Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Country Gardener picks: favorite ornamental grass

'North Wind' switch grass in early fall

My hort buddies all know that my signature plants are ornamental grasses. Here's my absolute favorite, Panicum virgatum 'North Wind', hardy in Zones 4 to 9, introduced by Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin. Find out more about this and other great switch grass cultivars.

© Yvonne Cunnington, Country Gardener


  1. I'm with ya Yvonne. Grasses are by far on the top of my list right now. I'm looking forward to starting with grasses when I get down south. Yours are all so beautifully displayed.

  2. Hello Yvonne!
    Over the last few years I have also developed a love for ornamental grasses of many varieties. Now, with very challenging gardening conditions, I find that all the varieties that I have have performed very well - both during the extreme heat and drought of 2007 and the very, very wet 2008. I have made a note to go back to your web-site about the switch grasses at my first opportunity. I have 2 (maybe it is 3) big clumps of switch grasses that I will divide this spring.

  3. Hello Yvonne .. I have been reading up on your information and it really helps so much ! ..
    I was looking for smaller ornamental grasses to mix in with ferns and other shade perennials because my shade garden is increasing with the size of my trees as they get bigger and older .. thanks so much for great articals and posts from your blog !

  4. Thanks so much, GardenJoy4Me. Great to hear from you.

    And to Eve, and Salix, yes, grasses are great plants, easy and always dramatic. The only downside is early spring when you have to cut them down.

    Thanks all for commenting. I appreciate hearing from you. Cheers, Y

  5. Anonymous11:08 AM

    Hello Yvonne,

    I have karl forester and mischantus goliath. Do I really have to cut these right to the ground in early spring? I am in Zone 5b Ontario


  6. Hi Mick: Yes, cut them almost to the ground, just about 6 inches from the ground. They'll start to grow when the weather warms up. The Miscanthus will be slower then KF grass because it won't start to grow until mid to late May. KF grass will start to grow much sooner. Hope that helps.

    Cheers, Yvonne

  7. Hi Yvonne. Great post. I was wondering if it might be possible for you to add a link to our Ornamental Grass Nursery site ( We have a lot of great information on the site. Thanks for the great posts!


Thanks so much for visiting this site. I have a new country garden blog and I will no longer be publishing comments at this blog. If you have a question or comment about the topic here, please use the contact form at my new blog to get in touch with me.

-Yvonne, aka Country Gardener