Short perennial ornamental grass varieties



Choose ornament grass for your landscape design as a low maintenance plant. Look for perennials that are cold hardy in your USDA planting zone, which means the grass returns year after year. About every four years, you can dig up perennial ornamental grass and divide the root ball or rhizomes to produce more plants for your garden. Use short ornamental grass as a border along a walkway, driveway, or flowerbed. Plant groups of ornamental grass throughout the flowerbed to add color or fill empty areas, or plant the grass on a hillside to help reduce erosion. Use containers in brilliant colors such as yellow, orange, or cobalt blue to display your ornamental grass on a porch, deck, or patio.

Lilytuft
 
Lilytuft (Liriope muscari or playphylla), which is pictured above, is prized for its versatility, growing in full shade to full sun. Lilytuft works as a border or groundcover. Choose for all green varieties or those with variegated leaves. Easy care—mow or cut to the just inches tall in early spring. Lilytuft produces spikes of blooms in white or blue. Cold hardy in USDA planting zones 5 through 10. As a mounding ornamental grass, divide the root ball of lilytuft about every four years to increase coverage area.
 
Japanese forest
 
Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra), also known as Hakone Grass, offers a 12-inch tall variety called 'All Gold' that grows best in shade to partial sun. The bright leaves of this ornamental grass help it standout on in your shade garden. In the fall, the leaves turn a coppery. Japanese forest grass is cold hardy in USDA planting zones 5 through 9. Divide the root ball to create more plants for your landscape design.
 
Blue fescue
Blue fescue (Festuca glauca) grows in full sun to part shade. Use the blue color of this petite ornamental grass to bring attention to a feature in your landscape, like a fountain or boulder. Blue fescue is also a good choice for a rock garden. Blue fescue in cold hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8. Propagate blue fescue by dividing the root ball. Picture courtesy of Raulbot.
 
Banana boat
Banana boat (Carex siderosticha) has bright yellow-green variegated leaves. Cold hardy in USDA zone 6 through 9, this bright colored ornamental grass works well as ground cover or a border. Banana boat grass spreads on its own through rhizomes. Dig up thick areas of banana boat to replant in another area. Picture courtesy of Daderot.
 
Fiber optic grass
Fiber optic grass (Isolepis cernua) grows in part shade to full sun. Also known as low bulrush or tufted clubrush, this ornamental grass reaches about 8 inches tall. This grass gets its name from its thin stems that are topped with a small bloom. Treat as an annual in USDA planting zone north of zone 10. Bring indoors in colder areas. Propagate fiber optic grass through root ball division. Picture courtesy of Selso.