The Q&A Archives: Partial Shade For Dwarf Maiden Grass??

Question: I have purchased dwarf maiden grass(yakushima)for a spot next to my house, which faces north. This time of year it is hard to tell if it will get any direct sun because the sun is moving further south. Right now it gets no direct sun. Are these the wrong bushes for this area since it only gets indirect sunlight? I really want them to work but don't want to plant them now, have them go dormant for winter only to find they won't grow there next spring/summer. Thanks!!

Answer: If the planting area faces north, it's doubtful the site will receive the direct sunshine your dwarf maiden grass requires. The plants will not thrive in a north-facing bed.

There are a surprising number of shade tolerant/loving grasses, if you really want to plant ornamental grasses near the foundation of your house. I especially like the woodrushes (Luzula spp.) which make an excellent groundcover for woodsy environments. Spodiopogon sibiricus is a medium height grass that thrives in shade. Brachypodium sylvaticum is another possibility. One grass that is always suggested for shade is Chasmanthium latifolium. One of my favorite grasses for massing is Deschampsia caespitosa, although it does best with at least some sun or at least bright shade. And don't forget the Hakone grasses(Hakonechloa sp.)

Hope one of these suggestions will make an acceptable substitute for the dwarf maiden grass!

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