The Q&A Archives: Planting Non-invasive Ornamental Grasses Next To Open Space

Question: Our Homeowners Association wants to landscape a corner area which is adjacent to a dedicated open space. We would like to use some Miscanthus or Pennisetum red fountain grass varieties but are concerned about their invasive nature. The corner will be drip irrigated but the rest of the open space is native vegetation and relies on rainfall in San Diego. There is Pampas grass which has taken hold in the bottom of the valley. Would we be introducing another problem to the area?

Answer: The ornamental grasses you mention all have clumping rather than spreading growth habits, making them good choices for most landscapes. Because they're grasses, the decorative plumes they develop will contain seeds. You can keep the plants under control by removing the plumes as soon as they emerge, or within a few week of emergence, prior to ripening of the seeds. Enjoy your new landscape!

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