Ornamental grasses can provide a natural erosion barrier. Or, you can just use them for hearty landscaping. In the case of this article, we’ll be focusing on ornamental grasses that grow in the shade. Below you’ll find
Ornamental Grasses That Grow in the Shade
This is a list of ornamental grasses that grow in the shade. Some are native to North America, while others are native to South America, Africa etc., but all tolerate shady conditions well.
Many shade-tolerant ornamental grasses require moist, fertile soil in order to thrive, so they need regular applications of fertilizer or compost.
Maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis) is an ornamental grass native to China. It has bright green leaves with cream-colored flower plumes in summer. Although this plant tolerates full sun, it thrives best in bright shade.
Japanese Forest Grass
Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra) is an ornamental grass which is native to Japan. It has gold-green leaves with soft, arching blades and produces a soft yellow flower in summer. This plant prefers shade or partial sun.
Northern Sea Oats
Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) is an ornamental grass that is native to the southeastern United States from Virginia to Texas. It has narrow green leaves and produces tan flower heads in late summer. This plant prefers moist, well-drained soil and shade or partial sun.
Blue fescue (Festuca glauca) is an ornamental grass that is native to the Caucasus mountains in Eurasia. It has blue-green leaves with a soft texture and produces a pale blue flower in summer. These plants prefer moist, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.
White fescue (Festuca pallens) is an ornamental grass that is native to Eurasia. It has fine, soft green leaves with a white mid-vein which form a fountain-like texture. Although it prefers partial shade, this plant can tolerate full sun as well.
Blue Oat Grass
Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens) is a perennial ornamental grass that is native to southern Europe and southwest Asia from Italy east to the Caucasus mountains. It has fine textured leaves which form a fountain-like growth. This plant prefers moist, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.
Japanese Blood Grass
Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’) is an ornamental grass that is native to Japan. It has reddish leaves with a tufted texture and produces deep red flowers in early summer. Although it tolerates full sun, this plant prefers partial shade.
Miscanthus “Purpurascens” is an ornamental grass that is native to Japan. It has arching leaves with a ribbon-like texture and produces pink flower plumes in late summer. Although it tolerates full sun, this plant prefers partial shade.
Benefits of Ornamental Grass
Ornamental grasses are an excellent addition to any garden, and they offer a variety of benefits:
- They provide shelter and habitat for many types of wildlife
- They help prevent soil erosion due to their deep root systems
- Onamental grasses can transform areas that have poor drainage into beautiful gardens
- They give a garden a natural yet manicured look and feel, and can be used as hedges
Although many ornamental grasses grow best in full sun, the plants on this list all tolerate shade well. Most of these plants require moist soil, so they should be watered regularly if the soil is dry. The plants on this list can be planted in a variety of soil conditions, but they should be broadly spaced so the leaves have room to grow and so the roots have space to spread.
Related: Ornamental Grasses for Winter