11 Evergreen Ornamental Grasses to Consider Growing

Evergreen ornamentals are great additions to residential landscaping. Which ones should you consider growing?

Ornamental grasses and grass-like plants are popular in residential landscaping because of their resilience. They are also attractive and come in a range of colors, textures, and sizes.

The term “evergreen” does not always imply that the plant is always green. The word refers to any plant that maintains the same color throughout the year.

To keep your beautiful grass evergreen, you must keep it healthy. A weak plant will have trouble withstanding severely hot or cold conditions and will go into survival mode. When this happens, the leaves can wither or discolor.

During the fall and winter seasons, when most plants change color, evergreen plants remain the same. They are perfect for elevated areas and containers.

1. Carex or Sedge

Sedge is a shade-loving, typically evergreen plant with a texture that blends in with most other plants. Many species are also suitable for more basic landscaping functions, like as borders in a forest garden.

Sedges are valued for their thin variegated leaves and for their contribution to the local ecosystem as a provider of food and shelter to birds and insects.

There are approximately 2,000 carex species native to the different areas of the world, so you have a lot to choose from. Despite its tolerance of neglect, most carex thrive better when grown in a humid environment.

Sedge grass at the corners of the house

2. Mondo Grass

Mondo grass is also known as monkey grass. It’s a perennial that can be used as a groundcover or as a single plant. It can grow in a variety of soil and light conditions.

This grass is an excellent choice for any garden. Use it to line flower beds and provide depth and a groomed appearance to your landscape. 

This variety is tough, robust, and resilient to all types of weather. It only requires water to survive.

This low-maintenance plant will thrive all year if conditions are favorable. The roots spread quickly, so it can easily grow in shady areas of the garden.

mondo grass in a plastic pot

3. Pampas Grass

Pampas grass (cortaderia) can be found in many gardens. Most people recognize the large clusters of thick, grass-like leaves and creamy white feathery plumes.

It is hardy and attractive, making it a great choice for gardeners wishing to add texture to rough terrain. Its dried leaves give floral arrangements a light, airy touch.

Cortaderia works nicely in a setting with other contrasting perennial grasses to create depth. In 5 years, it can grow to a height of 13 feet and a width of 8 feet, making it an ideal choice for adding height to your flowerbeds.

pampas grass abundantly growing in an open field

4. Gold Variegated Sweet Flag

The gold variegated sweet flag is a semi-evergreen plant that works well for edging and as a groundcover. It also grows well in pots indoors. 

The fragrant sword-like blades in butter yellow and green stand out from the surrounding foliage. This plant boasts typical philodendron blossoms that can be utilized in fresh or dry flower arrangements.

Sweet flag does not grow well in dry conditions, but it can survive in full sun or shade as long as there is enough water. This plant grows quickly and is deer resistant!

For a cleaner appearance, remove the old leaves in the spring before new growth begins.

gold variegated sweet flag grass

5. Pheasant’s Tail Grass

Pheasant’s tail is a lovely grass that adds color, motion, and structure to the garden throughout the year. The plant moves with the slightest breeze, adding to the vitality of the garden. 

It has arching, graceful, thin, silky dark green leaves that turn brown with magnificent orange-red streaks as winter approaches.

Small, fluffy panicles of purple-green flowers bloom in the middle to late summer and hang close to the ground. They turn reddish-brown as they mature, and the seeds that develop attract seed-eating birds.

The color deepens even more throughout the year’s colder months, producing a stunning overall effect.

little bush of an orange pheasant tail grass

6. Tufted Hair Grass

Tufted hairgrass is a green-blue grass with thin, hair-like blades that grow in clusters. It grows well in both partial shade and full sun. 

Even after the florets have turned to seed, the foliage still wonderfully reflects the late afternoon sunlight. It is only 12 inches tall and wide, making it an excellent choice for compact urban gardens. 

This plant is especially well-suited to container plantings, where it provides texture and color all season while elegantly overflowing over pot edges. 

Plant tufted hairgrass in large quantities as a low-maintenance, high-impact groundcover. The flower and fruit display is stunning throughout the summer and into the fall.

Tufted grass in between the hexagon shaped tiles

7. Blue Fescue

Blue fescue plants are mound-forming perennials used as accent and display plants in front of borders and rock gardens.

They are beautiful in the spring and fall because they are cool-season grasses. The blue flowers complement cool-toned flowers while softening bright-toned ones.

The older leaves adhere to the plant and distract attention from the brilliant colors. To keep its beautiful appearance, comb out the withered leaves with your fingertips.

Blue fescue grass in an orange pot

8. Blue Oat GrassĀ 

Blue oat grass is a clump-forming cool-season grass with steel-blue leaves. This is a beautiful plant that looks excellent in any garden.

The dense, bristly tufts form an attractive decorative plant. This variety looks similar to blue fescue but grows taller and has stronger blades.

Blue oat grass looks beautiful planted in a cluster alongside a sidewalk or in front of a shrub boundary.

This small ornamental grass has a distinct color and texture that is mirrored by only a few other plants. It’s a lovely addition to perennial borders, especially when paired with plants that sport green foliage.

small bushes of a blue oat grass

9. Autumn Moor Grass

Autumn moor grass (sesleria autumnalis) is a cool-season semi-evergreen grass that grows aggressively in the spring and fall.

The grass is sensitive but adaptable. When the summer heat has passed, slightly faded leaves regain the strong, vivid green foliage color of the previous spring.

Beautiful creamy white inflorescences on 18-inch stems quickly follow. These blossoms turn a golden brown color late in the fall and continue into winter, adding to their charm.

10. Giant Feather Grass

Giant feather grass is an eye-catching addition to any sunny garden. In warm areas, it is evergreen that prefers mild summers and winters.

This grass grows a cluster of gray-green leaves at the base and incredibly long, arching stems of brown flower spikes that bloom all summer and into the winter.

The sound of the wind passing through the leaves is similar to the sound of ocean waves. This low-maintenance plant looks great in groups or as a centerpiece because of its decorative qualities.

Gian feather grass as ornamental in the garden

11. Rush

Rushes are grass-like plants also known as common rush, mat rush, and soft rush. Despite the lack of leaves, the stems are stunning: tall, cylindrical green, and silky.

Common rush can grow to reach 4 feet in height, and its erect posture stands out in the landscape. It adds architectural interest wherever it is planted.

Because of its tolerance of wet conditions, rushes are commonly used for stormwater control. It grows in bogs, marshes, and swamps and is native to temperate regions all around the world.

soft rush grass with blooming pink flowers
Jeffrey Douglas
Jeffrey Douglas own a landscaping company and has been in the business for over 20 years. He loves all things related to lawns or gardens and believes that proper maintenance is the key to preventing problems in the first place.
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