8 Perennial Ornamental Grasses That Come Back Each Year - Backyard Boss
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8 Perennial Ornamental Grasses That Come Back Each Year

Perennial ornamental grasses are a gardener’s dream come true. These plants come back each year, providing interest and beauty to the landscape long after other plants have faded away. Ornamental grasses are a great way to add greenery and color to your garden or yard.

There are many kinds of perennial ornamental grasses to choose from, so no matter what your garden style is, you’re sure to find one perfect for you. Here are just a few fan-favorites!

Blue Oat Grass – (Helictotrichon sempervirens)

Blue Oat Grass
Image credits: Kathryn Roach via Shutterstock

Blue oat grass is a beautiful cool-season ornamental grass that comes back every year, making it a great choice for gardens and landscaping. With its silvery-blue foliage and wispy flowers, this versatile grass adds an eye-catching pop of color to any landscape. Plant blue oat grass in full sun with well-draining soil and it will thrive all season long.

Muhly Grass – (Muhlenbergia capillaris)

Image credit: kkennedy via Openverse

This ornamental grass features fine, delicate foliage and feathery clusters that turn pinkish-purple as they mature. This versatile plant thrives in the sun and is very drought-tolerant once established, making it an excellent choice for gardens of all kinds.

Whether you are looking to add texture and color to your flower beds or simply want a low-maintenance addition to your lawn, muhly grass is a perfect choice.

Ribbon Grass – (Phalaris arundinacea)

Ribbon Grass
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Also known as also called gardener’s garters and feather reed grass, ribbon grass adds charm and interest to any garden or outdoor space. It towers over your lawn at 12 to 18 inches long!

It features delicate variegated white-green leaves that are sometimes topped with elegant feathery flower plumes in the summertime. To care for this lovely perennial, ornamental grass, just make sure that it has well-draining soil and lots of sun.

Tufted Hair Grass – (Deschampsia cespitosa)

Tufted Hair Grass
Image credits: Guliveris via Shutterstock

This low-growing grass is perfect for cascading over rock gardens or woodland gardens. You can even companion plant it with ferns and hostas. With slender blades of green topped with fluffy white, silver, purple, or green blooms, this plant looks great in any garden. To care for this plant, just make sure it has plenty of sun and water to stay healthy.

Little Bluestem Grass – (Schizachyrium scoparium)

Little Bluestem Grass
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This low-growing grass reaches about 2 feet in height and makes a great groundcover for your garden or yard. It’s the perfect choice if you love the look of Prairie gardens, with its bright green foliage that changes to shades of mahogany red in the fall.

Just make sure it gets plenty of sun and regular watering to keep it healthy from season to season.

Purple Fountain Grass – (Penisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’)

Purple Fountain Grass
Image credits: Molly Shannon via Shutterstock

This elegant ornamental grass is often thought of as an annual but can be treated as a perennial in USDA zones 9 through 10. It features silky pinkish-purple flower plumes that stand out beautifully against its dark green leaves.

With its arching stems and delicate appearance, this flowering grass makes a lovely addition to any garden or backyard. To keep it healthy and vibrant, plant it in well-drained soil. And be sure to give it plenty of water and lots of sunshine each day.

Switch Grass – (Panicum virgatum)

Switch Grass
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With its tall, pinkish feathery stalks and vivid green leaves, this grass adds stunning texture and color to any landscape.

Whether you plant switch grass in large clumps or incorporate it into borders or flower beds, it is sure to be a standout feature of your garden. And because it thrives in a variety of conditions, from full sun to partial shade, this versatile grass can be grown almost anywhere.

Maiden Grass – (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’)

Maiden Grass
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Maiden grass is an elegant choice for adding color to your garden or yard. It features deep green foliage with silvery stripes that turn a deep red in the fall and large cream color feathery flowers that bloom in the summer.

Though this ornamental grass prefers full sun and well-draining soil, it’s one of the hardiest varieties out there. It can even tolerate drought once established, making it a great choice for novice gardeners.

Benefits of Ornamental Grasses

ornamental grasses in a xeriscape garden, Karl Foerster Grass, Pennisetum, shrubs
Image credits: Kathryn Roach via Shutterstock

Perennial ornamental grasses are some of the most beautiful and versatile plants that you can find in your garden. These lovely plants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. And they are also perfect for filling up any empty spaces in your yard or garden. Add something tall and elegant to add a little height to your flowerbeds, or provide plenty of coverage without taking too much time from your busy schedule. There is sure to be a type of perennial ornamental grass that perfectly fits your needs.

One of the great things about perennial ornamental grasses is that many types only require minimal watering throughout the season. They can even tolerate periods of drought. Plenty thrive in full sun or partial shade, making them a lovely choice.

Plus, since most of these plants are perennials, you won’t have to worry about replanting them each year. Once you plant your perennial ornamental grasses, they will continue to grow and bloom without needing much attention from you.

Make A Statement!

Whether you’re a beginner gardener or an experienced green thumb, perennial ornamental grasses should be a part of your landscape plan. These plants come back year after year, providing interest and beauty well into fall and beyond.

With so many varieties to choose from, there’s sure to be one perfect for your garden style. So, what are you waiting for? Start planting! And don’t forget to share this article with your gardening friends. Leave a comment below and let everyone know which perennial ornamental grass is your favorite!