Saratoga Creek HouseContemporary Landscape, San Francisco
Photo credit: WA design
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Grasses. This group of plants, commonly referred to as ornamental grasses, are related to the grass types used in a traditional lawn. However, unlike lawns that are mowed short to maintain a carpet of green, many grasses are allowed to flower and grow to their natural height. The wispy shape and texture of these landscape grasses add a wonderful design element. They come in varying sizes from 1 foot to over 10 feet high.
Panicum virgatum ‘Cloud Nine’, left; Stipa tenuissima, center; and ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass, right6. ‘Karl Foerster’ Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’)Almost all ornamental grasses can be easily divided, and ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass is no exception. Break it up to add to different spots throughout your garden or when it’s starting to outgrow the space.The grass grows out from the center, so you’re likely to end up with a dead spot in a few years. Divide in spring or fall. You can either dig out the entire plant or leave one section in place. Uproot the plant, keeping the roots intact. Remove the soil from the roots, either by hand or with a light spray of water, and cut off any unhealthy roots. Pull the divisions apart or use two spading forks or a spade to make the cuts. Replant as soon as possible, water well, and keep the soil moist until the new plants are established.Where it will grow: Hardy to minus 30 degrees and possibly to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 34.4 degrees to minus 40 degrees Celsius (zones 4 to 9 and possibly zones 3 to 9)Light requirement: Full sun to light shadeWater requirement: LowMature size: 6 to 48 inches tall with a 2-foot spread; can reach 5 to 7 feet tall when floweringLearn more about growing ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass