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Festuca - Fescue

Schwingel kaufen

If you buy a fescue, you will receive an easy-care, wintergreen ornamental grass for a modern garden. It is above all the fescue foliage that offers countless possibilities in terms of design. Characteristic of the plant are the dense, cushion-shaped clumps and thin, tightly rolled or hair-shaped leaves.

The location of a fescue(genus Festuca) should be warm and rather sparse because the ideal rock garden inhabitants are often found in nature on inhospitable gravel lawns and rocky surfaces. A big advantage of this grass is that it can cope with little water. In a suitable sunny or partially shaded site, the Festuca species literally thrives: in early summer, filigree flower spikes hover over slender blades above the elegant leafy centre of the plant, which often persist for a long time. The blade colours are particularly intense when the location is right.

Individually or in small groups, fescue provides a beautiful structure in the garden and of course also in planters of all kinds.  Especially in rock or heather gardens, in prairie plantings and even on green roofs, the grasses with their grey-green or bluish blades provide a great effect. On larger areas, some low-lying varieties make the perfect ground cover, as they form dense mats. Along paths, they hide unsightly edges and serve as ornamental bedding borders.

Fescues for beautiful accents

In our Lubera® assortment you will find different kinds of fescue and varieties with different foliage colours and heights, all of which shine as foliage perennials. Thanks to the calm charisma and the subtle play of hues of the fescue grasses, these can be combined well with shrubs or semi-shrubs that require similar site conditions. In terms of colour, the combination of lavender, Russian sage and blue fescue is particularly striking.

• The cushion-forming varieties such as the bearskin fescue (Festuca gautieri) or the varieties of the blue fescue (Festuca glauca) reach 15 to 30 centimetres in height. Festuca gautieri, also called bearskin fescue, thrives in partially shaded site where it produces dense mats. It is ideal for underplanting bright deciduous shrubs or even as a lawn substitute – its fresh green foliage is an eye-catcher all year round. The variety 'Pic Carlit' is a real miniature in the Fescue genus with its particularly low height.

• The tufted fescue (Festuca amethystina), has bluish green blades that turn a magnificent copper brown to purple colour in autumn as well as violet-coloured flower spikes. This variety grows up to 45 inches high.

• The imposing Atlas fescue (Festuca mairei) displays an arched, overhanging growth and can reach up to 100 centimetres in height and width. With its dense leaf crown, it is ideal as a solitary grass or for group plantings.

   
 
Festuca amethystina

Tufted fescue, hair fescue

Instead of: £3.40 * From £3.10 *

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No image available Festuca Cinerea Hybrid 'Azurit'

Blue fescue

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Festuca Cinerea Hybrid 'Uchte'

Blue fescue

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Festuca gautieri 'Pic Carlit'

Bearskin fescue

Instead of: £3.60 * From £3.30 *

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Festuca mairei

Maire's fescue, atlas fescue

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Buying fescue – worth knowing

The ornamental grasses from the genus Festuca form filigree leafy clumps. This genus includes about 200 species, which are very rich in form; in Central Europe there are more than 25 native species. Among them are deciduous and evergreen grasses. The red fescue, for example, is a forage grass and often part of lawn mixtures. Many fescues can be found on nutrient-poor, dry grasslands. The blue and bearskin fescues are native to southern France and northern Spain, the Atlas fescue grows in the Moroccan mountains, and the tufted fescue is found in the forests of south-eastern Europe.

Fescues like to sow themselves and require cross-pollination. If you want a permanent stock, you should choose only one species or variety for your garden.

The right location and soil

If you want to buy and plant a fescue, very nutrient-rich, loamy soil should be made permeable or lean using sand, split or gravel. The garden fescue species and varieties love permeable and sandy soils in a sunny or partially shaded location. The planting site should generally be protected from wetness and winter sun. Otherwise the grass can lose its typical leaf colour and become unsightly.

Especially the bearskin fescue likes to grow in a partially shaded site. This species thrives on fresh, nutrient-poor soils that have good water drainage.

If in a container, the soil should be rather dry, well-drained and nutrient-poor. Again, it is advisable to mix a standard bucket of soil with a little sand. A lower layer of expanded clay or pebbles in the planter ensures good drainage.

Planting fescue

In the planting hole, it is advisable to create a drainage layer of gravel, so that no waterlogging arises. You can also add some mature compost. Although a fescue forms beautiful mats, you should not plant it too densely. Make sure that the plants do not touch above ground. Brown spots would be the result.

Maintaining fescue

A fescue usually does not have to be fertilised or watered in the garden. Only in extreme drought should you water, do not let the root ball completely dry out (even in the winter). About every three years, you should divide the clumps in order to prevent bareness; older clumps often die in the middle. In this way, the plant can be well propagated. It is best to make the division in early spring. If you don’t want the grass to reseed itself, the flowers can be removed in time.

Cutting fescue

If you buy and plant a fescue, a near-surface cut in the spring or summer is conducive to maintaining the beautiful leaf colour. Do not cut in the autumn so as not to endanger the natural winter protection of the grasses.

Winter protection for fescue

If you buy a fescue, it is hardy and shows its beauty in every gardening season. If the location is not too frosty, the easy-care ornamental grass keeps its leaf colour in the winter and does not die off. You may want to protect Festuca from the winter sun with a light cover (fleece or brushwood). A planter can be insulated with bubble wrap and placed on a wooden or styrofoam block.

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