Running grasses may become invasive through their ability to form dense mats quickly. Even if a grass becomes too large during the growing season, they can be pruned for shape. Ornamental grasses are fairly new to the landscape scene—they've increased in popularity in the past couple decades. The most popular ornamental grass, feather reed grass offers a distinct upright habit that looks fantastic all winter long. Jeff Bakker is a business initiatives director at RBC with an interest in environmental restoration and invasive species control.. Izabela van Amelsvoort is a Terrestrial Ecologist with North-South Environmental Inc. and is the current Secretary of Tallgrass Ontario. House Landscape Fall Landscape Cottage Garden Plants Low Maintenance Plants Ornamental Grasses Drought Tolerant Native Plants Native Gardens Ontario Sporobolus heterolepis - Prairie Dropseed It is drought tolerant and has good fall colour. Switchgrass is one of the native cool season grasses in North America that provides seeds for the birds during the winter. Some even continue to grow throughout the winter months.Warm season grasses thrive in the heat of summer. Ornamental Grass Care – Cutting Back In The Winter. These types of grasses spread by tillers and create a compact, clump-like growth. Some, like this Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima), are simple—just use a trowel to dig up a portion of the grass, roots and all. They grow best at temperatures between 26 and 32 degrees Celsius. Running type grasses are often used as lawns.It is also important to be aware of the likelihood of a grass to self-seed. 1. Repeat throughout. Ontario Native Plants is an online plant retailer, dedicated to supplying native trees, shrub, grasses and perennials to Ontario gardeners. A second way to classify grasses is by their habit. We are a family run business that has been producing and selling top quality seedlings to wholesale nurseries for over 50 years. Damp soils, shorelines and meadows from Alaska to Newfoundland to southern United States. [CDATA[ Tolerant of dry soils. ga('send', 'pageview'); These characteristics do not refer to the hardiness of the plant but to their season(s) of growth. Cutting and grooming ornamental grass makes it healthier. Cool season grasses can be divided in the fall, winter or early spring. The grass clump will be overgrown, possibly encroaching on neighboring plants or creeping out beyond the border or edge. Some are described as clump forming, bunching, or tussock grasses. Andropogon gerardii Big Blue Stem, Turkey Foot Description: 1. Most ornamentals are easy to grow, requiring little water and fertilizer and no pesticides. Blue green to silvery blue foliage with purplish flower spike Native Habitat: 1. Your work is cut out for you when the temperatures get warmer. By Raakel ToppilaThe ornamental value of grasses has only recently been recognized. Not every landscaping pro knows how to take care of everything in the garden, including grasses that can grow quite large—as in tall and wide. ga('create', 'UA-3780889-1', 'auto', {'allowLinker': true}); For impromptu touch-ups, grab a bunch of grass blades in one hand, pull them out to the side, and cut with a pair of hand pruners. 1.2 - 2.0 meters tall 3. In regions experiencing drought, native and ornamental grasses are a smart and show-stopping part of the landscape. Share the divisions with friends or transplant back into the garden. Chasmanthium latifolium, Northern Sea Oats, for example, is a clump forming North American native grass that produces a multitude of seeds, many of which germinate the following year. Drought tolerant and adaptable to a wide range of conditions. The best perennial ornamental grasses for shade and sun, towering tall ornamental grasses, variegated grasses... Ornamental grasses are low maintenance...perfect as deer resistant ground cover. Start one today. Unlike rose bushes or boxwood hedges, there's not really a tried-and-true method for pruning or grooming ornamental grasses. Perhaps the most important maintenance technique is cutting back the grass to a height of 10 centimetres. Dry prairies and sand hills from southern Ontario to Saskatchewan. Name: Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil. One of the many advantages of ornamental grasses are they extremely hardy and tolerant. For the same spectacular effect, we use Miscanthus varieties or plume grass ( Erianthus ravennae ) whose flowerheads can reach 12 to 15 feet tall. This grass can spread quickly in the garden and may become a problem. In mild climates, moderate, frost-free temperatures allow fountain grass to grow throughout the year. Periodic grooming can turn your Pennisetum into a perennial. Try to leave some height in the middle, then gradually shape a bit lower on the sides.Â. Forestry consultant Rob Haubry gives you a few tips to help improve your native warm season grass plantings. Current Plant List Some of our plants are listed here. For larger clumps that might have deeper roots, use a spade and some muscle to divide. This makes it much easier to cut it all at one time and get it more even. Like any project, gather your gardening tools before you get down to business. For design purposes, perennial grasses generally have four main growing characteristics: Adjust the rope or cord higher or lower, depending on where you want to cut the grass. Tolerates either sun or shade. Dry soils, open prairies and shores from Saskatchewan to Quebec. Comb through the entire grass, and shake it occasionally to get out more dried plant material. Otherwise, it's a real chore to clean up all of those blades and clumps of grass after you've done the pruning and grooming. })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); Growth slows or the plant enters a period of dormancy in the hot summer months. Three new people have joined the Tallgrass Ontario Board of Directors. Once established, ornamental grasses require very little maintenance. This ornamental grass is native to New Zealand, where you will frequently find it growing wild on the beaches. Division will help rejuvenate the grass and keep it looking its best. The optimum temperature for growth is between 15 and 23 degrees Celsius. Dividing is another maintenance technique that is required for clump forming grasses. ga('linker:autoLink', ['secure2.convio.net', 'donate.cwf-fcf.org'] ); Grows best in light shade and moist conditions. It is a hardy grass that handles harsh conditions and offers columns of texture and color to the garden in blue/green and purple/burgundy. But some grasses and grassy look-alikes hail from shadier parts, and in the wild, they’re found along woodland streams, on cool mountainsides or on moody moors. Clump forming, cool season, perennial grass 0.3 - 0.6 meters tall. Grasses are often described as either warm or cool season. When we think of ornamental grasses, visions of sun-kissed meadows and sky-blue prairies come to mind. Use in masses, for erosion control or in arrangements. Native Plants in Claremont was opened in 2006. ORNAMENTAL GRASSES 55 DESCHAMPSIA TUFTED HAIR GRASS / CANCHE CESPITEUSE Deschampsia caespitosa May-June Silver/Purple/Green Height:60cm Spread:60cm Zone:4 Shape:Mounding Foliage:Deep Green Deep green leaves form a mound and produce delicate plumes in the summer that can be silver, light green, or purple, with several colours occuring at once. Little Bluestem Ornamental Grass Schizachyrium scoparium USDA Zone: 3-8 Blue green with red tinges, purple red blooms, copper orange brown fall foliage, fast growth rate, blooms late summer. Many are not. All Rights Reserved. Dry open soil from Newfoundland to British Columbia. You'll have to repeat this maneuver several times, but it works and may be easier for quick touch-ups. Tap into your inner hairstylist as you lean over the fountain grass and comb or rake your gloved fingers through the middle of the clump, grabbing all loose and dead or dried-up hairs (blades/branches). Most have seedpods, flowerheads or plumes that dry well and last into winter. We have sandy-loam soil, our summers are hot and dry and we irrigate to mimic the ideal growing conditions. Proprietor Karen Abrahams operates the nursery with family and friends and shares the love of Ontario's natural areas and native flora with native plant gardeners across the Greater Toronto Area. We haven’t listed all of our o rnamental shrubs, which include things like cedars and other landscaping trees, and other trees or shrubs which we only have a handful of, anyway. How can you tell? Many gardeners hack ornamental grasses like Pennisetum setaceum into all sorts of curious configurations so that they resemble tumbleweeds. When temperatures cool in the fall they begin to grow again. Keep in mind, the smaller the clump, the longer it will take to reach full size. Most grasses offer interesting seed heads in the fall and can be left on to enjoy all winter and cut back in the spring. Japanese Sweet Flag. You can then divide the clump again, and replant them, although Mexican feather grass can be an aggressive re-seeder. © 2020 Canadian Wildlife Federation. Depending on the type of grass, you can either replant (and trim to about 4 inches above where it will be placed in the ground), or put it in your composting bin. Izabela completed a B.Sc. Like many grasses, this tough plant tolerates a wide range of conditions. Screens, erosion control, specimen, masses, winter interest, arrangements. Many grasses are drought tolerant and thrive in warm to temperate regions, but there are also some, especially native species, that can survive such extreme temperat… Nice, healthy and how it's supposed to look— ornamental. This is a grass to use in areas near public sidewalks or driveways where you want the lush texture of a grass but need one that can handle a tough site. Equally important and vital to growing native grasses is the fact that less than one per cent of original Ontario tall grass prairie exists today. Cool season grasses begin to grow in late winter or early spring. Moist conditions are required. By removing all that dry, old growth that is basically a big mess of dead grass, new growth will actually be exposed to sunlight and fresh air. 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