Weston Logo

The Ornamental Grass Guideline

Weston nurseries Garden Guidelines

Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grasses are a striking addition to most landscapes. They can provide multi-season interest, structure, texture, movement, and even a soothing rustling sound with the slightest breeze. They are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Some are very tall, providing a distinct linearity to the landscape and they range in height all the way down to dwarf varieties suitable for edging and rock gardens. Green, blue and variegated foliage are most common and many have decorative seed heads or flowers spikes that can even come in shades of pink, red and purple. Seed heads will attract birds in winter, further adding to the beauty of your landscape.

Ornamental grasses are easy to grow, require little maintenance and with a few exceptions thrive in full sun and average soil. Once established, very little water or fertilizer is needed. Most grasses will grow in neat mounds or clumps, are generally non-invasive and will grow in girth slowly over time. Every four or 5 years, you may want to divide your plants: from early spring to summer, simply dig straight down using a spade and cut out part of the clump to replant elsewhere or share with friends. It is perfectly acceptable to cut back your ornamental grasses in the late fall but it is not required. When left untouched, they continue to grace your landscape throughout the winter. In order to ensure they look their best all spring and summer, last year’s dry foliage and stem stalks should be cut back to 4-6 inches before new shoots appear in late April or early May.

Latin NameCommon NameDescriptionHeightLight Requirements


Reed Grass
Very vertical, both leaves and flowers stand upright, feathery flower plumes.
3-5 ft.

Full sun


Mounding, technically not a grass but grass-like in appearance with strap shaped leaves and tiny flower tufts, great for borders and rock gardens. 
6 in. – 3 ft.

Depending on variety, full sun to shade


Northern Sea Oats
Native, upright with drooping seed head resembling oats, great fall color. May self-seed in some locations.
3-4 ft. 

Shade tolerant


Tufted Hair Grass
North American native, feathery flowers on arched stems rise 3 ft. above foliage. May self-seed in some locations.
2-3 ft.

Partial shade

Eragrostis spectabilis

Purple Lovegrass
North American native, airy purplish flowers form an ethereal cloud over the foliage. May self-seed in some locations.
1-2 ft.

Full sun

Festuca Glauca

Blue Fescue
Densely tufted, compact, bluish shades, good for edging and rock gardens.
6-8 in.

Tolerates shade but sun brings out bluish hue.

Hakonechloa Macra

Japanese Forest Grass
Loose cascading mounds, deep green to gold, variegated cultivars available.
12-18 in.

Shade to part shade


Blue Oat Grass
Narrow, spiky, steel blue leaf blades, forms a rounded clump, similar to blue fescue but taller, great for borders and rock gardens.
2-3 ft. tall

Full sun


Maiden Grass or Fairy Grass
Asian native, dense clump of upward arching growth with rounded fountain appearance, spectacular airy flower plumes. May self-seed in some locations.
3-7 ft.

Full sun

Molinia caerulea arundinacea

Purple Moor Grass
Tall, upright to arching green and purple flower clusters turn into coppery seed heads in fall, foliage and seed stalks golden in fall. May self-seed in some locations.
6 to 8 ft.

Full sun


Muhly Grass
North American native, dense mound of foliage, pink to reddish clouds of flowers, blooms in fall. May self-seed in some locations.
1.5 – 3 ft.

Full sun to part shade


Native American prairie grass, upright and vertical, large and delicate flowers.Typically 5-8 ft. but some shorter varieties available
Full sun


Fountain Grass
Upright with gracefully cascading fountains of leaves, small tan, pink or purple bottlebrush flowers.
1-3 ft.

Full sun


Little Bluestem
Native to American prairies, blue-green in summer, turns beautiful shades of brown, copper and crimson in fall.
2-4 ft.

Full sun


Prairie Dropseed
Native North American prairie grass, arching mound of foliage, topped by fine haze of uniquely fragrant pinkish-brown flowers. 
2-3 ft.

Full sun
Flowering grasses in late summer

Share Via:


Weston Nurseries is committed to being a center for horticultural knowledge. Enjoy!

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages
Table of Contents

Online Shopping at Weston Nurseries

We are excited to offer two unique opportunities to shop online at Weston Nurseries.

Farm To Door™

WN Online Shopping icons_Ship to Door
Plants shipped directly to you!

Browse our online inventory for a huge selection of plants available to ship directly from the farm to your home! Anywhere in New England!*

Shop Our Garden Centers

WN Online Shopping icons-02
Great for large plants and larger orders!

Shop your local store for plants, garden supplies, soil, mulch and more. Then pick up your order at the garden center or arrange for local drop off!

If you are interested in ordering gift cards, please click here!
*Some restrictions may apply to certain states.


Memorial Day Weekend Flash Sale On Hydrangeas!

25% off all Hydrangeas this weekend only!

Saturday, May 25th – Monday, May 27th! 

Hydrangeas are a classic and beautiful sign of summer. Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend by sprucing up your yard with some new hydrangeas. Discount applies at all locations.

*Sale Fine Print:

For “Cash and Carry” transactions only. Offer good while supplies last.

No open orders or deliveries for future dates. All Flash Sale products must be taken the same day. Not valid on previous orders. No transfers allowed between stores on any sale items.

Skip to content