Festuca glauca “Elijah Blue,” recognized for its lovely blue leaves, is one of the most dependable fescues. It grows in small clusters that are less than one foot tall, which emphasizes its brilliant blue color.
One of the most appealing characteristics of this cool-season ornamental grass is that it retains its color throughout the winter.
I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this cultivar today.
Festuca glauca, sometimes simply called “Elijah blue,” is a beautiful grass that was introduced at The Plantage Nursery on Long Island, New York. Lois Woodhull named the cultivar after Elijah Lane, the location of her nursery.
This evergreen clumping ornamental grows to be 8 to 10 inches tall, which is smaller than many other varieties of blue fescue. It has a soft silver-blue tint and thrives throughout cooler weather.
“Elijah blue” can tolerate temperatures as low as USDA Zone 4.
Care and Maintenance
When planting as a ground cover, space the clumps 8 to 10 inches apart because they do not spread out very much. If they are too far apart, weeds may grow between them.
Elijah Blue is more heat-resistant than most other Blue Fescues and should be planted in a sunny location. However, direct summer sun can burn the grass, so carefully plan where to grow it.
The grass needs moist, well-draining soil to thrive. It is drought tolerant once established, though it may turn brown during the hottest months of the summer. Avoid overwatering during the growing season.
In early spring, trim the clumps to encourage the production of new leaf blades. Prune back the foliage to 3 to 4 inches.
Clumps die off in the middle over time, so it will be necessary to split, transplant, or replace them every two to three years.
How to Use It in Landscapes
Festuca glauca is the most attractive grass for small areas. Its silver-blue color and exquisite texture make it popular in Asian gardens and drought-resistant landscaping. It is most commonly found around rock gardens, landscaping rocks, and dry streambeds.
It works well as a formal edging plant or as a mass groundcover.
Consider combining Festuca glauca with some of the plants listed below to create a stunning design appeal.
Lavandula x allardii (Lavender)
Lavandula x allardii “Meerlo” (Lavender) is a compact upright growing evergreen subshrub with fragrant, somewhat serrated, thin, light gray-green leaves bordered with a gorgeous light-yellow-to-cream variegation that grows 2 to 3 feet tall and almost as wide.
The fragrant, light lavender-blue blooms appear in mid-summer on 14- to 18-inch-tall stalks that tower high above the leaves. Even though it only blooms once and isn’t particularly prolific, the individual flowers are larger than those of other kinds of lavender. The gorgeous foliage more than makes up for the short flowering time.
Steokesia laevis is a low-growing perennial that reaches a height of 12 to 18 inches and has clusters of dark-green, lance-shaped leaves.
The flower heads are 3 to 4 inches wide, with deeply split blue rays and prominent blue blooms.
Cuban oregano is a drought-tolerant and succulent plant. It has a succulent-like stem with new development, which provides more delicate green stems.
Cuban oregano leaves are spherical, thick, and velvety and grow in pairs around the stem. New growth has a delicate green color, which matches this variety’s green leaves. Although the leaves have serrated edges, other varieties have more deeply toothed borders and also more color overall.
The herbaceous plant Bleeding Heart has delicate, fleshy roots that grow in loose, bushy clusters up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet broad. The reddish new leaf emerges from the ground early in the spring, and the plants quickly develop to become one of the earliest blooming perennials.
The heart-shaped pendant blooms are 1 to 2 inches long, and each puffy bloom has two rose-pink outer petals and two white inner petals, with a white, protruding stamen.
Nepeta x fassenii
Nepeta faassenii is a sterile perennial horticultural hybrid of the catmint family (Nepeta racemosa x N. nepetella). It forms a spreading cluster of decumbent, ascending, and upright stems that can grow to be 18 to 24 inches tall and 36 inches broad. The lavender-blue blossoms and gray-green foliage smell strongly of lavender.