1. Home

Discuss in my forum

Marie Iannotti

Grasses for Fall Color

By September 9, 2013

Follow me on:

It's easy to forget that ornamental grasses are just - grasses. We mow our lawns long before the turf grass can go to seed. But left alone, it will. All grasses flower, but some are more attractive than others. And some flower later than others. We tend to gravitate toward the showy variegated or early pluming types, but there are plenty of ornamental grasses that put on their best show in the fall. They still give you a full growing season of swaying and rustling, but they shine among the rich saturated colors of the fall border. Here's a collection of stunning fall grasses to add to your fall garden.

Photo: Marie Iannotti


August 14, 2008 at 11:09 am
(1) andrea says:

I just wanted to mention a couple of things; You missed one of my favorite grasses, little bluestem (schizachyrium scoparium), native in a good portion of the country it has steely blue foliage in the summer and turns burgundy in the fall and it only gets 2′-3′ tall and thrives in hot dry infertile conditions, which is why it makes such a beautiful show on the side of the road in fall. Also as a nursery professional I know that the one grass that people want to be hardy in zone 5 in pennisetum rubrum, but unfortunately it’s only hardy to zone 7 by some accounts and zone 9 by other accounts, I’m in Maine which is zone 5/4 so we’re not even close, I’ve actually had people get angry that the purple fountain grass we had in our planters and garden were not hardy, still it’s worth growing as a hardy annual. Thanks, I’m crazy about grasses.

August 15, 2008 at 3:00 pm
(2) gardening says:

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Little Bluestem in the fall. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

You’re so right about Pennisetum rubrum. I’ve over-wintered mine indoors, letting it go semi-dormant. But I think it’s easier to just buy new ones in the spring. Thank goodness they’re growing more, so they’re not so pricey.

September 6, 2009 at 11:47 pm
(3) Yvonne at Country Gardener says:

Little bluestem is amazing in the fall. Here (in southern Ontario) it turns a brilliant copper color. I have lots of it in a prairie-style meadow.

September 18, 2010 at 5:41 am
(4) scottyblue says:

It seems that ornamental grasses have exploded in popularity,at least in my area.I’m seeing them everywhere.

I love them.So hardy,easy to care for and offer year round interest.Even the ones that are not winter hardy in my area do well and look beautiful right up until the snow flies.

September 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm
(5) Marie Iannotti says:

Exploded is the word for it. I’m especially happy to see so many that are hardy in zones 6 and down. We were seeing the same 5 grasses in everyone’s garden for a while there.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.