What grasses for zone 9 CA?

cindee11461(z9CA)March 31, 2009


I want to do a "grass bed" and I wondered what grasses I could grow here in Zone 9 California. The high temp in the summer can reach 120 degrees The low in the winter can be under 20 degrees. I wanted something that would droop down not stand up.

Thanks in advance!

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Some that work well in your area include Carex, Festuca, Helictotrichon, Muhlenbergia, Leymus.

Pennisetum Rubrum works great as an annual in any sunny location.

Leymus Blue Dune is a droopy grass with great blue color. Looks really nice in massed plantings.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:05PM
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Hi Grass Guy,
Thanks! I also wondered about Japanese Forest Grass. Do you know anything about those?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 8:47PM
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Cindee...you could probably grow Hakonechloa macra (Japanese Forest Grass) if you can give it plenty of shade and moisture.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 10:00AM
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I agree with Donn......the common name - forest grass - should give you some indication as to its suitability. This is really considered a shade grass although in cool summer climates it can stand quite a bit of sun. In warm climates like yours, it would prefer shade and rich, moisture retentive soils. The gold variegated form, Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola', is the 2009 Perennial Plant of the Year. 'Albo-striata', if you can find it, has a green and white variegation and is much more sun tolerant. There is also a solid gold form (won't tolerate much sun at all!) and one with a reddish tint to the foliage.

Hakone grass is notoriously slow to establish so don't expect a big show initially. IME, it takes around 3 years for planting to fill in and really look good.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 10:38AM
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Cindee, here's a link to some info on Hakonechloa grass. It's a beautiful grass, but can be slow and frustrating in areas with high humidity. I'm in an 8b/9 coastal area and once the humid summer days hit, it goes downhill fast.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hakonechloa grass

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 11:47AM
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Hi everyone, Thanks for writing!
I am in zone 9 far northern california inland where we don't have humidity at all. Its just hot and dry all summer. Most of the summer its around 100-110 but there are those days in August that can hit as high as 115-120. It rarely rains in the summer months here. Maybe if we are lucky it will rain in September. Otherwise from about May till November we are dry. I went ahead and ordered the Hakonechola grasses. I am going to keep them in the shade where they will get early morning sun only. I will keep a close watch on them to make sure they are getting enough water etc. I will see how they do(-: Hopefully they do well(-:
Thanks again for your help!!!!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 6:11PM
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