Are you looking for a fast and affordable way to add privacy to your yard or screen your patio?
Look no further than ornamental grasses! These versatile plants are not only beautiful, but they also grow incredibly quickly, often reaching their mature size in just two seasons.
Plus, with a variety of heights and forms available, you can find the perfect ornamental grass to suit your landscaping needs.
But just how quickly do these grasses grow? Let’s dive in and find out!
How Quickly Does Ornamental Grass Grow
Ornamental grasses are known for their fast growth rate, making them an ideal choice for those looking to quickly add privacy to their yard or patio. In just one season, most ornamental grasses can grow from 2 to 6 feet tall, adding plenty of color and texture to your landscape without breaking the bank.
However, it’s important to note that growth rates can vary depending on the specific type of ornamental grass you choose. Some varieties are slower growing, while others can reach heights of up to 30 feet in just one year.
It’s also important to consider the size of the plant when you first plant it. Ornamental grasses grown from seed will typically take longer to reach their full height than those planted as mature plants.
The Growth Rate Of Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental grasses have a growth rate that can be categorized into three stages: sleep, creep, and leap. During the first year of growth, the plant is said to be in the “sleep” stage, where it establishes its root system and does not produce much above-ground growth. In the second year, the plant enters the “creep” stage, where it begins to produce more above-ground growth and slowly expands its size. Finally, in the third year, the plant enters the “leap” stage, where it experiences rapid growth and reaches its mature size.
It’s important to note that not all ornamental grasses follow this growth pattern exactly. Some varieties may have a slower growth rate in the first few years before reaching their full potential. Additionally, while most ornamental grasses are perennials and will continue to grow each year, some are annuals and will only last for one growing season.
Soil conditions and other environmental factors can also impact the growth rate of ornamental grasses. While they are not picky about soil conditions and can grow in poor to fertile soils, adding compost to the soil can help with overall vigor. Spacing is also important to consider when planting ornamental grasses, as spreading grasses will fill in faster than clumping-type grasses.
Factors Affecting The Growth Of Ornamental Grasses
There are several factors that can affect the growth of ornamental grasses. One of the most important factors is the climate in which they are grown. Ornamental grasses are classified as either cool season or warm season plants, depending on when they start to grow and bloom. Cool season grasses begin to grow in fall or winter and bloom in spring or early summer, while warm season grasses grow rapidly during spring and summer, blooming in late summer or fall before becoming dormant during the winter months.
Another factor that can affect the growth of ornamental grasses is the amount of sunlight they receive. Most ornamental grasses prefer full sun, but some varieties can tolerate partial shade. If you are planting ornamental grasses in an area with limited sunlight, it may take longer for them to reach their full height and bloom.
Soil quality and moisture levels can also impact the growth of ornamental grasses. Most varieties prefer well-draining soil that is not too wet or too dry. If the soil is too wet, it can cause root rot and other fungal diseases, while dry soil can stunt growth and cause the plant to become stressed.
Finally, it’s important to consider the specific variety of ornamental grass you are planting. Some varieties are naturally slower growing than others, while some may require more frequent pruning or maintenance to keep them looking their best.
Fast-Growing Ornamental Grass Varieties
If you’re looking for a fast-growing ornamental grass variety to add privacy to your yard or patio, here are some great options to consider:
1. Pampas Grass: This tall grass can reach heights of up to 10-12 feet in just one season, making it an excellent choice for privacy hedges or screens.
2. Maiden Grass: This variety can grow up to 6 feet in just one season and has beautiful feathery plumes that add texture and interest to your landscape.
3. Fountain Grass: This fast-growing grass can reach heights of up to 3 feet in just one season and has beautiful arching foliage that adds movement to your garden.
4. Switchgrass: This native grass can grow up to 6 feet tall in just one season and has beautiful blue-green foliage that turns a golden color in the fall.
5. Big Bluestem: Another native grass, this variety can reach heights of up to 6 feet in just one season and has beautiful red and bronze foliage.
6. Japanese Forest Grass: This ornamental grass grows quickly and has beautiful variegated foliage that adds color and texture to your garden.
7. Little Bluestem: This native grass can grow up to 3-4 feet tall in just one season and has beautiful blue-green foliage that turns a rusty red color in the fall.
8. Blue Oat Grass: This fast-growing grass can reach heights of up to 3 feet in just one season and has beautiful blue-gray foliage that adds a unique color to your landscape.
9. Feather Reed Grass: This variety can grow up to 6 feet tall in just one season and has beautiful feathery plumes that add texture and interest to your garden.
10. Mexican Feather Grass: This fast-growing grass can reach heights of up to 2-3 feet in just one season and has beautiful wispy foliage that adds movement and texture to your landscape.
When selecting a fast-growing ornamental grass variety for your garden, consider the height and texture you want to achieve, as well as the specific growing conditions in your area. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect ornamental grass to add privacy and beauty to your landscape.
Tips For Growing Ornamental Grasses Quickly
If you’re looking to maximize the growth rate of your ornamental grasses, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow:
1. Choose the right variety: As mentioned earlier, some varieties of ornamental grasses grow faster than others. If you’re looking for quick growth, choose a variety that is known for its rapid growth rate.
2. Plant in the right season: Ornamental grasses should be planted in the spring or fall, depending on the climate in your area. This will give them enough time to establish their roots before the hot summer months or harsh winter weather arrive.
3. Provide adequate sunlight: Ornamental grasses thrive in open, sunny positions. Make sure the area where you’re planting them gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day.
4. Water regularly: While ornamental grasses are relatively low-maintenance plants, they do require regular watering, especially during their first year of growth. Make sure to water them deeply and consistently to encourage healthy root development.
5. Fertilize appropriately: Ornamental grasses don’t require heavy fertilization, but adding compost or a slow-release fertilizer can help boost their growth rate.
6. Prune as needed: Some varieties of ornamental grasses can become overgrown if left unchecked. Pruning them back can help promote new growth and keep them looking tidy.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your ornamental grasses grow quickly and thrive in your landscape.
Maintenance And Care For Ornamental Grasses
While ornamental grasses are generally low-maintenance plants, they do require some care to keep them healthy and looking their best. Here are some tips for maintaining and caring for your ornamental grasses:
Watering: Once established, most ornamental grasses do not require regular watering. However, during periods of drought, you may need to provide supplemental watering to keep the plants healthy. The amount of water required will depend on the grass species, the site, and the quality, size, and growth rate desired. Drip irrigation is an excellent way to water grasses as it applies water directly to the roots and reduces the chance of foliar diseases.
Fertilization: Most ornamental grasses need very little fertilizer. It is best to base any fertilizer applications on the results of a soil test. Excessive nitrogen in the soil can lead to disease susceptibility, overly vigorous growth, and weak stems that will cause the grass to fall over.
Cutting Back: Most grasses require cutting back and when and how to cut back depends on the type of grass you have. Grasses are either cool season (temperate), warm season (tropical) or evergreen, and the rules change slightly for each. A basic rule of ornamental grass maintenance is to leave them standing over winter and don’t mess with them until they are actively growing in early to late spring. Cut back stems to a few inches above ground level for best appearance. There are a number of ways to cut back grasses including by hand with pruners or hedge shears, electric hedge shears or a weed eater with a brush-cutting blade.
Dividing: Most grasses should be divided every 3 to 4 years. If ornamental grasses are not divided, they will eventually become thin or die out in the center. It is best to divide grasses while they are a manageable size. Overgrown grasses can be incredibly difficult to dig and divide. Dig and divide warm season grasses during early spring, just before new growth starts. Divide cool-season grasses in early fall. Most grasses have tough, vigorous root systems and may have to be divided with a shovel, saw, or ax. Hose off soil to make the roots easier to work with, then separate and replant the vigorous growth on the outer edges of the clump. Replant promptly and never let the roots dry out.
Mulching: Adding a natural mulch around the base of your ornamental grasses can help keep the soil moist and reduce weed growth. However, be careful not to put the mulch up against the plant’s base because it can cause the crown to rot.
Overall, ornamental grasses are relatively easy to care for and can provide a beautiful addition to any landscape. By following these simple maintenance tips, you can keep your ornamental grasses healthy and looking their best for years to come.