerant.



Inland Sea Oats

    • Chasmanthium latifolium
    • Height: 2-3 feet
    • Width: 1-2 feet
    • Sunlight: Part shade to full shade
    • Value: Provides food and cover for wildlife; attractive seed heads




    • Sorghastrum nutans
    • Height: 4-7 feet
    • Width: 2-3 feet
    • Sunlight: Full sun to part shade
    • Value: Stunning golden fall color; drought-tolerant.



Lindheimer Muhly

    • Muhlenbergia lindheimeri
    • Height: 2-4 feet
    • Width: 2-4 feet
    • Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
    • Value: Delicate feathery plumes; attracts butterflies.



Mexican Feathergrass

    • Nassella tenuissima
    • Height: 1-2 feet
    • Width: 1-2 feet
    • Sunlight: Full sun
    • Value: Fine, airy texture; drought-tolerant; attracts beneficial insects.



Pine Muhly

    • Muhlenbergia dubia
    • Height: 2-2.5 feet
    • Width: 2-2.5 feet
    • Sunlight: Full sun to part sun
    • Value: Soft, pine-scented foliage; erosion control; attracts birds.



Prairie Dropseed

    • Sporobolus heterolepis
    • Height: 2-3 feet
    • Width: 1-2 feet
    • Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
    • Value: Fine-textured foliage turns golden in fall; drought-tolerant



Sideoats grama

    • Bouteloua curtipendula
    • Height: 2-3 feet
    • Width: 1-2 feet
    • Sunlight: Full sun
    • Value: The “State grass” of Texas provides nesting material for birds, in addition to serving as a host plant for several species of butterfly



Little Bluestem

    • Schizachyrium scoparium
    • Height: 2-3.5 feet
    • Width: 1-2 feet
    • Sunlight: Full sun to part sun
    • Value: Stunning red-orange fall color; attracts songbirds.



Switchgrass, ‘Shenandoah’

    • Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’
    • Height: 3-4 feet
    • Width: 2-3 feet
    • Sunlight: Full sun
    • Value: Burgundy foliage adds interest to any landscape; drought-tolerant.


Incorporating ornamental grasses into your landscape design offers a multitude of benefits, from enhancing visual appeal to supporting wildlife and ecosystem health. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a novice gardener, these versatile plants are sure to inspire creativity and transform your outdoor space into a captivating oasis of beauty and tranquility. Embrace the allure of ornamental grasses and experience the magic they bring to your landscape year-round!


*Each of the above in stock NOW at Rooted In. 12804 Pelzel Rd. Pilot Point TX 76258

OPEN Tuesday- Saturday 9-5, Sunday 10-5

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