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Feather Reed Grass – How To Grow The Perfect Low Care Ornamental Grass!

When it comes to finding a low-maintenance, easy to manage ornamental grass for your landscape, it’s hard to beat feather reed grass. In fact, it very well might just be the best ornamental grass choice of all!

Ornamental grasses have soared in popularity over the past few decades. Not only are most varieties drought and deer-resistant, they are also rarely bothered by pests.

feather reed grasses
Ornamental grasses continue to gain in popularity for their ease of care. But the advantages of growing feather reed grass go far beyond just being low-maintenance.

For many homeowners, they are an easy way to add instant texture and foliage to their landscape. Especially when they send up their showy blooms to add even more interest.

Feather Reed Grass vs. Other Ornamental Grasses

But there can be a few drawbacks to planting and maintaining many of the more popular varieties. Many of the larger clump grasses such as Pampas and Maiden Grass can quickly overtake an area in just a few growing seasons.

The only way to prevent this is by constantly digging and cutting back the crowns every few years. Not only is it time consuming, but quite the laborious chore as well.

Many ornamental grasses can quickly become overgrown and hard to manage. Varieties like this pampas grass can also be difficult to clean up once they die off.

And although the plumes of these large grasses are beautiful, they have a few downsides as well. For starters, they don’t plume until late fall, quickly browning off as the first hard frosts arrive.

Even more frustrating can be the mess they leave behind from late fall to early spring. Masses of wispy blades and plumes litter flowerbeds, and create quite the clutter all across the landscape.

But that is exactly where feather reed grass comes to the rescue. Feather reed grass, or more specifically a variety known as Karl Foerster feather reed grass, has all of the advantages ornamental grasses bring to a landscape. And best of all – without any of the downfalls!

The Ultimate Ornamental Grass – Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass

Karl Foerster was a German horticulturist who spent most of his life developing and promoting low-maintenance gardening. And his introduction of the feather reed grass that now bears his name is truly a perfect low-care plant!

For starters, it fits nicely into any landscape. With it’s upright growth and compact circumference, it doesn’t overpower beds. But with a height that can reach 4 to 5′, it is still an impressive specimen.

karl foerster blooms
The blooms of Karl Foerster ornamental grass shoot up early, and stay throughout the summer and fall.

It is drought resistant, easy to establish and maintain, and is rarely if ever bothered by pests or disease. It is also versatile, growing well in a wide range of growing zones, from 3 all the way to 9!

But in addition to those great qualities, it also has an extremely slow-growth expansion rate. That means it can stay in the ground for years and years without ever having to divide and transplant.

The Long Blooming Season of Feather Reed Grass

But it gets even better. With feather reed grass, you don’t have to wait until late fall for its sensational plumes to appear. That’s because it blooms early in the growing season, and keeps on blooming strong until fall.

And its seed heads are sterile, meaning they can’t germinate as weeds when blown throughout flowerbeds.

ornamental grass clean up
As many ornamental grasses begin to die back, they can create quite the mess in flowerbeds with their plumes and foliage. But the more compact and tightly held feather reed grass stays together well all winter long.

As if all that wasn’t enough, this amazing ornamental grass has one more incredible feature – it’s a snap to clean up!

Unlike most ornamental grasses, it grows upright and holds together tightly. The blades are easy to cut in the fall, winter or spring, and their softer feel won’t slice arms like many ornamental grasses can! (See: Why To Cut Back Ornamental Grasses In The Winter)

So if you are looking for the ultimate low-maintenance ornamental grass – give feather reed grass a try, and enjoy years and years of low-maintenance beauty!

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