Ask a Question forum: Where to buy ornamental grass plugs?

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(Zone 4b)
Feb 16, 2015 2:27 PM CST
I am thinking of converting a part of our lawn that is sloped and very dry/sandy to an ornamental grass/drought tolerant perennial area. This will take lots of ornamental grasses and since I'm not in a hurry I'd like to start with small plants that are inexpensive and will gradually form larger plants. I am looking for Karl Foerster Feather Reed grass, Calamagrostis Overdam, Andropogon Red October, and ones like that--hardy to zone 4. I will be adding blue fescue but I can grow that from seed. Does anyone know where one can buy plugs(or whatever they are called!) of ornamental grasses for an inexpensive price? Or would it be better for me to buy large plants and divide them into many small plants?

Thank you!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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Feb 16, 2015 2:57 PM CST
If you have a good nursery in your area, they'd be my first try, Liz. They'll have the varieties that do well in your area. Don't expect to find any kind of a selection at a big box store.

As far as doing the job economically, yes, the idea of buying maybe gallon size pots and dividing them is a good one, providing you don't try to divide them too small. Try one pot first, divide it in maybe 3 or 4 pieces max, pot them up, keep them well watered in the shade and give a little diluted water-soluble fertilizer, until you see new growth starting. That's how you know you've succeeded.

Depends upon the grass type, but some really only thrive once they have clumped up fairly large. So you might try this with all the types you like, and it may only work with some of them. If you only get one or two clumps going, you can try to take divisions again in the fall once they've had the summer to grow.

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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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Feb 16, 2015 3:54 PM CST
Santa Rosa Gardens often have plants like these on deep-sale prices, and their shipping is very reasonable. Having said that however, I have received mislabeled plants a time or two, so if specific cultivars are must-haves you might try the wholesale page at Garden Harvest Supply. These are large quantity flats if that's what you need. Smiling
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(Zone 4b)
Feb 16, 2015 4:50 PM CST
Chelle--as if I needed any more reason to shop from Santa Rosa... Hilarious! That actually could work very well as I have divided other plants I got from them immediately and the plants have been fine. That would actually be cheaper (with some of their great sales) than the liners from gardenharvest (the Karl Foerster came out to around 2.30 per small plant there). I once divided a carex Blue Zinger right from the pot into about 5 pieces and it did great

Those liners were what I was looking for but seems like SA or a local garden center could be cheaper.
(Zone 4b)
Feb 16, 2015 5:03 PM CST
I'll have to check the nurseries come spring. I think the big box places probably have Karl Foerster as I have seen it there before but I agree I'd rather get stuff from other nurseries. There is a small one close by that is a mom and pop place on their farm and they have a lot of unusual stuff so I think this is a perfect excuse to go there once it warms up! Smiling Plus maybe I'd better mention my idea to my DH Hilarious! though he has said before he would like it if I would plant something on the sloping parts so he doesn't have to mow there. I'm just trying to check on the feasibility of such a project (time, money, effort) first.
Looks like I'll have to check into a few options come spring to see what will be the most cost effective and work the best.
Thank You!

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