Michigan is home to a wide variety of ornamental grasses that add beauty and interest to any garden or landscape. Ornamental grasses are easy to care for, tolerant of most soil types and climates, and require little to no fertilizer or pesticides. Let’s look at the best ornamental grasses for Michigan.
Ornamental grasses Michigan
Some grasses grow in the sun or shade, in wet or dry conditions, and at different heights. There are ornamental grasses Michigan that will fit any landscaping needs.
Some of the more popular ornamental grasses found in Michigan include:
1. Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis)
Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis) is a genus of ornamental grasses native to Michigan. There are many species and cultivars of Feather Reed Grass, all of which are characterized by their feathery, reed-like leaves.
These grasses are popular ornamental plants and are often used in landscaping and gardening.
They have two qualities that set them apart. They are cool-season grasses that grow primarily in spring, unlike other grasses that don’t start growing until around June or July.
They also have stiff, upright stalks instead of the cascading appearance of some other ornamental grasses.
Feather Reed Grass is a versatile plant that can be used in many different ways in the garden. It is an excellent choice for adding texture and interest to the landscape.
Feather Reed Grasses are easy to care for and maintain, and they are tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. They can be planted in the sun or shade and moist or dry soil.
Feather Reed Grasses are also relatively resistant to pests and diseases. Feather Reed Grass is an excellent choice if you are looking for an ornamental grass that is easy to grow and care for.
2. Switch Grass (Panicum)
Switch Grass (Panicum) is Michigan’s next most popular ornamental grass. Like fountain grass, it is a warm-season grass tolerant of both drought and cold. It grows to 3-4 feet and has a spread of 2-3 feet.
The leaves are blue-green, and the flowers are reddish-purple. Switchgrass is a good choice for mass plantings, as a specimen plant, or for naturalizing an area.
It has that wild look you want in ornamental grasses but still looks tidy and well-behaved. The two most popular varieties are “Northwind” and “Shenandoah.” Northwind has blue-green leaves and grows to a height of 4 feet. Shenandoah switchgrass has a reddish tint to the leaves and also extends to a height of 4 feet.
3. Fountain Grass (Pennisetum)
Another popular ornamental grass is fountain grass (Pennisetum). This Grass is native to Africa, Asia, and the Mediterranean. It’s a clump-forming grass that grows 3-6 feet tall and 2-4 feet wide.
Fountain grass has inconspicuous flowers that appear in summer, followed by ornamental seed heads in fall. The grasses die back to the ground in winter and reemerge in spring.
Fountain grasses are relatively low-maintenance plants and are tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions. They’re also drought-tolerant once they’re established. Fountain grasses can be propagated by division in spring or fall.
Like other ornamental grasses, fountain grasses can be used in various ways in the landscape.
4. Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium)
Little Bluestem is one of the most popular ornamental grasses in Michigan. It is a hardy, drought-tolerant plant that requires little maintenance. Little Bluestem is a native plant that is an essential part of the prairie ecosystem. It provides food and shelter for wildlife, and its deep roots help to stabilize the soil.
Little Bluestem is a versatile plant used in many different landscape designs. It is often used as a mass planting, naturalized areas, or as an accent plant. Little Bluestem is also a good choice for erosion control on slopes or other areas where soil stability is a concern.
Little Bluestem grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. It is tolerant of many soil conditions, including clay and sand. Little Bluestem can be transplanted easily and will tolerate some shade. It is not particular about soil pH and will grow in saline conditions.
5. Silver Grass (Miscanthus)
Lastly, there is Silver Grass. Silver Grass is a type of ornamental grass that is very popular in Michigan. Many homeowners choose it for its tall, striking appearance.
Silver Grass can grow up to 12 feet tall and has a beautiful silvery sheen to its leaves. It’s a perfect way to add some height and interest to your landscaping.
However, Silver Grass does require more maintenance than some other ornamental grasses. It is vital to cut back the plant in the spring, and it can also spread horizontally through rhizomes.
Silver Grass is still a beautiful and popular choice for many Michigan landscapes despite these drawbacks.
How to Care for Ornamental Grasses in Michigan
Ornamental grasses are easy to grow and care for, but there are a few things you need to know to get the best results.
First, ornamental grasses are typically classified as either warm-season or cool-season grasses. Warm-season grasses are more tolerant of heat and drought, while cool-season grasses prefer cooler temperatures and need more moisture.
In Michigan, the growing season is relatively short, so cool-season grasses are the best choice.
Second, ornamental grasses need to be planted in full sun. They will tolerate some shade, but they will not perform as well. Ornamental grasses need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
Third, ornamental grasses are relatively drought-tolerant once they’re established. However, they will need regular watering during the first year or two after planting. Once they’re established, ornamental grasses will only need to be watered during extended periods of drought.
Finally, ornamental grasses need to be fertilized once a year in the spring. A slow-release fertilizer is best. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as too much fertilizer can damage the grasses.
Ornamental grasses Michigan: Conclusion
Ornamental grasses are a beautiful and versatile addition to any landscape. With a bit of care and attention, they will thrive in Michigan gardens for many years to come.
The five ornamental kinds of grass listed above are excellent choices for Michigan landscapes.
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