Ornamental grasses for zone 6 can be stressful if you are not an expert in gardening. This zone of the USA has moderate temperatures with chilly winters and hot summers, which requires carefully choosing plants that are adaptable to the climate.
Keeping that in mind, that these are the best ornamental grasses for your landscape so that gardening seems fun to you, so keep reading.
List of the 10 Best Ornamental Grasses
1. Karl Foerster
We have selected Karl Foester as the first ornamental grass on our list because it’s a cold hardy instance that grows best near moisturized areas, including ponds or lakes. These are, obviously, the perfect criteria to be the plant of zone 6 that has a mild temperature.
It has Green flower with yellow leaves blooms in early summer, midsummer, late summer, and early fall, along with early and mid-winter, which means it will keep beautifying your garden throughout the year.
Karl Foerster feather reed grass, scientifically known as Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ as this grass is a perfect garden accent that grows lean and vertically and produces feathery red-bronze plumes, which stay available throughout the year. This perennial grass grows five to six feet tall and can be wide up to 24 and 36 Inches.
It is a low-maintenance grass, that doesn’t require much attention and care. You have to plant it in a slightly sunny part but be careful so that it doesn’t get exposed to full sun all day as it doesn’t require so much sunlight.
This grass needs regular water, especially when the weather is hot, as the water will keep it fresh looking, remember that this grass is not drought-resilient when growing but can outlive short drought.
2. Feather Reed Grass
The Feather reed grass is also known as avalanche, and it is another mind-blowing ornamental grass that works nicely as a garden accent. This clumping grass grows to 18 to 36 inches in height. However, it can be as tall as four feet when its flower plumes bloom completely and touch the maximum size in summer.
This grass is called feather reed because its plumes are soft and feathery. With the green foliage having white stripes at the center, it showcases pinkish-green flowers, sufficient to decorate your garden.
Another advantage of cultivating this grass is taking care of Avalanche feather reed grass is not complicated or hard.
You have to plant it in a place covered by full sun. Besides, soil with average nutrition is fine for growing grass. But if the soil is rich with the necessary moisture, it will be best for its growth.
Keep in mind that when taking care of this grass, it needs to be watered enough, and you must even water it during the first season you planted this ornamental grass, resulting in deep roots under the soil.
Moreover, Avalanches will need watering during the other seasons of its life, especially in the hot and dry seasons. Cutting the Avalanche in late winter, before the new shoots initiate to show up, is a part of taking care of it.
The scientific name of Eldorado grass is Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Eldorado’ which also belongs to the feather reed grass family and is a perfect choice for your garden, being one of the most eye-catching ornamental grasses.
This grass has narrow leaves with gold stripes and plumy plumes of pale purple, which materializes in midsummer, and receives the bright wheat color in fall and winter. This is a strong, cold-resilient plant works fine as it grows perfectly well in the mild weather that the zone 6 provides.
This clump-forming and straight grass can be up to four to six feet tall and doesn’t cover your garden on its own by self-producing in a large amount.
Planting the grass is possible in a wide range of regions, from prairie gardens to rock gardens or in your house’s flower beds, making Eldorado popular among gardeners.
Since zone 6 has warm summers, the full sunlight would help the grass to grow to its full potential. However, being in extreme heat makes it requires afternoon shade, and a well-drained soil is also necessary for this grass. On the other hand, digging in the small pebbles or sand can solve the problem if your soil doesn’t have enough drainage capability.
Eldorado needs water frequently during its first year, but then, it would help if you watered it every couple of weeks in average weather. But it will demand more water and moisture to thrive during a sizzling, arid climate. Eldorado doesn’t usually need fertilizer, so taking care of the grass is easy, and you should go for it.
4. Korean Feather Grass
Korean feather grass with a narrow clumping feature resembling the climate of zone 6 comes to our list due to its plumes with the flower’s beauty which will embellish your lawn or garden perfectly.
Scientifically called Calamagrostis brachytricha, this grass is ideal for the hardiness zone 6 and it could even be found in the zones 4 to 9. Though native to moderate Asia, this warm-season grass doesn’t hate moisture like most ornamental grasses.
The pond and other water-rich areas are the best for planting this grass. Rainfall and irrigation help the grass to grow as well. This hardy plant prefers light afternoon shade instead of full sun to grow healthy.
It grows most during spring through summer, you have to manage a little to complete shade for the healthy growth of grass. The grass can survive full sun as long as it receives sufficient moisture, but the soil needs to be moist and fertile.
This piled-up-sized feather reed grass reaches only three to four feet in height. Its leaves get dimmed yellow while blooming at first, but fluffy pink flowers come up in late summer.
With time, the seeds of the grass ripen, and its plumes tan gradually and offer food for the wild birds. Overall, Korean feather reed grass creates a unique view when planted in large amounts, and surprisingly, it can be grown in containers as well and works just fine.
5. Porcupine Grass
Porcupine is one of the most suitable ornamental grasses for you if you are a gardener of zone 6. This arching grass, with a wonderful look with the blade with golden banding, is a warm-season plant that cannot survive frosty temperatures.
Porcupine maiden grass is scientifically called Miscanthus Sinensis ‘Strictus’ and belongs to the Miscanthus family. This low-maintenance plant is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 to 9, and it is best in zone 6.
Note that it can thrive in full sun and restricted shade. Regarding soil, it can flourish in both moderately moist and even flooded ground; however, salt in the areas detrimental to the plant, and advised not to plant in coastal areas.
Its lovely foliage carries horizontal golden bands and creates a bronze color inflorescence, which increases the beauty of your garden. Porcupine reaches six to nine feet in height and when you plant them in clustered groups, ensure to plant the grass far from each other, at least 36 to 60 inches. Then, you will get the most satisfactory outcome for your grass.
6. Zebra Grass
Zebra grass, scientifically called Miscanthus Sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ is native to Japan and a popular ornamental grass among zone 6 gardeners. This perennial grass perishes back in winter, in other words, from late summer till early winter season.
The grass presents unique seasonal beauties that include four seasons of appeal: youthful spring, varicolored striped foliage in spring, the copper spike in summer, golden foliage in fall, and a charming finish in winter.
Being up to six feet tall, as this ornamental grass presents extensive curved foliage with attractive stripes over the width, a soothing view to your garden.
Keep in mind that it needs to be planted in a sunny or partially bright spot for healthy growth and requires moist soils. However, full-grown can survive short terms of drought. Zebra grass planting is possible in every location lays between USDA zones 5 to 9, but it is best in zone 6.
The plant can thrive in containers, but you have to water it more than the plants growing in the open area. In addition, fertilizers are needed in spring, and organic plant food should be given to the plant. Cutting back the spikes in fall or spring is also mandatory for proper growth.
Adagio is a splendid ornamental grass for your zone 6 garden due to its tolerance for various conditions, including a freezing situation to drought.
This low-maintenance maiden grass has a prolonged blooming duration that showcases plenty of charming airy plumes which are feathery and pinkish that fade away to white with time. This curved grass can be tall up to three to four feet. The grass’s foliage contains thin blades of silver-green, and the grass is also called Chinese or Japanese silver grass because of it.
The foliage of Adagio becomes orange, golden, and mixed red and purple in the fall. To get Adagio in the proper growth, you have to provide it full sun to part shade. But a minimum of six hours of sunlight will be needed for the plant to grow properly.
However, it doesn’t have many issues with soil. It can grow in moist clay to dry, sandy soil. Though Adagio performs best in damp areas, the plant can survive short spans of drought as well, which makes taking care of the grass easy.
8. Blue Oat Grass
Blue Oat is a perennial grass, scientifically known as Helictotrichon sempervirens, which is native to Europe and can be a great choice to adorn your garden, being one of the most attractive ornamental grasses. This plant is thick and clumping and possesses blue-green leaves, which are half an inch wide and narrower down to an end.
It presents beautiful flowers from the head of the narrowed blue or green foliage colored with golden, oat-like seed heads. Pale fawn panicles grow between June and August, eventually achieving a light brown color within fall.
Blue oat grass maintains its attractive light brown fall color through the winter. It is cool season grass and perfect for United States Department of Agriculture zones 6.
The grass prefers moist and well-drained soil and requires full to part shade. Remember that fertile soil is better for grass growth, but if the soil is sandy and contains heavy clay, less fertile soil will also suffice.
Nonetheless, the Blue Oat Grass is up to two feet in height, and unlike other grasses, it does not extend through rhizomes or stolons, making it a less intrusive option for the landscape. For this reason, many like to have this ornamental grass on their grounds.
9. Chinese Silver Grass
Chinese Silver Grass, scientifically known as Miscanthus Sinensis, or the Eulalia is genuinely hardy for USD zones 6, and some cultivars of it specifically work only in zone 6. Native to eastern Asia, which means China, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, this ornamental grass is a great choice for fall and winter gardening.
As it is almost pest and disease free and needs minimal maintenance, this clump-forming grass is one of the most popular ornamental grasses among gardeners to beautify and strengthen their landscapes.
There are wide varieties of miscanthus sinesis, among which some can be as small as 32 inches, and some can be as tall as eight feet. Its breezy flower plumes bloom in late summer or early fall with the color of pale silver to deep purple like red which is soothing for the eyes.
Chinese silver grass thrives in moist soil but can survive even the solid with a well-draining system along with sandy ground to mud. It grows in both full sun and fragments of shadow, but the touch of the direct sun makes it less flowering.
10. Fountain Grass
Fountain grass, scientifically called Pennisetum, is an evergreen widespread perennial grass native to tropical and hot temperate areas like Asia, Africa, and Australia. Because of having the spray of its foliage, it gets a fountain-like look which plays a vital role in its name.
As the clumpy grass, it becomes invasive and relieving to plant, and many people love to grow it on the border sides of their pathways. This grass with pink, purple, and tan colored little flowers holds a mesmerizing show of beautiful leaves in fall, and winter is the last inclusion as the best ornamental grass on our list.
Fountain grass requires sunlight and gets cultivated best in warm weather where temperatures stay between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. However, many cultivars survive chilling conditions and can need partial shade despite loving the full sun.
Fountain grass can be tall from 12 inches to three feet long, according to its different types. A dwarf fountain grass called Hameln (P. alopecuroides ”Hameln”) is very common in the Fountain Grass family.
On the other hnd, its flowers look like fox tails and bloom from late summer until the fall. Fountain grass blooms sooner than the other grasses, making it desirable to gardeners who have a short period to grow their plants.
Now, you know plenty of charming and useful ornamental grasses you can plant in your landscape as a gardener living in zone 6. You can plant one ornamental grass or grow more than one; just be careful about their maintenance and supervision.
However, they demand a specific amount of sunlight, water, and distinctive featured soil. If you can provide these to your grasses, it will assist in their proper growth and extend the magnificence of your garden.
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