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Tufted Hairgrass

Deschampsia cespitosa

An ornamental grass that grows well in part shade, tufted hairgrass has fine, hair-like, green-blue blades that grow in clumps. It stays at just 12 inches tall and wide, making it a wonderful addition to small landscapes and petite urban gardens. is the plant also makes a wonderful choice for container gardens, where it adds season-long texture and color while gracefully spilling over pot edges. Plant tufted hairgrass en masse and employ it as a low-maintenance, high-impact groundcover.

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Light:

Part Sun

Type:

Height:

1 to 3 feet

Width:

1 to 2 feet wide

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Zones:

4-9

Propagation

Growing Tufted Hairgrass

Tufted hairgrass adds texture to shade gardens. One of the few grasses that grows well in part shade, tufted hairgrass grows well alongside hosta, fern, astible, Solomon's seal, deadnettle, among other shade-loving perennials.

Tufted Hairgrass Care

This plant grows best in moist, organically rich soil and part shade. It is an easy-to-grow perennial when planted in any average, well-drained soil. Be mindful of too much shade. Tufted hairgrass grows well in part shade—sites that receive at least 4 hours of bright light a day—but will not flower in full shade. It is semi-evergreen in Zones 7–9.

Plant in spring then water deeply. Continue watering deeply every week or two during the first growing season. Blanket the soil around new plants with a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch to prevent moisture evaporation. Expect tufted hairgrass to send up airy flower clusters in late summer. They emerge in shades of gold, silver, purple, and green then turn yellowish-tan as seeds ripen. Allow the flowers to stand through winter to enjoy their textural contribution to the garden, or cut them back in late fall. In early spring cut tufted hairgrass back to 3 inches above the soil (in colder zones plants will die back to the ground so no trimming will be needed). New shoots will emerge in spring.

Learn how to properly prepare your perennials for the winter.

More Varieties of Tufted Hairgrass

'Tardiflora' tufted hairgrass

Deschampsia cespitosa 'Tardiflora' blooms in late summer with greenish clouds of flowers over a mound of medium green foliage. Zones 4-9

Plant Tufted Hairgrass With:

Ligularia
Add a little sunshine to your garden with imposing ligularia. Its golden flower spikes or flattened heads of yellow daisylike flowers shine brightly in sun or part shade. The bold leaves are kidney-shape or jagged along the edges. These moisture lovers do beautifully at the edges of ponds and streams, and they must have deep, rich soil that remains moist. Position ligularia so it has a little shade during the heat of the day.
Primrose
Take a walk down the primrose path and you'll never look back! Primroses are a classic cottage flower and are popular with collectors. They covet the hundreds of different primroses available, especially some of the tiny rare alpine types.Many are staples of cottage gardens and rock gardens, while others provide spring color to damp places, rain gardens, and bog gardens. Their basal rosettes of oval leaves are often puckered or are very smooth. The colorful flowers may be borne singly or rise in tiered clusters, or even spikes. Provide humus-high soil that retains moisture and some shade for best results.
Iris
Named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, iris indeed comes in a rainbow of colors and in many heights. All have the classic, impossibly intricate flowers. The flowers are constructed with three upright "standard" petals and three drooping "fall" petals, which are often different colors. The falls may be "bearded" or not. Some cultivars bloom a second time in late summer. Some species prefer alkaline soil while others prefer acidic soil.Shown above: Immortality iris
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