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GRASSES AND BAMBOOS


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Bamboos and Grasses

Add graceful movement to the garden with elegant, arching ornamental grasses and bamboos. Use in borders or as a focal point. With their linear forms and upright or cascading habits, they also make wonderful additions to large containers.

Bamboo (Fargesia)

Bamboo is a grass with woody stems; they are surprisingly hardy. Most bamboos thrive in partial shade in moderately acidic loamy soils. Organic matter may be added if soils are less than ideal. Bamboos are forest plants and do best if mulch is kept over the roots and rhizomes. If the bamboo is planted late in the year, they should be mulched heavily and given extra protection from cold, drying winds. In colder climates where bamboos may be marginal, successful growers usually protect their bamboos through the winter with heavy mulch. Provide ample water to newly planted bamboos. Infrequent or non-thorough watering will result in yellowing leaves and/or leaf drop. Bamboos do benefit from fertilization, especially a fertilizer high in Nitrogen, such as found in lawn fertilizers.

Grass

Grasses are a versatile group with selections for sunny or shady areas.

Grasses for sunny spots add lovely arching forms to the flower and shrub border. They range in height from tall, back of the border plants to smaller varieties for the front edge of a planting. They can add fine linear texture, dramatic height, color that changes with the seasons, or decorative seedheads that sway in the slightest breeze. Many of the varieties we offer are selections of native grasses known for their beauty, toughness, and, when established, their drought tolerance. They complement each other when planted in groups, and also are wonderful with Echinacea, Salvia, Veronica, and other sun lovers.

Grasses for shady areas add a flowing, graceful touch to borders and containers. We offer choice varieties of the shade grass Hakonechloa, known as Japanese Forest Grass. Their slim, linear foliage looks great with the broad leaves of shade lovers such as Hosta and Heuchera. They add a finishing touch along the shady side of a shrub border, and look especially lovely growing near the base of Japanese Maples and Tree Peonies. They prefer a loamy, compost-enriched soil. In the northern parts of their range, provide them with mulch in winter.

Leave grasses in the garden for fall and winter interest, cut back in early spring to make room for new growth.

Copyright © 2000-2015, Roy G. Klehm, Song Sparrow Perennial Farm and Nursery. All rights reserved. Terms.