Ornamental grasses are a great way to add height, texture, color, and character to your garden. These plants usually require minimal maintenance and tend to be fast growers, perfect if you are looking for something trouble-free to spice up your outdoors. This essential guide includes a list of our favorite types of ornamental grasses for zone 4 and our recommendations for making the most out of them.
Ornamental Grasses for Zone 4
Most ornamental grasses won’t be the first choice for deer, rabbit, or other pests. If you live next to a forest or deal with frequent attacks from small mammals, don’t worry: nothing will happen to your plants. You can use these plants as elegant hedges or for decorative purposes.
However, one of the first steps to ensure healthy plants is to choose species suitable to your hardiness zone. You can find cold and warm-season ornamental grasses.
By growing both in your landscape, you’ll be able to add all-year interest to your outdoors. The good news is that if you live in zone 4, you have a vast array of options in terms of species. To get some inspiration, keep reading.
Feather Reed Grass
Feather Reed Grass is a cool-season ornamental that creates a stunning vertical effect to any yard. Unlike other species, this variety is a perennial which looks upright all year round.
Its feathery stalks can grow up to five feet in height. You can find Feather Reed Grass in different colors: from cream to purple. Pick the one that best suits your yard’s aesthetic for an elegant effect.
In zon4 4, you can grow without much effort Karl Foerster, Avalanche, Eldorado, and Overdam. If your soil is poor, don’t forget to feed your plants. Plus, even though Feather Reed Grass doesn’t require much maintenance, ensure to keep them moist for best results. Plant it in full sun to avoid your plant getting floppy and smaller.
Miscanthus, also known as silver grass or maiden grass, is a warm-season ornamental grass suitable for zone 4 conditions. It produces lush and fluffy foliage that arches slightly, creating a dramatic effect in any location you place it in your garden.
Miscanthus produces stunning blooms from late spring to mid-summer, attracting plenty of bees and butterflies to your garden. If you have plants that require cross-pollination, Miscanthus can help you achieve variety in your yard.
While this plant is deciduous, the foliage remains on the plant over the winter months, which gives some structure even when most of your garden is probably dormant. You can use larger varieties as screens, while more compact ones do well even in pots.
Pennisetum (or Fountain Grass) is a low-maintenance ornamental that performs well in zone 4. It grows about two to three feet tall and produces dense dark green foliage that turns golden to beige in the fall.
If you don’t have much space in your yard, don’t worry: you can also find dwarf varieties that only grow about 12 inches high. This versatile plant can work as a specimen or as a hedge. Place it under the full sun for best results. Also, don’t forget to prune it once a year to maintain an attractive and tidy shape.
Tufted hair grass is a cool-season ornamental that grows about two to three feet in height. This species does well in zone 4 and doesn’t mind shady locations: if you can’t find a place under full sun, consider getting this variety.
Add some mulch around your plant to increase water retention and nutrient content in the soil. These plants prefer good drainage. One of the best things about this plant is that you won’t have to worry about pests and diseases. Once established, it requires minimal care!
Grama grass is a versatile ornamental that performs well in zone 4. It withstands poor soils and cold temperatures, making it an ideal choice if you are looking for something easy to grow.
However, this plant does best in drier parts of the country. If your region experience high annual precipitation, you may want to switch to another variety. The plant produces brown flowers and goes dormant in the winter. Since it won’t lose its stalks, Grama Grass can add some shape and density to your garden when most other plants are base.