The Best Decorative Grasses for Florida Landscapes—Commercial and Residential
If you’ve ever read any of our blog posts, you probably can recognize that we’ve got a pretty you-do-you attitude when it comes to landscape for commercial and residential properties. Don’t get us wrong, we’re here to offer all the information we possibly can to help you make the landscaping decisions that are efficient, effective, and exceptional for your specific circumstance, but at the end of the day, we’re all about you finding something that makes you happy.
Normally, we’d describe ourselves as pretty un-opinionated about the specifics of your landscape (we’ll give you all the input you want—happily—but if you love something, we encourage you to go for it).
That being said, when it comes down to the lawn, groundcover, and turf selections, you can bet your grass that we’ve got opinions. Especially when we’re talking about ornamental or decorative grasses in Florida. Why? Because Florida, as everyone who lives in the state comes to know and understand, is its own little unique breed of weird-but-wonderful-climate where some flora, grasses, fauna and more will grow beautifully but some are bound to wither and die within a few days of being planted. Blame it on our wild, Florida weather, right?
At Landcrafters, we’re all about helping you create a sustainable, efficient, affordable, and effective landscape—that’s why we give a root about your ornamental grass.
What Exactly is Decorative Grass?
If you’re reading this article and thinking to yourself, “ornamental grass, huh? Never heard of it.” Don’t fret. You have, you’ve just likely never heard it called decorative or ornamental grass. Think of this type of grass as anything that’s not turf, essentially. So, grasses with long, narrow foliage or grass-like perennials. Sometimes, ornamental or decorative grasses look like huge bushes!
Overall, decorative grass is eye-catching, doesn’t need to be mowed, and are typically added to a landscape to make it more interesting. They come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, too (that’s right, if you want some pink ornamental grass, we can make that happen for you).
If we’re getting really technical, ornamental grass falls into four main families—sedges, reeds, rushes, and true grasses. They—of course—all work differently, look differently, and require different care. (Because why would anything ever be easy, right?)
Of course, not every type of decorative grass that exits in the wide world of grasses is going to fit in with your landscape. Why? Because Florida, that’s why.
So, we’ve done something that we consider to be super valuable (and even if you’re not in the market for ornamental grasses at the moment, humor us and pretend you find it valuable because we are insanely passionate about this)—we’ve listed out a few of the best decorative grasses for Florida properties!
The best news of all? This applies to everyone—residential landscaping, commercial landscape, the garden in your backyard, the lobby of your swanky hotel. No matter who you are and no matter why you’re beefing up your decorative grass game, these recommendations are for you.
The Best Decorative Grasses for Florida Landscapes
Enough beating around the bush (which, yes, is a total play on words since we’re a landscaping company, let us have our fun)—let’s talk ornamental grass types!
Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably seen Muhly Grass. This gorgeous—and colorful—ornamental grass is native to Florida and has gorgeous purple-to-pink plumes that puff up in the fall! Overall, this grass is relatively tiny (it won’t grow over 3-4 feet high) and does best in partial sun. The best news? It’s a Florida grass through and through because it’s salt-tolerant, great for drought, and won’t wither if there’s a random cold snap in the winter.
Who doesn’t love the amazing smell of lemongrass? This gorgeous plant is more than just a scent satisfier—it’s a beautiful looking ornament grass, too! This bad boy grows up to 6 feet tall, will seed itself, and needs open areas to grow its best—in other words, it requires a little extra TLC. That being said, you’re not just getting a gorgeous ornamental grass—you’re getting that, plus a delicious smelling addition to your landscape that can be used in teas, food recipes, and drinks! (Disclaimer, some ornamental grasses—like this one—can be sharp!)
Red, white, purple—fountain grass is available in several distinct colors. No matter what shade you prefer, this ornamental grass is bound to be a consistent addition to your landscape. Fountain grass is cold hardy and will be an exceptional little pop of texture to your landscape that won’t grow too large. In fact, the tallest it gets is up to 3-4 feet, and there are even dwarf varieties available, too (if you want something just a teensy bit smaller).
White Fountain Grass is slender and green with delicate white inflorescences. This grass grows best when there’s colder temperatures (toward the Florida winter), and you can typically tell when the plant is going dormant by a change in color on the blades (they’ll turn slightly yellow). Red, or Purple, Fountain Grass looks incrementally different than its white counterpart. This grass does exceptionally well in grass and forms tidy, dense clumps of red-to-purple blades that are topped with rose-colored plumes. It’s great for a quick splash of color in even the toughest of climates!
Superfine, dreamy, and slow growing, this grass is often described as an ornamental grass that looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale. Sure, this plant may require just a little more thought when it comes to placement (it’s not going to thrive if it’s too wet or too dry), but the super-fine-fluffiness of it makes it so worth the work!
Got a retention or detention pond in your area? Bust out the Sand Cordgrass. This plant grows quickly, looks beautiful, and is excellent when it comes to filtration. It does super well when its roots are wet, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t tolerate drought, as well! It’s also (in our opinion) pretty dang cool looking!
If you’re seeking out something super big to fill your space, this ornamental grass could be the ticket! It grows over 7 feet in height and spreads its width just as far, too. It’s sharp (like the lemongrass we mentioned) and can oftentimes be spotted with pink plumes!
Dwarf Fakahatchee Grass
Also called Florida Gamagrass, this Florida native is easy to grow and is incredibly low maintenance. Another excellent feature? It’s tolerant to both wet soil conditions and draught. We know what you’re thinking—is this the perfect Florida grass? The answer: Uh, yeah, pretty much.
Made it through the entirety of this article? Muchos grass-ias (aren’t you glad you stuck around for that horrendous joke? We certainly are). If you’re ready to get this decorative-grass-show on the road. At Landcrafters, not only can we get you any plant you desire, but we can also help suggest even more plants that could look perfect in your yard or commercial space. We’ll integrate your selected plants, greenery, and ornamental grass seamlessly so it blends with your existing landscape design, or, we’ll help you with the design concept entirely from scratch! Let us help you turn your wildest landscape dreams into gorgeous realities! Give us a call at (727)-201-3947 to chat about your landscape, your options, and more! Looking for a little more inspo? Check out our regularly updated blog here for tips, tricks, advice, and more that can help you create the ultimate landscape!
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