Three Things to Know About Ornamental Grasses

Countryside Flower Shop - Three Things to Know About Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses can be a fantastic addition to your landscaping in Northern Illinois, providing year-round interest and texture. Here are three important things to know about ornamental grasses:

1. Native grasses thrive

Northern Illinois is home to a variety of native grasses that are well-suited to the local climate and soil conditions. Some popular options include Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis). Native grasses will not only thrive here, but also benefit local wildlife, as they provide food, shelter, and habitats for birds and insects.

2. They provide winter interest

One of the key benefits of ornamental grasses is providing winter interest. Many varieties retain their structure and add visual appeal even when covered in snow. For example, the feathery seed heads of Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’ or the golden stalks of Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ can create a striking winter landscape. Leave them uncut until late winter or early spring to enjoy this unique feature.

3. They need proper pruning and maintenance

Ornamental grasses do not require the same level of maintenance as other garden plants, but they do benefit from some attention. In late winter or early spring, trim back the dead growth from the previous year to make way for new growth. It’s essential to avoid cutting too early, as the dried grasses can provide valuable winter interest. Divide clump-forming grasses every few years to prevent overcrowding and promote healthy growth. Ensure your grass receives adequate moisture during dry periods, especially during its establishment phase. Once established, native varieties will easily adapt to our weather conditions.

While planning your next garden or refreshing areas of your landscape, don’t overlook ornamental grasses. By incorporating them into your garden, you can enjoy their beauty and low-maintenance nature while contributing to the unique character of our natural landscape.

For more information, please contact:

Countryside Flower Shop, Nursery & Garden Center : 5301 E. Terra Cotta Ave (Rte 176), Crystal Lake, IL : 815.459.8130 :

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