With so many varied ornamental grasses to choose from there is a plant for every position. For a really hot, dry spot grow Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ or a festuca. For a shady and water retentive soil choose a milium and acorus. For a coastal garden cortaderia is ideal and for grasses to grow as a marginal by the pond look to juncus or Carex pendula.
Before buying a plant seek advice from a specialist grower, as there are so many wonderful grasses to choose from.
Taller grasses will appreciate a sheltered position as this will prevent their long flower spikes from being damaged by the wind.
If planting in a container use a John Innes no 2 compost.
Grasses can be planted all year round but ideally plant in spring or autumn. For those grasses that enjoy a dry soil improve the drainage by digging in horticultural grit before planting.
Dig a planting hole, place the plant in the hole so it is planted at the same depth as it was in the original pot, backfill and firm in. Water plants in well. Grasses do not need regular feeding.
If you are buying very tall grasses and the long flower stems are broken or messy at planting time, simply cut the damaged stems right back.
Ornamental grasses can be divided in early spring. Very mature clumps are often tricky to lift, so have a friend on hand to help. In order to divide large clumps push two garden forks into the crown of the plant back to back and pull the handles down.
Some grasses, such as Nassella tenuissima, self-seed readily. Look out for the seedlings and pot them on.
Grasses are trouble-free and don’t attract pests or diseases.
Ornamental grasses offer months of interest. Leave them uncut through the winter and let the frost decorate them. Deciduous types should be cut back in early March. Evergreen types are not cut back until April through until July. Evergreen grasses shouldn't be cut right back - a light trim is sometimes all that is necessary. Tidy up all evergreens by pulling old stems out of the plant. Wear gloves when ‘combing’ grasses as some grasses are sharp.