Ornamental Grasses for Shade

hayisuMay 24, 2006

My dad is interested in planting perennial ornamental grasses under a maple tree. I think Japanese forest grass might work, but I am not sure if they are hardy enough for a 5a zone. Any other suggestions?

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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Grasses for shade include Hakonechloa macra aureola and other Hakone grasses, Chasmanthium latifolium, and to some extent, Calamagrostis brachytricha.
That said, it is very difficult to grow anything under a maple because the fibrous root system sucks up all nutrients and water. I once was able to get Liriope spicata (not L. muscari) established under a silver maple. I suggest your father try that.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 7:41AM
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I have a Hakonechola macra aka Japanese Forest Grass growing under my Maple. It is about 6-8 feet from the trunk. I am in Zone 5B. Your dad may also want to try Luzula. I also understand that Karl Forester is good for dry shade.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 7:40AM
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The Karl Foerster I see around town (near Boston) is either beautifully stiff and full (in full sun) or thin, with erectile dysfunction (in shade).

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 9:56AM
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All kinds of Carexes will grow in a dry shade and be pretty much contained.
In wet shade they are invasive.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 12:28AM
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