Growing Awe: Unveiling the Beauty of Fast-Growing Ornamental Grass

Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental Grasses

In the canvas o nature’s grandeur, ornamental grasses stand as graceful strokes of artistry, adding texture, movement, and elegance to landscapes. For landscape designers, garden enthusiasts, and budding horticulturists alike, the allure of fast-growing ornamental grass is undeniable. This article delves into the world of these magnificent botanical wonders, exploring the most popular varieties, the easiest ones to cultivate, and the tallest giants that grace our gardens.

A Tapestry of Beauty: Exploring Popular Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grasses are nature’s dancers, swaying to the rhythm of the wind and painting landscapes with their captivating forms. From the feathery plumes of Fountain Grass to the vibrant hues of Japanese Blood Grass, these botanical marvels offer a diverse range of options that cater to every artistic vision.

Easiest Picks for Budding Gardeners: Flourishing with Simplicity

Embarking on a journey of horticulture is an adventure in patience and passion. For those just starting, the choice of ornamental grass can be pivotal. Enter the realm of ease with the Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis acutiflora). Its resilient nature and adaptability to various soil types make it a favorite among beginner gardeners. Watching its silver-tinged plumes rustle in the breeze can be an invigorating experience, marking the first step into the world of ornamental grasses.

Reaching for the Sky: The Majesty of Tallest Ornamental Grasses

When height becomes the canvas on which your garden dreams are painted, the tallest ornamental grasses become your artistic tools. Meet the Miscanthus giganteus, often hailed as the king of verticality. Its soaring stature, sometimes reaching a lofty 12 feet, commands attention and evokes a sense of awe. This towering giant offers a magnificent backdrop to any landscape, adding a touch of grandeur that few other plants can rival.

A Symphony of Growth: The Fast and the Luxurious

In the bustling world of modern gardening, time is often of the essence. Fast-growing ornamental grasses come to the rescue, transforming landscapes at an accelerated pace. The Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass, with its upright demeanor and rapid growth, takes center stage in this ensemble. It doesn’t just grow; it thrives, with its bronze plumes reaching for the sky in a matter of weeks.

Purple Fountain Grass

Expert Insights: Weaving Wisdom into the Tapestry

Landscape design luminaries and seasoned gardeners recognize the significance of ornamental grasses in their work. As renowned landscape designer Jane Harrington affirms, “Ornamental grasses breathe life into a design. They introduce movement, provide structure, and add an ephemeral quality that enchants throughout the seasons.” Their wisdom echoes the sentiment that ornamental grasses are more than plants; they are living sculptures that narrate the passage of time.

Real-Life Enchantment: Bringing Theory to Life

Every garden is a story waiting to unfold, and ornamental grasses often become the protagonists. Imagine a sea of Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum,’ their striking burgundy plumes swaying in synchrony, captivating all who wander by. Such scenes are not mere fantasies but actual manifestations of the magic these grasses can weave in our outdoor spaces.

Nurturing Diversity: Addressing Counterarguments

As with any aspect of horticulture, there are voices that raise concerns about the invasive potential of some ornamental grasses. While there might be a kernel of truth to this concern, mindful planting and responsible maintenance can mitigate these risks. It’s imperative to choose native or well-behaved grasses and monitor their growth to ensure they don’t overshadow other flora.

Looking Beyond: A Future Blossoming with Grass

The allure of fast-growing ornamental grasses reaches far beyond the present. As we contemplate the ever-evolving landscape of gardening, the role of these grasses takes on new significance. In a world where urbanization encroaches upon nature, ornamental grasses can become the thread that binds us to the earth’s beauty. With each swaying blade, a connection to nature is forged, reminding us of the splendor that exists beyond concrete walls.

Fast growing ornamental grass for privacy

If you’re seeking fast-growing ornamental grasses to create privacy in your outdoor space, several options are available. Here are a few suitable choices known for their rapid growth and dense foliage:

  1. Miscanthus Giganteus (Giant Miscanthus): This tall grass can grow several feet in a single season, providing a substantial privacy screen. Its tall plumes add visual interest.
  2. Pennisetum Alopecuroides (Fountain Grass): Certain varieties of fountain grass, like ‘Hameln’ or ‘Little Bunny,’ grow quickly and form dense clumps, creating a charming and effective privacy barrier.
  3. Cortaderia Selloana (Pampas Grass): While considering its potential invasiveness, certain pampas grass cultivars, like ‘Sunningdale Silver’ or ‘Silver Comet,’ grow rapidly and develop tall, dense plumes.
  4. Phyllostachys Aurea (Golden Bamboo): While technically a bamboo, it’s worth considering for fast growth and privacy. Be cautious about planting it in contained areas due to its spreading nature.
  5. Calamagrostis X Acutiflora (Feather Reed Grass): Varieties like ‘Karl Foerster’ grow quickly, reaching heights of 4 to 5 feet, and feature feathery plumes.
  6. Chasmanthium Latifolium (Northern Sea Oats): This grass forms clumps and offers privacy with its arching stems and unique oat-like seed heads.
  7. Arundo Donax (Giant Reed): Another option for fast growth and privacy, but like bamboo, it can be invasive if not properly managed.

Remember to research each grass’s specific growth habits, care requirements, and invasive potential in your region before planting. Planting in the right location with proper care will help ensure successful growth and an effective privacy screen.

Fast growing ornamental grass for pots

If you’re looking for fast-growing ornamental grasses that thrive in pots, here are some excellent options to consider:

  1. Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ (Purple Fountain Grass): This grass features striking purple foliage and grows quickly, making it a popular choice for containers. Its arching plumes add elegance to your patio or deck.
  2. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’ (Maiden Grass): With its graceful appearance and fast growth, ‘Gracillimus’ is a great option for containers. It produces feathery plumes in late summer.
  3. Hakonechloa macra (Japanese Forest Grass): This grass thrives in partial shade and adds a lush, flowing texture to container arrangements. It’s especially suitable for shady spots.
  4. Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’ (Dwarf Fountain Grass): A compact variety of fountain grass, ‘Hameln’ grows quickly and maintains a tidy appearance in pots. Its fluffy plumes create a soft effect.
  5. Festuca glauca (Blue Fescue Grass): With its striking blue-gray foliage, ‘Blue Fescue’ adds a unique color to your container garden. It’s relatively low-maintenance and grows quickly.
  6. Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (Black Mondo Grass): While not a true grass, it resembles one and adds a dark, dramatic touch to containers. It’s known for its rapid growth and distinctive appearance.
  7. Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Overdam’ (Variegated Feather Reed Grass): This grass offers a blend of vertical growth and variegated foliage, making it visually appealing in containers.

When planting ornamental grasses in pots, ensure the containers have good drainage and use a well-draining potting mix. Regular watering and occasional fertilization will support their growth. Additionally, consider the size of the container and the mature size of the grass to ensure a balanced and visually appealing arrangement.

MORE: What is the Easiest Ornamental Grass to Grow


What is the shortest ornamental grass?

The shortest ornamental grass is the Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca), with its compact tufted growth that reaches around 6 to 10 inches in height. This petite grass adds a touch of elegance to garden borders and rockeries.

What is the smallest fountain grass?

The smallest fountain grass is the Little Bunny Dwarf Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Little Bunny’). This compact variety typically grows to around 12 to 18 inches in height, making it an excellent choice for smaller gardens, borders, or containers. Despite its diminutive size, it retains the graceful plumes characteristic of fountain grass, adding texture and visual interest to outdoor spaces.

Conclusion: Cultivating Dreams, One Blade at a Time

In the grand tapestry of nature, fast-growing ornamental grasses are the threads that connect art, beauty, and life. From the novice gardener seeking simplicity to the seasoned designer crafting intricate landscapes, these grasses stand as testament to the wonders that nature offers. As we plant, nurture, and watch them flourish, we become part of a timeless dance—a dance that celebrates growth, resilience, and the remarkable power of the natural world.

Rachel Lean
Rachel Lean

Adventurer, loving nature and plants, particularly Pampas Grass. Happy to share with other people the knowledge that I accumulated on the journey of my life.