Blue Oat Grass

Blue Oat Grass Overview

Description Blue oat grass boasts one of nature's most elusive plant colors along with panicles of brownish spikelets in fall that reach far above the foliage. Add this elegant, ornamental specimen to a cottage garden to offer a cool contrast to warm green foliage and bright blossoms. Plant it in a rock garden and enjoy the soft blue hue among the browns and grays. Nestle it in a contemporary garden to gain its standout color and texture. Plus, this tough ornamental grass is easy to grow and resistant to deer, drought, and even air pollution.
Genus Name Helictotrichon sempervirens
Common Name Blue Oat Grass
Plant Type Perennial
Light Sun
Height 1 to 3 feet
Width 2 to 2 feet
Foliage Color Gray/Silver
Season Features Colorful Fall Foliage, Summer Bloom, Winter Interest
Special Features Attracts Birds, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Propagation Division, Seed
Problem Solvers Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Groundcover, Slope/Erosion Control

Best Planting Partners

Plant blue oat grass alongside other blue-tinged plants for an intriguing garden display. Dwarf blue spruce and juniper offer evergreen blue foliage that complements bristling clumps of blue oat grass. Pink-flowering perennials, such as butterfly bush (Gaura), Japanese anemone, and turtlehead (Chelone obliqua), make pretty pastel partners for the spiky mounds of blue-gray leaves. Forgo planting companions, if you like, in favor of a mass of blue oat grass that creates a tufted, easy-care groundcover.

Check out more easy groundcovers here.

Blue Oat Grass Care Must-Knows

Plant blue oat grass in full sun and well-drained, average-to-dry soil such as that found in rock gardens and curbside planting beds. (Crown rot is a risk if this grass is grown in poorly drained soil.) Water newly planted clumps of blue oat grass every week or so for the first growing season to encourage a strong root system. Supplemental watering is rarely necessary after the first year.

Remove old foliage at the beginning of every growing season before new foliage emerges. Cut the foliage back to about 3 inches above ground level. During late winter (between early February and the end of March) is a great time to snip away old foliage. Use a manual or powered hedge trimmer for quick and easy stem removal.

Blue oat grass can be divided every three or four years in spring. Dig up the entire clump, then use a sharp spade to slice it into three or four pieces. Replant the divisions and water them regularly to encourage strong root growth.

Divide blue oat grass plants with these tips.

Plant Blue Oat Grass With:

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