Sandbox forum: Volunteer Fescue, I just can't toss these guys.

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Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
Aug 13, 2016 10:25 AM CST

Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
Aug 14, 2016 11:29 AM CST
Hey all:
I am hoping to encourage fellow webber to try Blue Fescue in your own gardens. I have had this plant for 5 plus years now. I have been really enjoying this plant’s tolerance of living wherever and whenever I move it, and thriving in dry clay soil, to pampered dampish locations, amended for the biggest divas I grow. It is one of my favorite plants I have ever grown.
As I have many blues all over my beds now, I have some tiny plants every spring I would love to share with others to dispel some of the negatives often written about this ornamental grass.

There are two myths (for me) regarding Blue fescue. The first is that it seeds to the point of becoming invasive. With a son in college at the UW, and unwanted big ticket home repairs, overwhelming my bank balance for years now, my once well mulched beds are bare soil. I have to be very diligent regarding weeds. If this plant were invasive I promise, I value my weekends off and would torch anything with pleasure, rather than weed.

It does volunteer, maybe giving me 30 or 40 tiny seedlings in spring, But I have several dozens of plants I let go to seed. Chopping off the seed heads would eliminate most of the seedlings, and it gives the plant a playful geometric dome. But I am not done enjoying sharing them so I let them be bohemians.

The other myth I want to dispel is that this plant likes to be dry. For me, it likes just about anything, and makes a happy home no matter where I plant it, but it really shines to my liking when it is watered freely. I cannot over water it, and I have never found any diseased plants. The big incentive for more watering is the color is so enhanced, and the shape of the plant is so different, you would swear the dry ones are a different variety than the damp ones. You can see this difference in the pics above. The pic with two plants is the appearance when watered. The long nursery bed with spiky young plants is Blue Fescue watered lightly when I remember. I do notice less seed stalks appear on watered plants.

The most labor intensive chore this plant requires is being cut back before new growth emerges either in spring, or fall. You just need some nice sharp hedge loppers and some rubber bands. Give each plant a ponytail and whack it off. In full disclosure, I often forget this chore, and manage to rake out the evidence of my neglect, but I could chop late with out any harm.

Try some Blue Fescue on me, in your garden next spring. I will repost this at that time, offering three to five tiny plants for free.

I would love to make a few more Fescue fans.
Name: Suzanne
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Region: California Plant Database Moderator Roses Irises Clematis Garden Photography
Cottage Gardener Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Bee Lover Butterflies Birds
Aug 16, 2016 12:26 AM CST

Plants Admin

The extra photo and comments regarding the growth would be best added to the actual plant entry itself so anyone that comes to the entry can see it. Right now it's attached to your image & would only be seen if someone enlarges the image and opens up the attached thread or comes across it in the Plant Photos forum.
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