I must say that Perennial Ornamental Grasses have grown on me in the last decade! They not only add graceful form and texture to the landscape, they are so easy care they can practically be planted and forgotten. There’s no need for staking, pruning or pest control. Native types will take whatever weather Zone 5 presents since they have evolved with it.
One of the best features of ornamental grasses is the four season interest they provide. Some of the most interesting gardens I’ve seen have incorporated some form of ornamental grasses to the mix of perennial flowers, shrubs, annuals and groundcovers.
There are so many forms to choose from: delicate arching silk-like plumes to bold and dense spikes. Colors range from blues, greens and silver to creamy yellow, orange and red. The showy seedheads are great for dried arrangements as well. Ornamental grasses also provide food and shelter for small mammals and birds.
Zone 5 Perennial Ornamental Grasses – Top 6 Choices
Blue Stem (Andropogon gerardi): An Illinois native grass. Features columnar, upright clumps of blue green leaves that sway in the wind. Changes to a reddish, copper column in winter. Well adapted and trouble free.
Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis): Blooms earlier than most grasses. Have upright flower stems that create a striking vertical accent. Takes on a wheat-like appearance as the flowers mature. Prefer full sun but can tolerate light shade. A very popular grass in this area.
Silver Fountain Grass: Group of warm season grasses that form distinctive, fuzzy bottlebrush flowers. Fountain Grass does best in full sun but also tolerates light shade.
Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus): A handsome native grass. Features dense arching clumps of fine textured emerald green leaves. Adds a soft texture to the garden. Excellent in all soil types and drought tolerant.
Northern Light: This new variety is rapidly growing in popularity … the leaves display a striking yellow/pink tone and as an added plus, Northern Light is very deer resistant …
Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum): Tall prairie grasses. Prized for their fall color, upright habit, flowers and salt and drought tolerance.The light and airy panicles make a soft rustling sound in the wind.
Click Here To View Over 15 Types of Ornamental Grasses…
Grasses are great because they tolerate a wide range of soil and light conditions and are generally extremely easy to grow. There is one for nearly every habitat.
The maintenance of ornamental grasses is a cinch. Just trim back old growth (down to 4 inches) in the spring in order to make room for the new year’s growth.