Ornamental Grasses Florida

One of this plant’s best features is its adaptability. Whether it’s lining a screened-in pool, used as an accent, planted in a container, or bordering a house, white fountain grass is a beautiful and versatile option.

White fountain grass is a beautiful, reliable, easy-to-grow perennial that’s perfect for adding some texture and interest to your North Central Florida landscape.
However, this does mean it can be mildly invasive if planted near untouched natural spaces. This is due to a high production from the seed heads, so cutting off the inflorescences before they produce seeds should help stifle this

White fountain grass, or pennisetum orientale, loves warm weather, so it’s well-suited to the climate here in Florida. It is hardy and requires very little maintenance.
White fountain grass can be planted year-round, and is fairly resistant to pests and disease. While it may encounter occasional rust fungus, or become a snack for slugs and snails, it’s a hardy plant with few problems.This slender, quick-growing plant, with a lovely flowing appearance, thrives in zones 6-9 in all kinds of conditions. It grows 4-6 feet tall and spreads up to four feet, with blooms continuing through summer and fall.

White fountain grass is extremely adaptable, tolerates all kinds of soils, and can even cope with partial shade. Make sure your soil is well-drained, and never overwater, as this can cause root rot and disease.
Keep this grass moist when establishing it, but once established, it’s fairly drought resistant. If you see wilting or discoloration, check your soil’s moisture and soak the plants if necessary, but make sure not to overwater.No matter how you want to use white fountain grass, it’s a beautiful plant, and it thrives in Florida’s weather! Contact the experts at LawnMore for more information on how this grass would work best in your yard.

Delicate white flowers and slender, curved green foliage give this grass its characteristic fountain-like appearance. Why not try it in your yard this year?
It can provide privacy, add grace and movement to your yard, or create contrast and texture. As a container plant, it can bring life to your porch, windows, or patio. As a landscaping accent, white fountain grass can be used to enhance curb appeal with its showy flowers and fine-textured foliage. When mass planted, it can bring a soft, natural, and wild aesthetic to your yard. Ornamental grasses can be annual or perennial, and come in a wide range of sizes, from a few inches to many feet in height. They come in different colors and textures, and many have attractive flowers. Ornamental grasses often have attractive winter characteristics that should be preserved through the colder months. But the weather can leave them looking a bit ragged. Since many grasses keep their showy flower stalks through the winter, wait to prune until late winter or early spring, just prior to new shoot growth.

For deciduous grasses like some Miscanthus, the old foliage may be completely removed with a chainsaw or hedge shears. For evergreen grasses like Fakahatchee grass, the ragged, dead leaves can be removed by combing the grass with a pitchfork.Many gardeners use ornamental grasses for their easy maintenance, but new varieties are more than just workhorses—they make a showstopping visual statement.

In north and central Florida, prune ornamental grasses in February and March. In South Florida, you may wish to cut back or trim ornamental grasses in January or February.
Ornamental grasses are either clump-forming or creeping. Clump-forming grasses are also called bunch grasses. They grow in compact tufts, with their bases gradually increasing in size. Creeping grasses are also called running and spreading grasses.

Many cultivars of fountain grass, including ‘Princess Caroline’, have wide, deep burgundy leaves that make a bold statement in the garden. If bright colors are your thing, try a cultivar like ‘Fireworks’ with pink and magenta variegated leaves. Several types of ornamental millet provide both striking foliage and dramatic flower spikes.
Each has its own distinct look and personality but all are wonderful as accent plants that work with any garden style – formal, tropical, or cottage garden.

Generally no trimming is needed. For most varieties, you can just remove old flower stalks. But some (like muhly and fountain grasses) benefit from being cut way back, almost to the ground, in spring – late March to early April.
The leaves have sharp edges that can slice your skin like a bad paper cut, so plant away from walks, drives and play areas. When handling, wear protective clothing.White fountain grass is a great plant to line a pool cage. It provides privacy created by the dense, grassy base – yet it preserves the view because the soft flower spikes waving in the breeze are just the right height to see through and over.Warning: It can re-seed and spread out to become more plant than you bargained for. Allow enough space for this and/or remove wandering new grass sprigs that pop up nearby. This big grass is best for large, spacious areas. It’s cold hardy, moderately salt-tolerant and prefers a full sun location. It’s also said to be deer-resistant. As always, follow the landscape or architectural control procedures in your deed restrictions before making changes. For more information about the nine principles of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program or for assistance with gardening-related questions, contact your local University of Florida Extension county office and visit the University of Florida website at solutionsforyourlife.com. Remember to reuse, reduce, recycle, and repeat.Fakahatchee grass, Tripsacum dactyloides, another native, reaches a height and spread of 4–6 feet. It prefers full sun, does well in partial shade/partial sun, and tolerates flooding and standing water. Fakahatchee grass produces cream/yellow/orange/red flowers from spring through summer and is a larval food plant for the byssus skipper butterfly. This ornamental grass also requires minimal maintenance, which consists of pruning once a year in late winter or early spring (February and March in central Florida) before you see new shoot growth.

Muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris, a native plant, reaches a height of 3–4 feet and a spread of 2–3 feet. It prefers full sun, can tolerate extreme drought and flooding, has moderate salt tolerance, and works well in wetland sites and beachfront landscapes. Any type of soil texture is acceptable, from clay loam to sandy loam, from sand to sandy clay. Muhly grass has narrow foliage and produces pink/purple fall flowers. It is used as a border, as an accent, in mass plantings, and as cut flowers. Ornamental grasses are a great addition to any landscape. They add texture, color, form, and interest. These grasses need the same types of maintenance as other landscape plants (water, fertilizer, pruning, division), but generally require much less. As with all types of plants, consider the site conditions of your landscape, which include sun, shade, mature size (height and spread) for placement purposes, soil pH, soil moisture, and soil texture. Other considerations when selecting plant material include annual or perennial, evergreen or deciduous, warm or cool season, growth form (creeping or clumping), foliage color, time of flowering, winter characteristics, and invasive potential. The ornamental grasses below thrive in central Florida. Purple fountain grass, Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’, can reach a height of 4-6 feet and spread of 2–4 feet and prefers full sun. This grass needs soil pH that is acidic to slightly alkaline, from 4.5–7.2. It has moderate drought tolerance and needs well-drained soil moisture. Purple fountain grass has narrow purple leaves with purple-pink or copper flowers in summer and fall. This is an excellent ornamental grass when used in mass plantings, in containers, or as an accent, border or cut flowers. It can reseed into surrounding areas, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on your location and preference.

I planted three of the four ornamental grasses presented above around my pool enclosure because the hedge that existed was performing poorly. I’m very happy with the look of these grasses and the minimal maintenance requirements. All of the grasses in this article are easy to divide to share with your friends and neighbors, or to use to create more color in your own landscape. Once established, irrigation may not be needed at all. You can consider annual fertilization, but these plants generally obtain enough nutrients from the soil. You may want to submit a soil sample for pH testing, which is performed at many Extension offices for a minimal charge per sample. For more information on how to take a soil sample, please see the University of Florida publication, “Soil Sampling and Testing for the Home Landscape and Vegetable Garden,” by Rao S. Mylavarapu at edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss494.
FCAP (Florida Community Association Professionals) is a member-based professional organization dedicated to training, equipping and advocating for Florida community association professionals including managers, service providers and community volunteer leaders.Tiger grass, Thysanolaena maxima, can reach a height and spread of 6–10 feet. It prefers partial sun/partial shade and is fast growing. Soil pH should be acidic to slightly alkaline, 4.5–7.2. Any type of soil texture is acceptable, from clay loam to sandy loam, from sand to sandy clay. Soil moisture should be well-drained to medium-drained. Tiger grass has medium drought and medium salt tolerance. This grass has a bamboo-like appearance with linear leaves and golden brown flowers in summer. It can be damaged by cold weather but will return in the spring.

Lynn Barber, Agent, University of Florida/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County, is responsible for educating residents on the nine principles of the Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM program. These principles include right plant right place, water efficiently, fertilize appropriately, mulch, attract wildlife, manage yard pests responsibly, recycle, reduce stormwater runoff, and protect the waterfront. Barber is past president of the Florida Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals and has received numerous awards for programming, publications, and television and radio segments. As a Master Gardener, she has given back thousands of hours in environmental horticulture education to the community.
For additional information on Florida-friendly ornamental grasses, please see “Considerations for Selection and Use of Ornamental Grasses” by Mack Thetford, edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep233; “Muhlenbergia capillaris Muhly Grass” by Edward F. Gilman, edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp415; and “Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ Purple Fountain Grass” by Edward F. Gilman, edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp464. One of the best features of red fountain grass is its ruby red coloration, which will bring a startling splash of color to your garden. The color gradations of this plant also vary, with stalks ranging from emerald green to ruby red. This plant grows well in Florida climates since it does well in hardiness zones 8a through 11b. Just make sure to water the soil frequently to keep it nice and moist, which may not be an issue depending on the season in Florida. Fertilize it with 10-10-10 fertilizer, usually around two-to-three tablespoons, and it’ll grow well. The one ornamental grass in my guide that’s good in a recipe, lemon grass, also serves as a natural mosquito repellant, which makes it doubly a perfect Florida plant for your garden. It also has a nice-smelling lemony scent when it’s hit by direct sunlight. Ideally, any lemon grass you’re growing should be planted in moist soil and receive as much sun as possible. Remember, frost will quickly kill your lemon grass, so bring inside during the winter when temperatures can go as low as 30 degrees.Native to the Pampas plains in South America, Pampas grass is an incredibly hardy grass that does well in almost any climate. Pampas grass, which is the common name for Cortaderia selloana, is a flowering plant that has a feather-like appearance at its topmost portions. You’ll need lots of sun, so find a place that’s going to get at least six hours a day of rays. Additionally, the soil you need will have to be well-drained and space your clumps at least 8 feet apart so that they don’t crowd each other. You only have to occasionally water pampas.

White fountain grass is a beautiful variety of fountain grass that actually looks the most like a fountain with its white tips spreading every which way. This is a particularly useful Florida ornamental grass because it only really needs to be watered when you’re experiencing a dry season or a drought. It’s a good idea to expose the plant to consistent sun, but a little shade won’t cause too much of a problem.
If you are considering a native ornamental grass that is low growing, the beautiful purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis) is a natural choice. This grass grows close to the ground at 12 to 18 inches tall and in the fall produces slightly taller cloudlike blooms that are light pink. Mass plantings of purple love grass in bloom give the illusion that there is a pink mist over the landscape bed.For a grass that will work in your edible garden as well as your landscape, consider lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus). It is only evergreen in zones 10 and 11 in Florida but is root hardy, meaning it will freeze down and return from the roots in most of the state. Plant lemongrass in full sun in the ground or in a container. The foliage will grow close to 4 feet tall, and the blades are known for their bright lemony aroma when they are crushed. This easy-to-grow edible adds a different dimension in the garden, the one of fragrance. The leaves are used in Thai and Vietnamese recipes to provide a lemon flavoring. Lemongrass is also used in making teas. This nonnative grass is mostly pest and maintenance free.

If you have a shady spot,
the native river oats grass (Chasmanthium latifolium) is an easy choice. This native grass easily grows to 2 to 5 feet tall in moist, shady areas of the landscape. It forms tight tufts of bright green leaves, and in the fall it is topped with drooping seed heads that look similar to oats. Just a gentle breeze will make the clusters of oats sway in the wind. River oats freely seed and can spread so give them plenty of space in the landscape.
One of the most popular native Florida grasses is Fakahatchee (Tripsacum dactyloides) grass. Its clumps are 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide in the full sun. Their distinctive flowers rise above the leaves on thin stems. Fakahatchee grass does best in full sun but will also grow in partial shade. If a 5-foot grass stand is too large for your landscape, consider dwarf Fakahatchee grass or Florida gamagrass (Tripsacum floridana), this dwarf native grows similarly to its full-sized cousin but tops out at 3 feet tall.

Is pampas grass native to Florida?
Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) and related cultivars as well as Ribbon Grass (Phalaris arundinaceae) and related cultivars are now classified as invasive species in Florida and are no longer recommended.
Florida Farm & Family is a quarterly magazine for Florida Farm Bureau members featuring content about Florida farmers, local travel, recipes, gardening tips and much more.Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana), an old favorite ornamental grass in Florida, is now considered highly invasive by the University of Florida IFAS, so it is best to select a Florida native grass instead.

What type of grass is best for Florida?
Augustine is the most common type of grass found in Florida home lawns—and for good reason! St. Augustine grass is widely adapted to the warm, humid and subtropical regions of the world.
All of the above native grasses are easy to grow in your Florida landscape, considered low maintenance and, once established, are trouble free. A strong pruning back every other year will keep the clumps of grass looking green and free of brown blades. For all the native grasses, it is best to leave the seed heads even after they stop showing color so the mature seeds can fall in your landscape and continue to grow.Another favorite Florida native grass is pink mulhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris). This compact tuft-forming grass grows to 3 feet in full sun and is very drought tolerant once established. Its fine textured blades add texture to your landscape for most of the year. Then in November gorgeous plumes of pink flowers emerge. The plumes are 3 to 4 feet tall and last for a month or more. Mulhly grass is highly adaptable and will grow in landscape beds or in a perennial border planting.

Ornamental grasses add a beautiful texture to any Florida landscape. The clumps of long green blades sway in our balmy breezes and bring movement to our yards. Grasses soften the look of maintained beds and are an excellent drought-tolerant, Florida-friendly plant selection. Our native grasses are generally pest and disease free and require minimal pruning and care. Read on for four great grass options for your landscape – and one to avoid.

Do fountain grasses grow well in Florida?
White fountain grass, or pennisetum orientale, loves warm weather, so it’s well-suited to the climate here in Florida. It is hardy and requires very little maintenance. This slender, quick-growing plant, with a lovely flowing appearance, thrives in zones 6-9 in all kinds of conditions.
[…] If you are considering a native ornamental grass that is low growing, the beautiful purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis) is a natural choice. This grass grows close to the ground at 12 to 18 inches tall and in the fall produces slightly taller cloudlike blooms that are light pink. via […] Magnolia trees are immediately recognizable by their glossy dark green foliage and huge, creamy white blossoms. Different species are available in Florida, some full-sized trees and some smaller varieties that are more like tall shrubs. Even though we often call them “palm trees,” palms are in fact not trees but their own type of plant altogether. Some palms, such as Florida’s state tree the sabal palm, grow to tree size. Others, such as saw palmetto, grow in a clumping, shrub-like habit.You know it’s springtime in North and Central Florida because you see azaleas blooming EVERYWHERE. In April or May, these flowering shrubs are absolutely covered with pink or white blossoms, and there are less common varieties available in blue, yellow, red, and other colors.

A true Southern staple, magnolia trees are everywhere in the cooler regions of North and Central Florida. Most varieties don’t like South Florida’s heat, but southern magnolia and sweet bay magnolia can do well with proper care.
First and foremost, you have to choose plants appropriate for Florida’s hot climate. Look for plants suited to your area’s hardiness zone, a scale of measurement developed by the USDA and based on an area’s lowest annual temperature. The scale ranges from 1 to 13, with 1 representing the coldest climates and 13 the warmest.Cycads are another group of plants that look very similar to palms and are often mistaken for them. The main difference is that cycads don’t produce flowers, while palms do. Cycads come in all shapes and sizes just like palms. The most popular cycad for landscaping is a small species called sago palm — but beware, this species is extremely toxic, and ingestion can cause serious medical issues.

Firebush is another Florida native shrub. It shoots out flares of vibrant orange-red tubular flowers that keep blooming from spring until frost. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and the plant’s berries attract songbirds.
Florida’s weather can be moody sometimes. We’ll have non-stop rain for a week, then none at all for a month. This on-again/off-again relationship with rain can leave your plants water-logged and drowning one second and dying of thirst the next. If you think living in Florida’s heat and humidity is hard for a human, try being a plant! Along with the extreme high temperatures in summer, Florida presents other challenges for plants, including nutrient-poor sandy soils, salty air, and torrential rain followed by long periods with no rain at all. Salt causes big problems for many gardeners in Florida, especially along the coasts. You’ll have an easier time keeping your plants alive if you choose salt-tolerant varieties.

Do grasses grow in Florida?
One of the most popular native Florida grasses is Fakahatchee (Tripsacum dactyloides) grass. Its clumps are 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide in the full sun. Their distinctive flowers rise above the leaves on thin stems. Fakahatchee grass does best in full sun but will also grow in partial shade. Cached
It’s no news to Floridians that hurricanes tend to tear down tall trees with severe winds. This is bad for your landscape and the tree’s health, but more importantly, it poses a safety risk because trees could fall on your home.Some of the popular landscape plants on this list are Florida natives, and some aren’t. If you want plants you can be sure will stand the test of time (and temperature), natives are always your best bet. Check out our more extensive list of Florida natives to help you find the right plant for your garden.Salvias are popular flowers for Florida gardens because they’re low-maintenance and bloom year-round in warmer years with no frost. Salvias rarely need you to water them except during long dry spells, and they have few problems with pests or plant diseases. Different species have different color blooms, from white to red to blue to lavender. When you’re looking for a new plant for your garden, take a look around your neighborhood. If a plant is popular, there’s a reason! You can rest assured that common landscape plants grow well and look good in Florida’s climate and conditions. To help in your search, here are 10 of the most popular landscape plants in Florida. Gardeners in hurricane-prone Florida can think ahead by landscaping with wind-resistant trees. Wind-resistant trees are less likely to fall, snap, or lose branches in high winds.

New to gardening? There may be some words and phrases in this article you don’t recognize, or at least don’t know exactly what they mean. Here’s a quick plant vocabulary lesson to help you understand what we’re saying about these Florida landscaping plants.
Palms can be big or small, single- or multi-trunked, spreading or upright, with different colors and shapes of fronds. Basically, no matter what your landscape needs, there’s a palm to fit the bill. Just about every landscape in Florida has a palm included somewhere!American beautyberry is a native Florida plant with floppy branches covered in bright green leaves. From late summer to early fall, clusters of purple berries burst forth for a pop of color. American beautyberry grows naturally all over Florida, and many people include it in their landscapes as a specimen plant or shrub screen. There are six main soil types: clay, sand, silt, loam, chalk, and peat. Sandy soil is the most common type in Florida, and it has some serious disadvantages. Because sand is so loose, it drains quickly and doesn’t retain moisture or plant nutrients. Finding plants that thrive in Florida’s challenging conditions can be a struggle. But it doesn’t have to be. Each area of Florida has a wide variety of native plants that have adapted to live with the local climate, soil type, rainfall, and pests.

Juniper trees and shrubs are extremely low-maintenance, they keep their leaves all year, and they can grow in a variety of conditions. For these reasons, they’re popular landscape plants across the country.Crape myrtles come in all shapes and sizes because there are many different cultivars, from full-size trees that grow up to 30 feet tall to dwarf varieties that are more like small shrubs. They produce beautiful fluffy-looking flowers that are usually pink but also can be different shades of red, purple, or white. Blooms first appear in July and sometimes stay until the first frost of winter.

What is the most popular ornamental plant grown in Florida?
1. American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) American beautyberry is a native Florida plant with floppy branches covered in bright green leaves. From late summer to early fall, clusters of purple berries burst forth for a pop of color.
However, living in Florida doesn’t automatically mean you have sandy soil in your yard. Soil types can vary even from one area of your yard to another. Test your soil to find out what type you have before choosing new plants.Salt spray coming in on the wind from the ocean (or the Gulf, depending on which side of Florida you live on) also can damage plants. It burns newly developing leaves and flower buds and dries out the plant.

Is fountain grass invasive in Florida?
Fountain grass has become invasive as it can re-seed and spread out. Seeds are dispersed by wind and water into natural areas from cultivated plants. White fountain grass requires active management and seedlings need to be hand pulled. The larger clumps of grass sprigs can be dug out using a pick or shovel.
The juniper plant’s foliage is needle-like at first, but it flattens out as it matures and becomes more of a scale shape. Some species have green foliage, but others are blue, silver, or gold, and some change colors in winter. There are more than 50 types of juniper for you to choose from, some as small as 6 inches tall and some soaring above 100 feet tall, and they have various growth habits for countless different uses in the landscape.

In beachside communities, the soil has a higher than average salt content. Too much salt makes it difficult for plants’ roots to absorb water, which can kill the plant.
Lantanas are popular ornamental plants in tropical and subtropical climates around the world, including Florida. Their brightly colored orange, red, pink, lavender, blue, or yellow flowers bloom year-round or nearly year-round. They’ll bring pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies (along with a blast of fall and winter color) to your garden beds.The brilliant yellow tickseed is a Florida native and, fittingly, the official state wildflower of the Sunshine State. There are 12 species of tickseed that grow throughout Florida, and any one of them makes a bright and sunny, low-maintenance addition to a garden bed. Most tickseed species are yellow, but you can find some with orange, pink, or red flowers.

Look for plants that can survive both standing water and drought if you don’t want to spend a good chunk of the year nursing your garden back to health.
If you’re interested in improving your property’s landscaping with some spectacular ornamental grass, you may want to speak to experienced professionals who can guide you in selecting and purchasing the type of ornamental grass that would work best for your home. At Cutters Edge, we pride ourselves on having decades of experience and can provide our clients with total landscape solutions. Contact us today to discuss your landscaping budgets and goals.Pampas grass has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. With large white plumes and an impressive height, pampas grass is a guaranteed show stopper for any landscaping project. This ornamental grass is best for filling large open areas with a good deal of sun. It handles cold well, is moderately salt-tolerant, and is said to be deer-resistant. Be sure to plant away from any walkway or driveway as pampas grass leaves can be very sharp. Another grass named after an animal, tiger grass can grow up to eight feet tall and wide and looks very similar to bamboo. Many homeowners use this Florida grass to fill the corner of their garden or as a privacy screen. Tiger grass likes to be watered regularly and grows best in partial shade. Zebra grass grows about six feet tall and wide and is known for its horizontal cream or yellow “stripes” of green grass. This Florida grass is cold-hardy and best in part or full sun.Ornamental grasses are a great way to add personality and drama to your home’s landscaping. From pampas grass to fountain grass, ornamental grasses can inject some drama and personality into your home. They are also relatively low-maintenance once established. Keep reading to learn our top picks when considering what Florida ornamental grasses to add to your property. Choosing an ornamental grass that works well for your property and the particular space in your landscaping is very important. Ornamental grasses take up a lot of space, so carefully consider their placement, so it doesn’t accidentally overwhelm nearby flowers or plants. Below are our top five picks for Florida ornamental grass that will help your landscaping stand out. Also known as “Florida Gama Grass”, this mounded grass looks like a beefed-up version of green liriope. Dwarf fakahatchee grass produces brownish-red flower spikes in the summer but is better known as ornamental grass that is easy to care for and has an attractive form. Dwarf fakahatchee grass is native to Florida and doesn’t mind having “wet feet”, so it’s often used to edge water features or ponds.

Does ornamental grass grow well in Florida?
An ornamental grass like muhly, pampas or red fountain grass is excellent for adding fine texture and graceful beauty to a South Florida landscape. Cached
Otherwise known as Purple Fountain Grass, red fountain grass not only grows to roughly five to seven feet, it has beautiful maroon-red leaves with purple-beige plumes. Cold-hardy and a fan of partial sun, this ornamental grass doesn’t get too large, so it’s great in a mixed garden bed. Be sure to cut it back in the spring and fall to help keep its color consistent and looking splendid all year long.Perennial, upright, bunch grass forming large clumps. Stems with blue at base. Leaves blue-green in early summer, maturing to copper or orange-brown in fall. Bronze to purplish seed heads, to 3”, in late summer. Tolerates flooding in summer.

What grass naturally grows in Florida?
Read on to figure out which type of these four Florida grasses are perfect for your Florida lawn!St. Augustine Grass. Otherwise Known As: Stenotaphrum Secundatum. … Zoysia Grass. Otherwise Known As: Zoysia. … Bermuda Grass. Otherwise Known As: Cynodon Dactylon. … Bahiagrass. Otherwise Known As: Paspalum Notatum.
Impressive, graceful, fountain-like clumps. Large, 12-18” tall plumes erupt from foliage in mid-summer. Will tolerate poorly drained soil and brief flooding. Dried flowerheads highly prized. Caution: Purple pampas grass, C. jubata, is invasive.Grass-like foliage and trumpet shaped flowers borne on erect stems in blue, purple, pink, or white, depending on species or cultivar. Cold tolerant. Needs freely draining soil. Mulch to control weeds.Large, native grass. Rich green foliage erupts from fountain-like clumps. Distinctive flowers rise above leaves on slender stems in midsummer. Easy to grow. Virtually free of pests. Prefers moist soil, but has good drought tolerance.Attractive, clump-forming grass with wide leaves and nodding, arching clusters of flat, oat-like seedheads. Resembles small sea-oats. Dried flowerheads highly prized. Also grown as groundcover in shaded areas.

Similar to pink muhly grass, but with bluish-gray foliage and purplish to gray flowerheads. Prefers dry, but will tolerate wet soil. Excellent groundcover for poor, sandy soils.
Elegant, fragrant, clumping grass with thin, strap-like, yellow-green leaves that release citrus aroma when crushed. Prefers moist soil; moderate drought tolerance.Low-growing, compact fountain grass with pink or white, fluffy inflorescence in summer and fall. Prefers well-drained soil. Caution: The related P. purpureum is a FLEPPC Category I invasive plant.The mature size of a grass should be used as a guide to determine where it should be placed in the garden. In particular, water and nutrient availability will influence plant size. An important consideration to remember is that although the mature size of the grass is important in selection and placement in the garden, a majority of our grasses are dynamic and do not remain the same height throughout the growing season, because of pruning of deciduous foliage or flowering characteristics.Medium grasses can also be used as accents among shrubs or herbaceous perennials or annuals. The shrubs serve as the permanent vertical elements of the planting design, while the height and shape of the grasses will vary with the season. Medium grasses may also be used to define areas within the landscape that do not require a solid screen. An example would be a hedge of zebra grass used as a wind block near a seating area. In the early spring the plants are only a few inches tall and will not affect the spring and summer breezes. As the plants grow to a height of 4 to 5 feet by fall, they provide fall and winter wind protection. Other medium grass selections include muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) (Figures 6 and 7) and Evercolor Sedge (Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’) (Figure 8), which may be used in mass plantings or as ground cover, and leather leaf sedge (Carex buchananii), which can be used as an accent plant within plantings of annuals such as wax begonia.Propagation of ornamental grasses is relatively easy and can be done at the time of pruning. Clumping grasses may be dug, divided into several pieces, and replanted. Rapid regrowth will immediately follow. Divisions of creeping grasses may be done also at this time and planted in a container or new location. Division of ornamental grasses is not a requirement for sustained landscape performance, but many Pennisetum, Miscanthus, and Panicum species may exhibit less vigor as they become older. Often this is a result of the buildup of the dead aboveground parts accumulating over time. Simple division and replanting is an easy way to rejuvenate these older plants. Named cultivars of ornamental grasses should only be propagated by division because seedlings from these plants may express the broader characteristics of the species rather than the specific desirable characteristics of the named cultivar. Grasses can be easily started by sowing seeds in flats or pots in early spring in an area with bright light. Seedling growth is usually rapid, and the seedlings may be transplanted directly to containers or the garden.

Grasses are not always green; there are many cultivars of ornamental grasses in shades of blue, purple, orange and red. Others are variegated and boast several colors; a combination of green and creamy white colors come together in stripes or splotches in a number of grasses. The blooms also can vary in color and form and can occur at different times of the year. Consider the interplay of color of ornamental grasses with surrounding trees, shrubs and perennials.
We will consider three arbitrary size groupings, short, medium and tall, to provide examples of how grasses can be used. The distinctions between these groups may vary according to gardeners’ perceptions of height and growing conditions.

For deciduous grasses, such as Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis), the old foliage may be completely removed within inches of the soil. For evergreen grasses, such as muhly grass, the ragged, dead tips of leaves can be removed to neaten the appearance of the plant. Many evergreen grasses recover quickly from a heavier pruning. Old flower stalks and seed heads may be removed any time they no longer have a neat appearance.The first principle of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ is to put the right plant in the right place to optimize the health of the plant and the success of your landscape plan. Each plant species has naturally adapted to thrive in certain environmental conditions. Make sure that the grasses you choose are adapted and recommended for the environment you have.

Mack Thetford, associate professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center; and Mary Salinas, residential horticulture agent, UF/IFAS Extension Santa Rosa County; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.Short grasses can be used in small groups for a massing effect or in large groups as a living ground cover. Small clumping grasses, such as dwarf selections of silver grass or fountain grass (Figure 3), provide an excellent border between plant beds and walkways, while small spreading grasses, such as the grass-like plant dwarf horsetail (Equisetum scirpoides), make an excellent ground cover. Grass-likes such as sweetflag (Acorus spp.) may also be useful in tough garden spots like narrow spaces or water gardens (Figures 4 and 5). These plants also make good accent plants among other short annual or perennial species. The weeping effect of grass leaves over the edges of pots and planters softens and hides container edges, so don’t forget to consider short grasses as candidates for mixed planters or individual pots.

Is it illegal to cut pampas grass in Florida?
ANSWER: Pampas grass is not illegal in the United States, though it is illegal in Australia. Breaking the ban in Australia carries a $10,000 fine. Pampas grass is an invasive plant that has the potential to spread faster than wildfire.
The growth form and mature size will influence how an ornamental grass should be used in the landscape. Ornamental grasses can be characterized as either clump-forming or creeping. Clump-forming grasses, also called bunch grasses, grow in compact tufts, the width at the base slowly increasing over time. Mountain oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) is an example of a clump-forming grass (Figures 1 and 2). Creeping grasses, also called running or spreading grasses, spread by aboveground stems, called stolons, or underground stems, called rhizomes. Grasses that spread by stolons or rhizomes form roots along these stems, making many of them difficult to maintain within a confined area. Be sure to select the growth form best suited to your garden site.

The invasive potential of ornamental grasses has been of concern for a long time. In Florida, the issue is broader because many of our native areas are fire-dependent ecosystems dominated by grass species. The escape of non-native grasses into these areas might displace native species. Also, non-native grasses in native ecosystems may alter natural fire regimes. The temperature at which a non-native grass burns, or the ability of the non-native grass to carry fire across an ecosystem, may be different from that of native species. Invasive plant species may also crowd out our native plants, which our songbirds and other wildlife depend on.

Determine if the foliage is winter hardy (evergreen) or not (deciduous). This may not be an easy process, because many grasses behave differently in different climates. Grasses are classified as warm season or cool season. Warm-season grasses are active in the warmer months and tend to go dormant in the winter. Dormant warm-season grasses may remain green, or the foliage may freeze, die and remain intact until pruned. Cool-season grasses are active in the cooler months and are more likely to remain evergreen during the winter. A hard freeze may affect even “evergreen” grasses by damaging the foliage, but when warmer conditions return, new foliage will usually regrow quickly. Grasses with foliage that dies in the winter and remains dormant until the weather warms in the spring are considered deciduous.
Irrigation may not be necessary for ornamental grasses once they are established in the landscape. In many areas of Florida rainfall is sufficient for most ornamental grasses, particularly those native to the state. After planting, grasses should be watered as frequently as any other containerized ornamental, with the irrigation applied directly to the root ball. After several weeks, the roots of the grass plant should extend beyond the root ball into the surrounding soil. At this point the plant will normally require irrigation only during extremely dry periods. Most grasses should be irrigated with a drip-type irrigation system, which will keep the foliage and flowers dry and reduce the potential for leaf diseases.The term “ornamental grass” is a catch-all phrase used to describe not only true grasses but related “grass-like” plants as well. True grasses are in the plant family Poaceae, while grass-like plants generally fall into one of four families: the rushes (Juncaceae), the sedges (Cyperaceae), narrow-leaved sweetflag species (Acoraceae) and the horsetails (Equisetaceae). All of these plant families contain plants adapted to a wide variety of environments and planting conditions. Within each of these plant families are individual species adapted to a wide variety of landscape sites (i.e., wet or dry, sun or shade, hot or cold climates, varied salt tolerance or any combination thereof). Growth habits range from low ground covers to intermediate shrub-like plants to very tall hedge-like plants. Ornamental grasses are very dynamic; the size, shape, texture, and color of grass changes with every season. Tables 1 and 2 demonstrate the diversity of species commonly used as ornamental grasses or grass-likes in Florida landscapes.

Ornamental grasses are a relatively popular group of plants for Florida landscapes, but many local garden centers may not have many of the tall or very large-growing selections. Don’t be bashful: if you don’t find what you’re looking for, ask your local garden center to locate and stock these plants. For those selections you do find locally, be prepared to see plants that may not be as attractive as those pictured in catalogs, magazines and online. Many grasses, especially those that quickly reach heights above 3 to 4 feet, may require pruning during the production cycle to prevent the wind from toppling the plants. Tall plants are also difficult to ship from the grower/producer to the garden center, so this may make some of the larger, taller selections a bit more difficult to locate. Remember, the way a grass looks in a pot at the garden center may not reflect the ultimate appearance or size it will have once established in the garden.
Ornamental grasses, once established, are relatively easy to manage in the landscape because of their minimal fertility, irrigation and pruning needs. Maintenance considerations may differ depending on local rainfall patterns, native soil texture and nutrient holding capacity of the soil.

Ornamental grasses create interest and excitement in the landscape with their unique characteristics. The availability of many species and cultivars makes these plants very versatile, with many potential uses in the landscape. The diversity of grasses leads to many questions concerning the proper selection and use of ornamental grasses. The following information should assist the first-time gardener as well as the experienced landscaper in the selection and use of ornamental grasses in Florida.
The first characteristic to consider is whether the plant is annual or perennial. A perennial grass will live for many years, while an annual grass will only last one season and die after flowering or be killed when exposed to freezing temperatures.

Grasses should obtain sufficient nutrients from the soil if the basic soil fertility recommendations from a soil test are followed. A minimal nitrogen application of 1 lb N/1000 ft per year is more than sufficient to meet the nitrogen requirements of most grasses. Beyond these basic recommendations, no additional application of fertilizer nutrients should be necessary to promote growth of healthy foliage or flowering. In fact, excessive application of fertilizer nutrients will result in weak, floppy growth of foliage and weak flowering stems that will not stand up even to mild winds. Timing of fertilizer applications should correspond to periods preceding rapid foliar growth of the plants.Tall grasses provide a strong vertical element in the garden. Tall grasses with arching leaf tips can also be used to help soften the harsh vertical lines of structures. Evergreen grasses such as tall growing cultivars of Japanese silver grass (Figure 9) can be used to divide the garden into sections or as a transitional plant between a tall hedge and shorter shrubs or perennials. Many of the Japanese silver grasses also work well in the mixed shrub and perennial borders. Because of their short stature, these plants do not dominate this type of planting early in the season. As the season progresses into the hot summer, they grow and become a more dominant element. Tall grasses with distinct vertical lines may also be used to accentuate the lines of the landscape, as with the evergreen foliage of the grass-like scouring horsetail (Equisetum hyemale) (Figures 10 and 11). During the fall months, when little else is flowering or drawing attention, a grass like ‘Burgundy Giant’ fountain grass (Pennisetum × ‘Burgundy Giant’) with its burgundy foliage and rose purple flowers will take center stage.

Pruning of ornamental grasses should be done in late winter or early spring, just prior to new shoot growth. Many of the ornamental grasses have spectacular winter characteristics that should be preserved through the winter months. In north and central Florida, gardeners may target the months of February and March as appropriate times to prune ornamental grasses. South Florida gardeners may wish to cut back or trim ornamental grasses in January or February prior to new growth.
The winter appearance of an ornamental grass will differ with the winter hardiness of the foliage. In terms of landscape design, evergreen grasses function similarly to evergreen shrubs, while deciduous grasses may function similarly to herbaceous perennials. For many gardeners, the winter character of deciduous ornamental grasses is much more important than the spring and summer foliage or flowers. The mature flowers of grasses may remain intact through the winter, or they may shatter. Regardless, these dead, dry features add tremendous interest to the winter garden when contrasted with evergreen plants or structures such as walls or fences. The dried foliage of deciduous grasses creates sound as it expands and contracts in response to changes in temperature or moisture, while interaction with wind creates movement in the garden. For these reasons, pruning of the dead foliage and inflorescences is not recommended until growth resumes in the early spring. Dried grasses are also a popular addition to flower arrangements.

Some of the best ornamental grasses to grow in Florida are Blue love grass, Fakahatchee ​Grass, Fountain grass, Lemon grass, Muhly grass, and Pampas Grass. Although not all of these grasses are native to Florida they are all well adapted to our climate. The best time to plant Ornamental grasses in Florida is the early spring time.Blue Love Grass or Eragrostis Elliottii is a beautiful ornamental grass that is native to America and displays foliage that is blue-gray in color. Blue love grass can reach a height of 3 feet tall and displays tan flowers the bloom in the summer and can last into the winter months. This Ornamental grass not only grows well in gardens and landscapes it can also be grown in large containers.Unluckily for plants, I really enjoy growing them. I’ve grown a few plants over the years and I’ve killed some too, more than I would like to admit. I just want to share my experience and hope that it helps others.Muhly Grass or Muhlenbergia capillaris is native to Florida and is easy to care for. It can be found growing in coastal uplands and pine flatwoods. At maturity, this ornamental grass grows in clumps that reach is 2-3 feet tall and approximately 3 feet wide.

What kind of grass grows best in Florida?
St. Augustine is the most common type of grass found in Florida home lawns—and for good reason! St. Augustine grass is widely adapted to the warm, humid and subtropical regions of the world.
Fountain grass is a perennial with beautiful flowers that bloom from summer to fall and pink, purple, or tan in color. This ornamental grass comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Fountain grass is exceptionally adaptable and can grow and thrive in a variety of soils, and while it grows best in full sun, it can tolerate areas that have partial shade.My name is Josh and I love to garden. I was born in Tampa and have never left Florida. Unluckily for plants, I really enjoy growing them. I’ve grown a few plants over the years. I’ve also killed a few plants over the years, more than I would like to admit. I just want to share my experience and hope that it helps others.

It is essential to make sure you properly prepare the soil before planting your ornamental grass in order to make sure they can grow and thrive. Begin by properly tilling the soil to aid in ease of planting, and if you choose, you can add small amounts of fertilizer at this time to add nutrients to the soil for healthy plant growth.
If you have ornamental grasses that reach over 6 feet in height, then you will want plants that are smaller to balance the aesthetic appeal. You will also want to consider at what time of year your ornamental grasses bloom, and you can choose to have them bloom at the same time for a stunning display or bloom at different times for beauty all year long. Listed below are some common plants planted with ornamental grass:

Ornamental grasses make an excellent addition to any landscaping and garden as they are easy to maintain and grow well with other plants. While many plants look and grow well with ornamental grasses, the first thing you will want to consider is the size of the ornamental grass in relation to the other plants in the garden or landscape.

This ornamental grass can grow as tall as 6 feet and feature tiny flowers in the spring that can be yellow, white, or pink in color. This perennial grass is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it is easy to maintain and adapts well to both wet and moderately dry soil. Because they grow in clumps, Fakahatchee grass can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion. Most ornamental grasses are easy to maintain and often display their beautiful flowers and colors during the winter months, so it is crucial to make sure if you decide to prune them that you do so until early spring. Pruning at this time will allow for new growth and will enable you to get rid of any old or unkempt looking growth. Fakahatchee Grass or Tripsacum dactyloides grow well in the Florida climate and can often be found growing wild in wetland areas, including swamps, riverbanks, and hammocks. Although these plants are lumped into one category (ornamental grasses), each has its own distinct appearance and character that blend well with any type of landscaping or garden. These easy to care for plants not only produce beautiful flowers or plumes they need little care other than fertilizing and watering. Since many ornamental kinds of grass grow in clumps, it is best to prune them using clippers with a 10-inch blade so you can cut them quicker and easier. Ornamental grasses that are evergreens like Fakahatchee grass, you can remove any old or dead growth by raking through the plant with a rake, pitchfork, or your gloved hands and if it begins to grow too large, it can be cut back once every couple of years.Ornamental grasses are popular for gardens and landscapes because they are easy to care for and are hardy plants that do not require as much water and nutrients as other types of grasses. While fertilizing is not necessary for proper growth if you would like to fertilize your ornamental grasses it should be done in the following ways:Pampas grass grows best in full sun, and while it grows best in moist soil, it can tolerate a wide range of soils. This easy to care for ornamental grass requires pruning each year, and if the soil becomes too dry, it will need watering.Lemon Grass or Cymbogon citratus is a perennial grass that grows in clusters and can grow as high as 10 feet and is often used in cooking or for tea. This ornamental grass grows well in the tropical Florida environment and is easy to care for and thrives in full sun either outside or indoors.

In the fall, this beautiful ornamental grass produces gorgeous flower stalks in varying shades of purple and pink that grow as high as 5 feet. Muhly grass is drought tolerant and grows best in the sun, and its versatility allows for the plant to thrive throughout Florida in stunning gardens or landscaping.Pampas Grass or Cortaderia is a popular and attractive ornamental grass that grows in clumps and displays beautiful feathery plumes that are creamy white in color. This ornamental grass grows quickly and can reach heights of 10 feet tall and wide.

As a bonus most, ornamental grasses are pest-free, allowing you to enjoy your beautiful plants without worrying about nasty bugs. With so many types, colors, and sizes of ornamental grasses to choose from it can become overwhelming so listed below are our picks for the 6 best ornamental kinds of grass to grow in Florida
Fountain Grass or Pennisetum is an easy to care for ornamental grass that grows in mounds and produces beautiful leaves that cascade giving the plant its fountain-like appearance.