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5 Tall Grass Varieties

by Jack Grover
grass field
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Are you looking to add height, texture, and movement to your garden landscape? Consider incorporating tall grasses into your design. These versatile plants can create meadows, provide privacy, or simply add interest to borders.

Many well-known tall grass varieties are highly recommended for gardens.

One popular option is feather reed grass, known for its elegant appearance and ability to thrive in fertile soil.

Another stunning choice is Pampas grass, which produces beautiful flowers and adds a touch of color to any garden.

If you’re looking for a more unique option, consider switchgrass or maiden grass.

By incorporating these tall grasses into your garden design, you can greatly enhance the beauty and aesthetics of your outdoor space while enjoying the benefits of these low-maintenance plants.

Let’s go over some of the best options.

Feather Reed Grass

Feather reed grass is an attractive and low-maintenance type of grass. Its elegant form and showy plumes will surely enhance the beauty of your yard.

This grass is known scientifically as Calamagrostis x acutiflora. It is an ornamental grass that adds texture and beauty to any outdoor space.

It’s also a great choice for areas with poor drainage, as it tolerates high moisture and heavy clay soils.

Feather reed grass grows in dense clumps of narrow, green leaves. In summer, it produces stunning pinkish-purple flower spikes that rise above the foliage, adding movement and interest.

‘Karl Foerster’ is a popular cultivar of this grass that can reach up to 5 feet in height.

This ornamental grass thrives in full or partial sun and needs consistent moisture. Regular watering is essential for healthy regrowth.

To preserve the beauty of this grass, cut back old foliage in the fall or early spring.

Fountain Grass

Scientifically known as Pennisetum alopecuroides, fountain grass is an attractive choice for adding height, privacy, and visual interest to small to medium-sized yards and containers.

With its narrow green leaves and feathery flower spikes, it’s easy to see why this versatile grass is so popular.

Fountain grass typically grows to a height of 2-4 feet with a similar spread, making it perfect for areas with limited space. In late summer and early fall, it produces stunning flowers that range in color from creamy white to soft pink or even burgundy, attracting pollinators to your garden.

Caring for fountain grass is simple. It prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade and can thrive in various soils, including clay or sandy soils.

Once established, it has good drought tolerance and requires minimal watering. To promote vigorous growth and maintain its attractive shape, prune it back in late winter or early spring.

Chinese Silver Grass

Chinese silver grass, or Miscanthus sinensis, is an elegant and versatile grass variety. It has variegated green and white striped leaves that brighten up the area.

With proper care, it reaches towering heights that reach up to 7 or 8 feet, and sometimes even 14 feet in a single season. This height provides a lot of privacy, making it a popular choice for those looking to hide fences or create natural barriers.

Yet, this grass also has other benefits. Its airy growth habit softens the garden’s look, and its distinctive leaves add a splash of brightness. Plus, its large plumes provide food and shelter for wildlife during winter months.

Chinese silver grass is a hardy perennial that requires full sun and well-drained soil with medium moisture levels. It’s important to give it a good prune in the spring before new growth arises to ensure its health.

Pampas Grass

Pampas grass is a popular choice among gardeners, thanks to its iconic, silvery plumes that sway gracefully in the breeze.

This evergreen brings a timeless beauty to any garden, making it a must-have for those looking to create a focal point or add interest to borders. It can grow up to 2.5m tall.

One of the key features of Pampas grass is its recognizable flowers. The tall, silvery plumes are eye-catching and provide visual interest year-round.

To ensure your Pampas grass thrives, plant it in fertile, well-draining soil. It prefers full sun exposure, so choose a location with ample sunlight throughout the day.

Unlike some other ornamental grasses, Pampas grass grows in dense clumps rather than spreading out aggressively. This factor makes it easier to control its growth and maintain its desired shape.

For those with smaller gardens or limited space, there are compact varieties of Pampas grass available, such as Cortaderia pumila. These more compact cultivars offer similar beauty but on a smaller scale.


Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is an ideal choice for adding texture, height, and movement to any garden. Growing up to 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide, this native grass is known for its powdery blue leaves that turn vibrant yellow in the fall. Its dark red flower plumes sway gently in the breeze, providing a stunning display of color and texture.

Switchgrass is highly adaptable and can thrive in various soil types, including sandy or clay. It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade and even drought conditions once established.

This versatile grass can be used to add visual interest to your garden in a variety of ways, from borders to meadows and even as an erosion control plant.

When it comes to maintenance, switchgrass requires minimal care. Simply trim it back to the ground in late winter or early spring before new growth appears. Doing so will help maintain its neat appearance and encourage healthy regrowth.

The Bottom Line

Incorporating tall grass varieties into your garden landscape can significantly enhance your outdoor space’s overall aesthetics and beauty. Feather reed grass, fountain grass, Chinese silver grass, Pampas grass, and switchgrass are all excellent options to consider.

These grasses offer a range of colors, textures, and movement that can add depth and interest to your garden design.

Nevertheless, ensure these grasses are planted in fertile soil with proper drainage for optimal growth. Otherwise, you may find it challenging to get the best results.

With proper care and attention, you can enjoy the stunning visual impact that tall grasses bring to your garden!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I care for feather reed grass in the winter?

To care for feather reed grass in the winter, cut back the foliage to about 6 inches above ground level before the first frost. It helps protect the plant from harsh winter conditions. You can also mulch around the base for added insulation.

Can fountain grass be grown in containers?

Yes, it can. Choose a container that is at least 12 inches wide and deep, with good drainage. Use a well-draining potting mix and water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.

What is the best way to propagate Chinese silver grass?

To propagate Chinese silver grass, you can divide the plant in early spring or late summer. Dig up the clump and use a sharp knife to separate it into smaller sections. Replant the divisions in well-draining soil and water thoroughly.

How long does it take for Pampas grass to reach its full height?

Pampas grass typically takes around 2-3 years to reach its full height, ranging from 8-12 feet. The growth rate may vary depending on factors such as climate, soil conditions, and care provided.

What type of soil does switchgrass prefer?

Switchgrass prefers sandy or clay soil. It grows best in well-draining soil and can tolerate a range of soil types. This grass is adaptable and can thrive in various conditions, making it a versatile choice for gardeners.

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