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Grasses

Gräser kaufen

Grasses enrich every garden, whether they are in perennial beds, woodland borders, in rock gardens or near water. When you buy grasses, they can be displayed everywhere. Their filigree blades and fronds emphasise the beauty of other plants and bring lightness into plantings of all kinds. Ornamental grasses themselves have much to offer.  For many months, they shine with the play of colours of their feathery flowers and leaves, and some particularly stately specimens can also be a central eye-catcher in the garden. Once you have found the right location for them, they are very easy to care for.

Tall and compact growing grasses

Tall growing grasses, such as giant miscanthus, do well as solitary plants and are even suitable as a screen at the border of a garden. Small to medium-sized types are extremely versatile: in addition to their use as structure or background plants in the garden, these grasses can also be cultivated in pots or used in green roofs. The growth habit of ornamental grasses is quite different: their leafy thorax can consist of bristly or elegantly overhanging leaves. Some have a taut, upright habit, while others grow cushion-like.

   
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Gräser kaufen

Wintergreen and summer green grasses

Most ornamental grasses in our Lubera® range are hardy. However, there are differences that one should know: if the majority of garden plants are in hibernation, wintergreen grasses continue to provide structure and life in the garden – they are, therefore, also ideal as ground cover. Here mainly sedges (Carex) and great wood-rush (Luzula) will reach their full effect. Also many species of fescue (Festuca) are gorgeous in the cold season with beautiful leaf colours – from rich green to ice blue. The above ground plant parts of the deciduous grasses die back in the cold season. Nevertheless, these can be extremely ornamental in the winter, as their blades often remain very stable and thus develop a special effect in the garden.

Ornamental grasses bring shape and colour to the garden

Those who love the splendour of colour can not only use shrubs and trees effectively but also ornamental grasses. In autumn, they often revel in displaying in bright yellow, bright orange or intense red. If the year has to offer a lot of hours of sunshine, particularly strong colours can be expected, with so-called “warm season grasses” coming into play.  The species and varieties of the Chinese Miscanthus, fountain grass (Pennisetum) and panicgrass (Panicum) sprout relatively late but show their beauty best in the summer and autumn, often accompanied by bright leaf colours.

A special visual highlight in the garden is the Japanese blood grass – with the only downside being that it is not reliably hardy in our latitudes.

The possibilities for garden grass varieties are almost infinite. So enjoy the wonderful design possibilities with ornamental grasses from the Lubera® assortment! Sunny or rather shady: there is something for every location and design style.

Buying grasses – worth knowing

The majority of garden grasses belong to the large plant family of cereal grasses (Poaceae) – including bamboo. Great wood-rush (Luzula) and the rushes (Juncus) can be found in the family of rushes (Juncaceae); the sedges (Carex) belong to the graminoid family Cyperaceae. However, they are all "sweetgrass-like" – botanically.  The species of the genus Juncus do well in wet to wet locations. Check out our category of water and pond plants!

In the growth form of grasses, a distinction must be made between clump-forming grasses and rhizome-forming species. Grasses, which form very strong rhizomes (best known example is this; the Phyllostachys bamboo) can be a problem in the garden, as they quickly overgrow larger areas. For most ornamental grasses in our range, however, this is not to be feared – if rhizomes are formed, they are not aggressive. Some ornamental grasses also tend to self-seed (for example, forms of wild fescue, grey-blue koeleria and tufted hair grass). To avoid this, you should remove the inflorescences in time. Increased seed multiplication can also occur if you plant different varieties of one species in the garden. If you want to avoid this, you should choose only one type.

The right location and soil

The majority of ornamental grasses are counted as perennials; they are perennial herbaceous plants. If you want to buy grasses, they are guaranteed to fit into any garden plan. A tall specimen plant needs a lot of space; small specimens are often a nice addition to the perennial flowerbed or serve as a ground cover under woody plants.

Grasses have different site requirements. Some thrive in both dry and slightly moist areas, but they often need a sunny spot, otherwise their blades, for example with feather reed grass, will slightly bend. There are grasses that are content with lean soils, others – such as miscanthus or pampas grass – prefer a nutrient-rich and humus-loamy soil.

Prairie grasses such as blue fescue (Festuca) love rather barren, well-drained soils. Blue oat grass, grey-blue koeleria and the tufted hairgrass also show their full splendour in hot, dry summers. They are therefore drought-tolerant grasses. If your soil is too nutrient-rich or loamy for the mentioned grasses, you can thin it off with sand and make it more permeable.

Shade-loving grasses such as many sedges (Carex), great wood-rush (Luzula) or varieties of Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa) require loose, humus-rich soil. They look forward to being planted with a mixture of soil and pre-composted foliage.

Grasses for sunGräser kaufen

Many grasses love the sun and an open, warm location. In this respect, there is a great assortment to choose from, ranging from low, cushion-forming rockery grasses to impressive giants. Below is a small selection:

Smaller ornamental grasses

Tufted fescue from the genus Festuca is a wintergreen, small growing ornamental grass that fits very well in heather gardens. Also, the varieties of blue fescue, e.g. 'Azurite' and grey-blue koeleria are among the low, sun-loving grasses.

Medium-high growing ornamental grasses

• American beach grass

• Pampas grass 'Pumila'

• Atlas fescue

• Blue oat grass 'Safirsprudel'

• Switch grass 'Heavy Metal'

 

Tall growing ornamental grassesGräser kaufen

In this category, the impressive clumps of many miscanthus varieties such as 'Ferner Osten' or 'Malepartus' and Molinia Karl Foerster 'Transparent' are highlighted.

The elephant grass or giant miscanthus 'Aksel Olsen' is an example of the giants among the ornamental grasses. It reaches a height of up to 3 metres.

Grasses for partial shade and shade

If you want to buy grasses that tend to grow in shady areas, the choice is not as wide. Nevertheless, there are some genera and species that grow to different heights.

The following wintergreen grasses come into consideration:

• Outstanding in partial shade, for example, are many wintergreen sedges of the Carex genus. One of the most attractive sedges for the slightly darker forest garden is the yellow-green garden sequoia (Carex hachijoensis 'Evergold'). With its broad, golden yellow median stripe, a contrasting composition with dark-leaved woody plants and perennials results.

• Great wood-rush (Luzula) is also a dainty, shade-tolerant grass. The genus Luzula includes easy-care, mostly native winter to evergreen, loosely clump growing species that make good ground cover and can be best used for planting trees and shrubs.

• Other examples are tufted hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa), bearskin fescue (Festuca gautieri) and blue moor-grass (Sesleria caerulea).

The summer green grasses also have representatives for shadier locations. These include the following:

• Feather reed-grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora)

• Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra)

• Molinia Karl Foerster 'Transparent' (Molinia arundinacea)

And, of course, there are also giant grasses available for darker corners in the garden. Here you will quickly find that bamboo plants are ideal. The clump-forming Fargesia bamboo can be planted without a rhizome barrier.

Planting grasses

The ideal planting time for grasses is in the spring or summer. Hardy varieties then have enough time to establish themselves well. When planting in beds, you should dig a sufficiently large hole in which to plant the grass. The planting depth corresponds approximately to the pot height. After planting, you should water the grass well and continue to water regularly (the amount of water needed depends on the type of grass). For shade grasses you should cover the ground with a layer of mulch. This keeps the moisture in the soil better.

Large grasses such as Miscanthus should receive a sufficiently sized planter when cultivated in a pot. This should be two to three times as large as the root ball. A drainage layer at the bottom prevents waterlogging. The potting soil should be adjusted to the nutrient requirements of each grass variety.

Most ornamental grasses grow clump-like or form only short rhizomes, which can be kept well in check. However, a rhizome barrier could be useful for giant miscanthus, especially near a garden pond (with foil) or a well-groomed lawn.

Maintaining grasses

If you buy grasses, you should know about their needs because the required nutrient content in the soil is very different. It is important to know that not every ornamental grass needs fertilisation. However, a miscanthus or pampas grass should be regularly supplied with nutrients. For this you can, for example, cover the soil around the plant with a mulch layer of compost. Other grasses such as the switch grass or Chinese fountain grass are happy with fertiliser, which they get in combination with shrubs anyway. Other species (e.g. fescue and feather grass) may not reap the rewards of fertiliser.  This is because the stability can be affected by too much nitrogen – although the grass gets a growth spurt, the plant tissue loses its stability and the grass falls apart in the end.

Winter protection

The majority of ornamental grasses planted in our gardens are hardy in our latitudes. However, if you buy grasses, you should be well informed as to whether they need special protection during the frosty season. The leaf crown of pampas grasses should be tied together in order to protect the delicate heart of the plant. Also fleece and brushwood in the soil area are recommended in this case. Summer green grasses usually have a natural winter protection through their dried leaves. Wintergreen grasses are grateful for protection against the winter sun in the form of brushwood or a thick layer of foliage.

Ornamental grasses in pots or containers should be insulated with bubble wrap or a coir mat and the planter should be placed on a wooden or styrofoam block.

Buying grasses – the right cut

When and how grasses are cut depends on whether they are wintergreen / evergreen or deciduous. With the summer green grasses, the old foliage should be eliminated only in the spring. Just before the fresh green appears, cut it off just above the ground. With winter green grasses, only the dead stems and frost-damaged leaves should be removed. Cutting can be omitted here completely.

With bamboo, you should pay attention to the special rules. Bamboos produce perennial canes that have reached their final height within one season. Each cane that is trimmed develops side shoots, but shows no further growth in length.

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