(Calamagrostis x acutiflora Karl Foerster)
Strong vertical appearance. Among the earliest flowering of the grasses, mannerly and attractive all year. Deep green blades with extra fluffy sandy fronds with deep purple accents in June. As the seeds mature the flower stalks turn golden and take on the appearance of shafts of wheat. Calamagrostis Karl Foerster is sterile and will not self-sow.
The best time to plant new ornamental grasses in your landscape is spring or early fall. Planting before the summer’s heat (and often dry weather) arrives should give them enough time to root in before having to endure more stressful conditions. It can be tough to keep them watered well enough if planted in summer, so if you miss the spring window, aim to plant in early fall at least 6-8 weeks before the first frost.
When the top of the soil feels dry down to about 2 or 3 inches, water your grass. Other than regular watering if your area does not receive consistent rainfall, Karl Foerster Grass requires very little additional maintenance.
Many ornamental grasses are selections of native prairie or woodland plants. In their natural habitat, the only nutrients they receive comes from their own decomposing foliage and that of the plants around them. You can mimic those conditions by mulching around the base of your grasses in fall with shredded leaves. No other fertilizer is needed or desired by grasses; in fact, feeding them often causes them to stretch and flop over.
First, find a good pair of gloves, thick leather gloves are probably best. Some ornamental grasses can have very sharp edges. For smaller grasses a pair of pruning shears will probably be sufficient. Trim about 2/3 of the plant for cool-season grasses. For many grasses it is easier to tie the grass in a bundle before trimming, this makes clean up a snap. For short grasses this might not be possible. If you have a large, established clump of grass, you may need to use a weed eater (with a blade rather than string), electric or gas-powered hedge trimmers, or even a chain saw. Once again, tie the tops together for easier clean up, just toss the bundles into your compost pile.
|Mature Height:||3-6 ft|
|Mature Width:||1-3 ft|
|Sunlight:||Full to Partial Sun|
|Grows Well in Zones:||4-9|
|Your Growing Zone:||6|