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The Best Ornamental Grasses For Your Yard

By on Jun 1, 2017
The Best Ornamental Grasses For Your Yard

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Landscaping can be one of the most challenging projects for homeowners. It can seem never-ending and if you don’t have a green thumb, it might have increased difficulty. While flowers and vegetable gardens are nice, for the homeowner without much time on their hands, to truly make their yard look great, there’s another option.

Ornamental grasses and plants are extremely versatile and hardy. While they do need some upkeep and care, they require much less than other garden plants. Create a beautiful yard with these ornamental grass and plant ideas.

As we mentioned, landscaping is a big project. If you think you could use some help maintaining your yard this year, contact a landscaping contractor for up to four quotes from pros in your area for free.

Ornamental Grasses

Landscaping Costs

Planting ornamental grasses and plants are a budget friendly option for any home. Generally, the style you choose for your plant will determine the costs, but you can expect to pay between $10 and $20 per plant. These can be transplanted in your yard and continue growing. Some homeowners prefer to start their plants from seed, which can be between $5 and $10 per seed packet. However, full growth of these plants will take longer and you may not get them in the exact location you desire. Regardless of how you start your ornamental grasses, be sure to plant based on the sunlight requirement recommended for the species.

While ornamental grasses and plants are fairly low maintenance, they will need some upkeep, including proper watering. If you live in a drier climate or you often forget to water, you may want to invest in a sprinkler system. These can be extremely beneficial in keeping your ornamental grasses, plants and other landscaping healthy. The average cost to install a sprinkler is $2,317, with most homeowners spending between $2,014 and $2,682.

Ornamental Peppers

Ornamental Pepper Plants

If you’re looking to add a little color to your yard, an ornamental pepper plant is right for you. If you’ve had bad luck with vegetables before, don’t fear. Generally, these plants don’t provide the kind of peppers you would use to cook with, as they are purely decorative. This is an annual plant that changes color as the peppers mature. They also make a great addition to your container garden, as they require very little maintenance besides regular watering.

Ornamental Cabbage Plants

Ornamental Cabbage Plants

Similarly to ornamental pepper plants, ornamental cabbage plants add color to your yard in a unique way. Additionally, there’s no need to worry about growing this for culinary purposes. Ornamental cabbage plants are annuals that grow low to the ground and have a flower-like appearance. Most come in dual color varieties of green, purple, pink, red and white.

Ornamental Grasses For Shade

Is there a place in your yard that’s too shady for most flowers? There are plenty of ornamental grasses for shade that will thrive in that environment. They come in all styles and colors that will fit in with your landscaping style. Here are a few ideas:

  • Fall Blooming Reed Grass
  • Creeping Lylyturf
  • Greater Wood Rush
  • Sweet Flag
  • Hobb Grass

Tall Ornamental Grasses

Tall Ornamental Grasses

Not only can ornamental grass be a low-maintenance decorative element in your yard, but it can also be a solution for privacy. Tall ornamental grasses and plants block noise and eyesight from your backyard. It can also be cheaper than adding a privacy fence. Here are some tall ornamental grass ideas for your yard:

  • Morning Light Maiden Grass
  • Fireworks Grass
  • Zebra Grass
  • Frost Grass
  • Northwind Switch Grass
  • Feather Reed Grass

Low Growing Ornamental Grass

If you’re looking to accent a certain part of your yard, low growing ornamental grasses will help your landscaping feature stand out. Since ornamental grasses are extremely versatile, they can be planted alongside trees, plants and landscaping features easily. They can be just what your feature needs to stand out or add a pop of color. Here are a few low-growing ornamental grass ideas:

  • Copper Fringe
  • Acorus
  • Scotch Moss
  • Blue Festuca
  • Dwarf Fountain Grass
  • Monkey Grass

Short Ornamental Grasses

Annual Or Perennial Ornamental Grass

Regardless of your gardening project, you must consider if you want annual or perennial plants in your yard. This is true for your ornamental grasses. Annuals need to be planted once a year and are great for anyone looking to change the variety in their yard. Some homeowners choose to change their ornamental grasses seasonally for spring, summer and fall foliage colors.

Perennial plants are perfect for the low-maintenance landscaper. Perennial ornamental grass grows back yearly for two to four years. Perennial ornamental grass comes in many varieties and is likely to retain its color longer.

When To Trim Ornamental Grass

Though they are low maintenance, your ornamental grass and plants may need care. Over time, especially with perennial ornamental grass, you may need to trim the plant so it stays healthy and contained. The best time to trim your ornamental grasses is when they turn brown for the season. This allows them to grow back healthy and full. Using trimmers, cut them down 4” to 5” and allow them to grow back naturally.


If you’re looking for the perfect addition to your landscaping this year that won’t cost a fortune, ornamental grasses and plants might be for you. They're perfect for homeowners who take a low-maintenance approach to their yard and want to add a pop of color!

Looking for more landscaping ideas? Read 10 Landscaping Mistakes To Avoid.

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