Mexican Feathergrass in a shady area in zone 9

gwald(9B)October 27, 2012

hi - I would like to plant Mexican Feathergrass in my front yard near/under a tree where it's shady. Notes on this grass say full or moderate sun. If it's in the shade, will it still do ok but not get as big, or would it be expected to do really poorly. Thanks for any comments.

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donn_(7b-8a)

It will probably survive, but it won't be happy about it. Too little sun will cause it to flop. I've grown it successfully in 4 hours a day of morning sun, followed by dappled shade. It does best, however, in 6+ hours.

There are finely bladed varieties of Carex which will do better.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 12:02PM
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gardengal48

It flops in full sun in my climate! A very wispy, even messy looking grass at the best of times, sun or shade.

I'd agree with going with a species of Carex. Besides not being well-suited to shade, Mexican hairgrass, Nassella tenuissima (formerly Stipa), is considered an invasive species in California. New Zealand hair grass (Carex comans) in one of its green forms can tolerate quite a lot of shade or go with a native species, Carex tumulicola or Berkeley sedge.

Here is a link that might be useful: CA invasive grasses

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 4:11PM
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donn_(7b-8a)

It self-sows here, too, but not excessively. I let it have its way in one bed, and move the young'uns out to other beds and containers. One plant only looks good for one season for me, so I treat it as an annual, and shovel prune the volunteers before the seed ripens.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 4:42PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It's native to prairies in Texas. Does best with full sun and no supplemental water after it's established. Growth & appearance will be very disappointing under your tree.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 6:23PM
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gwald(9B)

thx for all of the suggestions

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 10:50PM
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