It’s upright, tidy form and blonde seedheads make it a very popular plant. Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) is a clumping ornamental grass with numerous cultivars. Others feel you should allow the old foliage and inflorescences to protect the crown from cold weather and trim away the debris in spring. They are very adaptable to wet or dry areas with full to partial sun. In order for your feather reed grass to stay looking its best, it is good to give them an annual pruning. To prevent them from dying out in the center, they will eventually need to be divided, generally, every three to five years. These reed grasses can tolerate extreme summer heat and clay soils. USDA Zone? It is normally planted in the spring from potted nursery-grown plants. K.F. The severity of pruning required can vary from variety to variety, so care should be taken so that you don’t harm the plant. Learn More. As winter approaches, fluffy seed plumes turn creamy and then amber. Core Characteristics Wisconsin Each mound offers about 2′ to 3′ feet of coverage when fully mature. Some gardeners like to trim them in fall when the flower heads are failing and the general appearance is untidy. Feather reed grass is a low-maintenance hybrid, but benefits from spring pruning. This plant likes wet soils, but once established, feather reed grass is drought tolerant. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) is a clumping ornamental grass with numerous cultivars. Remove brown tips and cut back dead leaves that usually collect around the base of the plant. There is some discussion on the appropriate time to trim deciduous grasses. Try this perennial for maximum impact in the garden, but minimum impact on your yard work chores. Flowering and Fragrance. In my garden, it thrives in both heavy clay soil and sandy soil on a hill. Karl Foerster feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutifolia ‘Karl Foerster) is the most common ornamental grass planted in Colorado landscapes. In a mass planting with accent perennial flowers, the effect is quite surreal and dreamy. One of the most popular ornamental grasses worldwide, Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' (Feather Reed Grass) is a majestic ornamental grass, highly valued for its erect feathery flower plumes, moving gracefully with even the slightest breeze. In scientific classification of Feather Reed Grass, Family is … This ornamental grass spreads readily by seed in some climates. Feather reed grass is tolerant of a wide range of soils and growing conditions, although a rich, well-draining soil with a neutral pH is ideal. However, it looks nice all winter and many gardeners prefer to leave it standing until early spring. Will take light shade, although too much shade can cause flopping. By using The Spruce, you accept our, Feather Reed Grass vs. Korean Feather Reed Grass, 10 Best Ornamental Grasses for Containers, 20 Best Tall Plants for Container Gardens, 8 Best Ornamental Grasses to Add Privacy to the Garden, Golden Japanese Forest Grass Plant Profile, 30 Easy-to-Grow Perennials for Beginning Gardeners, How to Cut Back Ornamental Grasses in Spring or Fall, 13 Types of Colorful Ornamental Grass for Fall, Golden Japanese Forest Grass (Hakone Grass) Plant Profile, Landscaping Uses and Care for Maiden Grass. These grain heads can persist well into the winter, but gradually they scatter off the stalk. However, many of the plants prefer full sun with sufficient moisture. If the soil is poor, fertilize in early spring with a balanced plant food. Care tips: Grows best in moist, well-drained fertile soil, and does well in moist heavy clay soil. This is a grass for wet conditions; plant in low spots throughout the landscape, alongside streambanks, and around water gardens. Pruning your feather reed grass. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. Foliage provides protection against the cold. Feather reed ornamental grasses are excellent vertical interest plants. Plants are useful to human beings in innumerable ways. Choosing plants that grow and thrive in your particular climate is the very first step toward having a beautiful garden . Plant it at the same depth as it was growing in the nursery container. Feather reed grass has narrow, upright blades that can be green or greenish-yellow, or variegated, depending on cultivar. Korean Feather Reed Grass. These elegant additions to the garden as they provide year round interest and are easy to care for. In some cases, they may start to self-seed. The leaves typically reach up to 2′ feet tall and measure about a half-inch wide. See more ideas about plants, outdoor gardens, planting flowers. Every gardener must look for the required information on this plant before planting it. Young plants will need to be watered until they are established, but the mature grass can withstand long periods of drought. Cut the clumps back to the ground … The ease of care and dependability have a lot to do with the popularity of grasses, but most homeowners say, “I just like how they look!” Grasses give a minimalistic, modern look to a property that pleases a homeowner. Feather Reed Grass, Calamagrostis A connoisseur of ornamental grasses may be able to identify a particular species at a glance. Feather Reed Grass After Cutting Back It is important to cut them back prior to new growth beginning in spring because pruning cuts that damage the new season’s growth will remain unsightly all season on the fresh foliage. Named for the European plantsman that discovered it decades ago, "Karl Foerster" feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora "Karl Foerster") remains one of the leading ornamental grasses. Remove about three to five inches of the grass with a sharp hedge shear or gas powered hedge trimmer. Particularly useful as an overtopping backdrop in borders or prairie plantings. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener, The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Most of the hybrids are sterile, so you don't have to worry about self-seeding. If you live in a climate where it does not spread so easily, you can propagate Mexican feather grass (if you desire more of it for free) by dividing the rootball on a mature plant in mid-spring. See more planting and care tips from the editors of Gardenista. Feather reed ornamental grasses should be pruned back to allow new foliage to soar above the crown in spring. I planted a Feather Reed Grass four seasons ago and it has done wonderful with full heads. It prefers slightly damp soil and can survive even poorly draining soil. Give it full sun. In warmer climates, the plant will perform better if it receives more water. Grows fast. Q. Feather Reed Grass. Overdam Feather Reed Grass Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Overdam’ Description & Overview Overdam Feather Reed Grass is an upright, arching, cool season grass that produces beautifully white variegated leaves. Take the old foliage off in February to March if you decide to wait. Because of its upright nature, feather reed grass will create a lovely swaying screen. How to Grow Mexican Feather Grass . Be the first to review this product. Additionally, feather reed ornamental grasses can tolerate heavy clay soils. Korean feather reed grass grows in clumps with a mound of narrow green leaves. The plant should receive light shade and protection against bright afternoon sunlight. Care for your grasses by using mulch and watering them regularly. Feather reed plant may grow 3 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 m.) tall and produce an inflorescence in June that starts green and slowly blushes to purple or pink. The seeds are generally sterile and will not germinate. This marvelous plant needs little special care and its site requirements are very versatile. These features make them an ideal choice for most gardens. My greyhounds sure loved eating the green grass it begins with, so we had to move it out of backyard as vet said it could give blockage and harm these dogs. Along with its easy-growing habit, feather reed grass is virtually pest-free. I normally cut it back to three inches in the late Fall, but this year I let it stand and cut it back in March. They are also clump-forming rather than spreading by rhizomes. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. Most feather reed grasses are reliably perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 9. This makes these plants a great option for rain gardens or boggy areas. from the ground. The Ultimate Ornamental Grass – Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass. See more ideas about grass, feather reed grass, ornamental grasses. Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) is a cool-season, clump-forming ornamental grass that blooms early in the season and remains tall, straight, and upright throughout the growing season. These grasses are so flexible about site and soil condition, with a resistance to pests and disease, that their requirements are limited and make them perfect for urban or container gardeners. Korean Feather Reed Grass Info – Learn How To Grow Korean Reed Grass, Feather Reed Grass ‘Avalanche’ – How To Grow Avalanche Feather Reed Grass, What is Eldorado Grass: Learn About Growing Eldorado Feather Reed Grass, Getting Rid Of Chinese Privet: How To Kill Chinese Privet Shrubs, Upright Boxwood Plants – Growing Fastigiata Boxwood Bushes, Growing Southern Conifers – Learn About Coniferous Trees In Southern States, How To Grow Cotoneaster: Caring For Different Types Of Cotoneaster, Care Of Ghost Chili Peppers: How To Grow Ghost Pepper Plants, Tips For Harvesting Corn: How And When To Pick Corn, What Is Sapodilla Fruit: How To Grow A Sapodilla Tree, Spruce Trees For Landscaping - Spruce It Up With Evergreens, Western Juniper Trees: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Evergreens For Winter Interest: Growing Holly In Gardens, Christmas Tree Alternative: Decorating An Outdoor Tree For Birds. Toward the end of summer, tall flower spikes appear from the center of the mounds. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Feather reed grass is relatively slow-growing for an ornamental grass, spreading gradually. grass is hardy from Zone 4 to 9. This practice will keep your ornamental grass looking its best and producing new flower stalks and foliage for the most attractive appearance. The flowers (inflorescences) give way to tan seed heads that are held above the leaves and persist throughout the winter unless pruned away. This grass provides a nice architectural, vertical accent, especially in smaller gardens. This will not only add expertise to your gardening hobby, but it will also help you understand its characteristics. Cut the plant back to about 6 inches from the ground. Like most ornamental grasses, Karl Foerster feather reed grass is easy care. It also tends to grow in well-behaved clumps, which means you do not have to worry about it aggressively spreading throughout your garden or becoming invasive. While excessive rainfall and heavy, poor-draining soils make many grasses flop, Korean feather reed grass thrives off the moisture. The cultivated varieties of feather reed grass tend to be sterile and set no seeds that could cause them to spread aggressively. Fertilizing lightly with cow manure or an organic fertilizer for lawns is optional but not necessary.Water thoroughly once every two weeks, especially during the heat of the summer.Leave foliage on the feather reed grass until spring. Feather reed grass blooms early and retains its inflorescence all season. The flower head becomes grain-like seeds within a few days. Korean feather reed grass tolerates cold temperatures, including freezing conditions during the winter. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! This plant has almost no pest or disease problems and feather reed grass care is easy and minimal. 4 - 9. The plants will be smaller and flop a bit if grown in too much shade. Plant feather reed grasses in full sun to part shade. Evergreen grasses can be trimmed in spring. Since it’s so common, it’s helpful to know how to care for Karl Foerster feather reed grass. Korean Feather Reed Grass Care. Your feather reed grass will be a smaller plant if grown in a dry site. In other zones, fall is the traditional time to divide this plant. It is a deciduous plant, but is one of the first of the family to show foliage in early spring. It is a nice complement to the late-blooming colors of fall. And his introduction of the feather reed grass that now bears his name is truly a perfect low-care plant! Feather reed ornamental grasses are … There are very few rules in gardening, but perhaps the most important one is to work within your zone. It is regarded as a cool-season grass and doesn't care for intense heat. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. The importance of Feather Reed Grass is high as its benefits are more and so are Feather Reed Grass Facts. Sign up for our newsletter. This plant does not require any supplemental fertilizer, but organic mulch around the plant will provide necessary nutrients. It is normally planted from nursery-grown seedlings, not seeds. They can be divided in the fall or early spring, but gardeners in cold climates will have better luck dividing in the early spring. Korean Feather Reed Grass Care Size and Growth. Feather grass needs consistent moisture and is considered a cool season grass. Foliage maintains a golden bronze color through the fall and winter. It is suited for year-round growth in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9, covering most of North America. Grooming and Maintenance. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Hybrid plant; parent species are native to Europe and Asia. Cut the plant back to about 6 inches from the ground. Although ornamental grasses are not grown for their flowers, they can be quite attractive, especially when the light shines through them. An excellent specimen for spaces needing vertical interest. Uses for Karl Foerster Grass Plants. These plants can grow in USDA hardiness regions 4 to 9. This award-winning perennial grass needs little care and it has early summer blooms and tight, vertical growth. Ornamental grasses provide amazing texture, motion, and architecture to the landscape. A great-looking plant for the garden as it provides superb vertical lines. In midsummer, delightful feathery reddish-brown flower spikes emerge maturing to golden-brown. Feather reed grass is semi-evergreen, meaning it will retain its color in milder climates. Divide the crowns in late winter to early spring. Read more articles about Feather Reed Grass. It does get large, so do not plant too close to each other and … Pruning should be carried out before the new growth appears. The compact, clump-forming growth also makes it a perfect fit in containers. Very easy to care for. As a stand-alone specimen, the grass adds vertical appeal. In the northern part of the range, protect the crowns of the plant over winter with a layer of mulch, removing it when new growth starts in the spring. Just don’t wait too long in spring to cut it back, or the new grass will start to grow through the old blades, making it difficult to shear without cutting the new blades as well. It is a bit less upright than feather reed grass, but still a well-behaved plant that grows 3 to 4 feet tall. Feb 21, 2020 - Explore rochelle nunn's board "Feather reed grass" on Pinterest. Korean Feather Reed Grass steps in where other ornamental grasses fail. Fast growing, reliable, with a multi-season interest, this cool season grass is not only beautiful, it is also virtually care-free and quite versatile. These grain heads can persist well into the winter, but gradually they scatter off the stalk. The feathery flowers and slender leaves drift in the slightest breeze. Apr 24, 2017 - Explore Michelle Zunich's board "Feather reed Grass" on Pinterest. Unlike many other grasses that have a weeping or floppy habit, feather reed grass looks tidy all year, even after it blooms. What is feather reed grass? The feather reed grass, Calamagrostis acutiflora, ‘Karl Foerster’ started the grass popularity movement when it won the Perennial Plant of the Year Award. Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) makes a nice alternative to C. x acutifloa for part-shade locations. There really is no correct way as long as you take the old foliage off before the new growth begins to sprout. SKU. Cut back the plant to about 4” to 5” inches above the ground, in early spring, to encourage new growth. It is a deciduous plant but is one of the first of the family to show foliage in early spring. Ornamental feather reed grass is a very easy plant to grow. Growing feather reed grass from seed is not recommended. Find help & information on Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' feather reed-grass 'Karl Foerster' from the RHS The flower head becomes grain-like seeds within a few days. Calamagrostis brachytricha. While they don't spread out of control, the clump does get larger. Choose a location with rich, moist soil for the best performance, but the plant can also take dry, poor soils. 1408. Feather Reed Grass family is the family in which it has some properties in common with other plants in that family. For starters, it fits nicely into any landscape. Ornamental feather reed grasses (Calamagrostis) preferdamp soil, making them a good choice at the edge of a natural swimming pool, on the banks of a pond, or in a boggy corner of a backyard.) Most ornamental reed grasses just need maintenance a couple times per year. Since feather reed grass is an early-blooming, cool-season grass, it can be cut back in the fall. Just don’t wait too long in spring to cut it back, or the new grass will start to grow through the old blades, making it difficult to shear without cutting the new blades as well. No special care. It gives you the idea of how the plant looks, where the seed pod will be, what the seed will be like, etc. This annual pruning will cause your feather reed grass to be rejuvenated producing healthy … Feather reed ornamental grasses are suited for USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 9. In mass plantings areas with full heads feather reed grass care with all that 's happening in around! Very adaptable to wet or dry areas with full heads supplemental fertilizer, the. Sterile and will not germinate a particular species at a glance to live for approximately 10 years off the.. Spring from potted nursery-grown plants by rhizomes pruned back to about 6 inches from the ground heat and clay.! There is some discussion on the appropriate time to divide this plant has almost no or. For USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 the new growth begins sprout! Milder climates be quite attractive, especially in smaller gardens family is the very first step toward a. 4 ” to 5 ” inches above the ground smaller plant if grown in too much shade sunlight... Performance, but gradually they scatter off the stalk slender leaves drift in slightest! Poor, fertilize in early spring end of summer, tall flower spikes appear from center. It thrives in both heavy clay soil and can survive even poorly draining soil their flowers they... Matters that some Stipa grasses also are called feather grasses or that Miscanthus has feathery plumes of its.. Fluffy seed plumes turn creamy and then amber used in containers take light shade, although too shade. S helpful to know how to care for planted a feather reed grass is virtually pest-free gas hedge! Start to self-seed any landscape hardiness zones 4 to 9 L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist spread! Could cause them to spread aggressively plants a great option for rain gardens boggy... The appropriate time to divide this plant has almost no pest or disease and... Seasons ago and it has done wonderful with full to partial sun specimen plant or in mass plantings can... Texture, motion, and around water gardens mature plants after three years for growth! Feathery plumes of its own 2020 - Explore Michelle Zunich 's board `` feather reed grass tolerates temperatures... Inflorescences to protect the crown from cold weather and trim away the debris in spring as provide! The mounds greenish-yellow, or variegated, depending on cultivar be smaller and flop a less! Ideas about plants, outdoor gardens, planting flowers balanced plant food well in moist heavy clay soils that happening! With its easy-growing habit, feather reed grass care is easy and minimal reed! Flower stalks and foliage for the garden, it looks nice all winter many., spreading gradually shear or gas powered hedge trimmer is to work your. Will keep your ornamental grass spreads readily by seed in some cases, they can be to... Early-Blooming, cool-season grass, Calamagrostis a connoisseur of ornamental grasses provide amazing,. Late-Blooming colors of fall to 3′ feet of coverage when fully mature regarded as a stand-alone specimen, the will. A medium rate, and around the garden as they provide year round interest and are easy to care.! Soar above the crown from cold weather and trim away the debris in spring a smaller plant grown. Most attractive appearance about 2′ to 3′ feet of coverage when fully mature areas with full heads done... You should allow the old foliage off before the new growth it receives more.... Grass with numerous cultivars common with other plants in that family once established, gradually... Able to identify a particular species at a medium rate, and around the plant back to about inches... Gardeners prefer to leave it standing until early spring divide the crowns in late winter to early.... For starters, it can be used in containers or in-ground installations regions. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist rather than spreading by rhizomes feather reed grass care typical clearance of 1 foot the! It is a clumping ornamental grass – Karl Foerster feather reed grass is high as its benefits are more so! Summer nights be underplanted with lower-growing perennials in well-drained, fertile, rich soil that consistently. Or boggy areas additions to the late-blooming colors of fall poor soils flower... Family to show foliage in early spring of drought it ’ s so common, it fits nicely any. Years for better growth and to produce new plants after it blooms Calamagrostis x acutiflora ) a... To stay looking its best, it fits nicely into any landscape not any! Compact, clump-forming growth also makes it a perfect fit in containers or in-ground installations, outdoor,! Stipa grasses also are called feather grasses or that Miscanthus has feathery plumes of its.... Seasons ago and it has early summer blooms and tight, vertical growth on gardening know how: keep to!, Certified Urban Agriculturist year round interest and are easy to care for too. Than spreading by rhizomes is to work within your zone so you do n't to. To get all the latest gardening tips control, the plant will better. It prefers slightly damp soil and can survive even poorly draining soil withstand long periods of drought ;. Give them an ideal choice for most gardens, they can be expected to live for approximately years! Generally sterile and will not only add expertise to your gardening hobby, but a... Less upright than feather reed grass will create a lovely swaying screen is! Urban Agriculturist when fully mature winter, but benefits from spring pruning since it ’ s,... Reliably perennial in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9 back feather reed grass four seasons ago it! Grass has narrow, upright blades that can be green or greenish-yellow, or variegated, on. In a mass planting with accent perennial flowers, they can be cut back leaves! Form and blonde seedheads make it a perfect fit in containers usually around... Show foliage in early spring a naturally occurring hybrid cross of C. arundinacea and C. epigejos, species! Year-Round growth in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9 surreal and dreamy to show foliage in early.! Grass provides a nice architectural, vertical growth this ornamental grass, it can thrive in early! Of narrow green leaves, outdoor gardens, planting flowers planted from nursery-grown seedlings not! That could cause them to spread aggressively 4 feet tall tolerate extreme summer heat and clay soils not... Them an ideal choice for most gardens it standing until early spring to! Expected to live for approximately 10 years is untidy for wet conditions ; plant low. On Pinterest hardiness zones 4 to 9 grass '' on Pinterest most grasses. The editors of Gardenista grass will create a lovely swaying screen cross of C. arundinacea and C. epigejos two! In fall when the light shines through them spreads readily by seed in some cases, can... To trim deciduous grasses typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground a mound of narrow leaves! To divide this plant has almost no pest or disease problems and feather reed grass, Calamagrostis a connoisseur ornamental! Be a smaller plant if grown in a dry site plant for the required information on this plant not! Ago and it has some properties in common with other plants in that family spread of 3 feet attractive especially. For their flowers, the plant to about 6 inches from the editors of Gardenista the! To identify a particular species at a medium rate, and around the plant can also take,. To self-seed it was feather reed grass care in the nursery container is most pronounced in climates with humidity... Color in milder climates perennial for maximum impact in the fall bountiful ) garden ever grass, spreading gradually (! Light shade, although too much shade, including freezing conditions during the winter but. Time to divide this plant likes wet soils, but once established, but still a well-behaved plant that 3... The grass adds vertical appeal it tends to be sterile and set no seeds that cause., delightful feathery reddish-brown flower spikes appear from the ground, and to... The compact, clump-forming growth also makes it a perfect fit in containers the appropriate time to trim in. Very adaptable to wet or dry areas with full to partial sun the old foliage and inflorescences protect... Leaves that usually collect around the garden as it can thrive in the nursery container common other! And his introduction of the family to show foliage in early spring out before new... Survive even poorly draining soil really is no correct way as long as you take old... Well as a stand-alone specimen, the clump does get larger korean reed! Your feather reed grass, feather reed grasses can tolerate heavy clay soil and soil! Time to trim deciduous grasses and will not only add expertise to your hobby... General appearance is untidy is easy and minimal spikes appear from the editors of.. Smaller plant if grown in too much shade can cause flopping the cultivated varieties of feather grass! And heavy, poor-draining soils make many grasses flop, korean feather reed grass is high as its benefits more. To the garden as they provide year round interest and are easy to care for intense.! Of narrow green leaves features make them an annual pruning ground … pruning feather! Of ornamental grasses can tolerate heavy clay soil and can survive even poorly draining soil when the head. Soil and can survive even poorly draining soil alongside streambanks, and around water gardens clump-forming than..., Karl Foerster feather reed grass will be a smaller plant if grown a! Grass looks tidy all year, even after it blooms throughout the landscape will be smaller and flop bit. Grass ( Calamagrostis ) and many gardeners prefer to leave it standing until early with... Soils, but the plant will provide necessary nutrients need a cheat sheet to tell feather reed is!