Companion plants for Karl Foerster grass include similar cluster ornamental grasses, vegetables, legumes, and even flowers. The trick to finding great companions is to use plants that complement features of the Karl Foerster or make up for features it may be lacking. 

Companion Plants for Karl Foerster Grass

‘Karl Foerster’ grass, or the Calamagrostis acutiflora, also known as feather reed grass, is a perennial ornamental plant that blooms from spring to fall and lasts through the winter. They combine well with other perennial grass, especially those that bloom in summer and fall.

👩🏻‍🎓 Scientific Reference

“Companion planting can maximize efficient use of space.”Oregon State University

A List of Beautiful Companions for Karl Foerster Grass

In selecting the best companions for Karl Foerster grass, we considered several questions; Is the Karl Foerster grass invasive? Preference of the Karl Foerster Grass, sun or shade? What’s the Karl Foerster Grass height? 

Aside from filling up your garden, when dealing with the issue of Calamagrostis Karl Foerster care, it’s advised that other complementary crops be planted to replenish the soil. Essentially looking for plants that perfectly complement the feather reed grass.

1. Rudbeckia

Lovers of variety during the fall find the Rudbeckia to be excellent companions for the Foerster grass owing to their similar growing conditions and colorful beauty during the fall.

Rudbeckia Radiant Yellow Petals

Rudbeckia is a yellow flower that grows best in water-retention soil and under plenty of sunlight, these are two most favored conditions that the Calamagrostis Foerster grass would happily grow next to. 

Rudbeckia flowers have a black cone-shaped center disc with radiant yellow petals. They blossom beautifully in fall, a season when the reed grass gives off its golden tan color.

Additionally, the Rudbeckia can be grown as a perennial or an annual plant. They can be an addition for the year, a season, or an additional beauty to your garden every year.

2. Maiden Grass Graccimilus

Maiden grass graccimilus is a fantastic plant to grow alongside your feather reed grass. It grows in a similar cluster to the reed grass, producing a flower similar to the golden tan produced by the Karl Foerster during autumn, the colors would go perfectly well together.

The Maiden grass Miscanthus sinensis

Note that if you’re a lover of slightly tall bushes that flourish foremost of the year, the maiden grass is an excellent addition to your garden.

3. Karley Rose Fountain Grass

The Karley Rose fountain grass is a perennial grass that produces its green foliage from spring and lasts through the winter. It’s mainly known for its Lilac colored flowers that present themselves from late spring till the first frost.

Karley Rose Fountain Grass Lilac Color

The Rose fountain grass, like the reed feather grass, is a resilient solid grass. To elaborate further, they both grow in clumps, although the rose fountain doesn’t grow as high as the Karl Foerster, stopping at about three feet

However, once established, the rose fountain grass is immune to droughts, making it an addition possible in areas known to experience drought. This aspect is why gardeners love to plant them next to each other. 

Essentially, the Karley rose is greatly similar to the Karl Foerster, save for the flowers they produce and the golden tan the Karl Foerster gives off in the fall. Growing the Karley Rose alongside the Karl Foerster is a fantastic way to add diversity when they give off their flowers.

4. Blonde Ambition

Bouteloua gracilis is also called Blonde ambition, colloquially known as the blue gamma in some cases, it is a popular grass known for its resilience to drought and straight horizontal blonde flowers.

Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition Grass

The blue gamma grows to a maximum height of about 32 inches and in a cluster of about similar width. It thrives within zones 4 to 7, remarkably similar to the reed feather grass. 

To give this plant its proper care, you must water three inches above the soil when it feels completely dry, but remember, again, that it is a resilient plant that would stay for a long period of time with this amount of water.

5. Hairy Vetch

The hairy vetch is an absolute favorite for people who love cover crops. When added to a garden with Reed grass, they turn the yard into a paradise of colors.

Hairy Vench Companion Plants for Karl Foerster Grass

If you’re worried about nutrition for your Reed grass, the hairy vetch is a great companion. One great benefit of the hairy vetch is the legume property, meaning the legumes are good crops to use in replenishing the soil’s nitrogen, an essential element for growing healthy crops.

Another attractive feature of the hairy vetch is its purple flowers that bloom in spring. While waiting for the golden flowers that mark the Foerster in late summer and fall, Spring can be colorful with the hairy vetch. The latter will assure a colorful garden is possible to stay thriving for most of the year.

6. Spinach

Vegetables are an excellent addition to any garden. They grow in their own unique yet beautiful way and bring extra value other than just beautification.

Spinach Leafy Green Vegetable

Spinach is a water-loving vegetable that covers the ground or creeps on platforms where possible. If you have a fence and you’d love to have some green features on the fence, in addition to the Reed garden, spinach readily compliments Karl Foerster.

Do you have a beautiful yard and want something to go well with the Ferster grass you’ve planted or envision planting? Try spinach, because it is a leafy green vegetable that adds more than just beauty. Spinach also provides food, which is an excellent benefit for planting.

7. Peas

Peas have become a must-have addition on the subject of edible and soil-nourishing additions. However, it is key to keep in mind that the feather reed grass is known for its clustered nature. While they can be planted to cover a garden, they seldom are planted in such a way. 

Peas Sun Loving Plants

Often they are planted in rows or on patches in a yard, the space in between becomes a question for many yards and garden owners; however, this is where peas become a beautiful addition.

Peas are cover crops and readily take up free space when available. Like feather-reed grass, they thrive from spring to autumn as sun-loving plants. These greens are great companions for feather reeds if you’re wondering what to occupy the bare area in your garden.

In addition to being great cover crops, peas replenish the soil’s nitrogen, a feature akin to legumes. Add that to the fact that peas are assets to consider is that they have the same amount of watering needs, they don’t like to watered constantly.

8. Chrysanthemums

Looking to leverage on the golden tan of Karl Foerster during the fall, consider planting Chrysanthemums, colloquially called Mums. They blossom beautifully during the fall and come in a plethora of colors, they would grow and thrive from two to three feet tall in the same garden.

Chrysanthemums Colorful Flowers Mums

One beautiful way to add Mums to a Karl Foerster garden is to employ flower pots. They allow you to explore several positions as often as you’d like. Also, many people who use cluster grass enjoy cluster flowers, making Mums an easy choice. 

In summary, if you’re looking to add an abundance of  colors to your garden or explore the colorful expression of Karl Foerster during the Fall, Mums are the choice for you.

In addition, Mums come as both annuals and perennials, similar to Karl Foerster. Whether you’re just trying out options for the year or looking for long-term plants, hence, they make excellent companions for the beloved reed grass.

9. Liatris

The Liatris, commonly called the gayfeather or the blazing star, is a flowering plant adored for its lilac-colored and uniquely patterned flowers. The height greatly varies between 12 to 60 inches, depending on specie, nutrition, and the presence of flowers.

Liatris Gayfeather Flowers Bloom

The Liatris grows as a cluster plant and easily blends with the Feather reed grass. What makes the Liatris a beautiful companion is its similar flower color. For a person who loves theme colors in different styles, the Liatris allows you to explore summer with lilac while enjoying the golden color of autumn with your reed grass.

The Liatris and the reed grass together would grow well and offer their rich foliage color when not advertising their flowers. To clarify the notion, it means that they can be planted together and maintained simultaneously, while two color themes in different seasons; a bright way to liven your yard.

In addition, once established, the Liatris survives winter in the form of corms. You need not worry about special preparations to help them survive each year, bcause during spring season, your Liatris is ready to bloom again.

10. Elijah Blue Fescue

The Elijah Blue Fescue, Festuca glauca, is an ornamental grass that thrives through the winter, which is the key reason that makes them great companions to the Foerster is the golden yellow color of their flowers. 

Elijah Blue Fescue Festuca glauca Ornamental Grass

The Elijah blue fescue has green foliage similar to the Karl Foerster grass, blending beautifully in a garden with feather reed grass. The beauty comes in winter when the Karl Foerster stops blooming, and the Elijah blue fescue comes to the rescue. It is a beautiful transition from the Golden tan the feather reed grass produces during late summer and fall.

It’s an attractive choice for people who love the tan color without really disrupting the green foliage Karl Foerster gives the garden or yard. They also offer a great option when considering curb appeal, in addition to being used to add colors to curbs or be used as curbs themselves.

11. Maiden Grass Miscanthus

The Maiden grass, Miscanthus sinensis, is similar to the maiden grass, graccimilus, and the reason why they are perfect companions is that they both grow as cluster grass and produce flowers with colors identical to the reed feather grass. What distinguishes the miscanthus from the graccimilus is its feathery flower, even during the winter. 

The Maiden grass Miscanthus sinensis

The miscanthus blends perfectly with the Karl Foerster during the year and maintains the golden tan color the Foerster produces during the fall into the winter. Overall, note that it makes a great addition when going with the golden tan theme for your yard or garden, as the colors complement and make it look very warm.


Several questions come into play when selecting companion plants for Karl Foerster crops. We’ve listed 11 plants that perfectly complement the Karl Foerster grass. Some plants complement the feather reed grass during summer and autumn, while others help fill in the space during the winter and even spring. 

From other grasses to legumes, depending on preference and the Karl Foerster grass spacing you choose, several companion plants are available– which do you prefer? 

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