Top Ornamental Grasses

Give your backyard four seasons of interest with low-maintenance ornamental grasses. Here are some of the best varieties.




One of our favorite grasses, switchgrass, offers airy plumes in late summer and fall. It looks fabulous during the season, too: Many varieties offer gray- blue foliage during the season and turn brilliant shades of gold or red in autumn.



Blue Oat grass


It's tough to beat blue oat grass for a low-care plant with steel-blue color. It also has an excellent mounded habit and won't spread and take over your garden.





An underutilized selection, cordgrass is a spreading prairie grass that thrives in wet or moist soils. As such, it's an excellent choice for growing along the side of a pond or stream.



Japanese Forest grass


One of our favorite low-growing species, this beautiful plant offers an excellent mounding habit. Variegated selections (such as 'Aureola') bear freshly colored foliage that lights up shady corners.





One of the most common grasses, the maiden grass, is big, attractive, and simple to grow. It offers narrow, arching vegetation (many selections are variegated; look for them to add more color shade to your landscape) and silvery plumes that are enchanting when the light catches them just right.



Fiber Optic grass


An extraordinary tender perennial often grown as an annual, fiber optic grass has a fine texture and low, mounding habit perfect for container gardens





A massive, fast-growing perennial, Ravenna grass sends up towering, shimmering plumes that can top 10 feet. It makes a strong statement in the autumn landscape.



Purple Fountaingrass


A favorite of gardeners everywhere because of its burgundy-red foliage all season long, this tender perennial is often used in container gardens.



Zebra grass


We love zebra grass because of its bold color: Each leaf blade features a series of bright yellow bands. The plant stands out in the landscape! Zebra grass also has a nice upright habit that looks great in the perennial border.



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