The Q&A Archives: Ornamental Grasses

Question: I'm looking for names of ornamental grasses for sun, hot, and dry areas and also for part shade and not so dry areas.
size 3-4 feet and 2-3 feet. I live in zone 5 and these
will be used to landscape a front border next to the
house foundation. I like the idea of grasses instead of
the usual shrubs and bushes.

Answer: Certain varieties of Feather Reedgrass (Calamagrostis ? acutifora 'Karl Foerster' ) and Red Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'Haense Herms') and smaller forms of Miscanthus sinensis would be in the size range you requested for full sun and Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron') is a smaller grass that will tolerate partial shade. Keep in mind that the dried grasses in winter can be considered a fire hazard and are not usually planted up against a building for this reason.

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