Should you use ornamental grasses in your landscape design?

Ornamental grasses run the gamut of heights, blooms, textures and colors. Some ornamental grasses have a unique fragrance. In general, ornamental grasses are categorized into runners or clumpers. The way runners grow resembles turf grasses. Due to their complex root systems, runners are more aggressive in comparison to clumpers. Runners also tend to be better suited for use as ground covering.

Clumpers, as the name suggests, remain in one clump even as they grow in. As a result, they're easier to control than runners and also make for nice accents when grown among other plants. Towering pampas grass, like other clumpers, grows from the center out because of its root-ball structure.


A major benefit of ornamental grasses, besides the fact that they don't harm the environment, is that they're much easier to maintain than turf grass. One reason that ornamental grasses require such little care is that they tend to be hardy, being able to withstand pests, disease and harsh weather. Also, most ornamental grasses are perennials, meaning that they'll grow in your garden every year. One note of caution about ornamental grasses is that some of them, including Ribbon and Moundry Fountain, can grow to become invasive plants. As a result, some ornamental grasses can wind up overtaking your garden and choking out any plant life that's in the way.

A good way to read up on potentially invasive ornamental grasses is via certain agricultural Web sites. In the last few years, ornamental grasses have become quite the rage among gardeners and landscapers. Their ease of care and diversity make it a sure bet that there are ornamental grasses on the market that would be ideal for your garden and your "greener" approach to landscaping.