The Q&A Archives: Red Ornamental Grass That Grows In My Zone

Question: I'm determined to find an unmistakably red color in a thick-leaved ornamental grass that will grow in my partially shaded garden. I'd be willing to maintain a spot for it with full sun if necessary. But can you tell me if there even is a kind of red to maroon color in ornamental grasses that would thrive, however much work it takes, in the Connecticut Zone, 4-5??? Thanks. This might put my search to rest.

Answer: There is a relatively hardy, red-bladed, shorter, ornamental grass called Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron' as well as the I. c. 'rubra'. These will grow in partial shade, but not heavy shade, and would prefer more sun in cooler regions. However, they are considered hardy only to zone 6 and possibly to zone 5, so it is unlikely they would be hardy for you. You could grow it as an annual. So the plant does exist, but whether or not it would meet your criteria is unclear.

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