Korean Feather Reed Grass Info – Learn How To Grow Korean Reed Grass
For a real jaw dropper, try growing Korean feather grass. This narrow clumping plant has architectural appeal combined with soft, romantic movement via its flower-like plumes. If you live in a deer grazing area, the plant is also not on that ruminants menu. If your interest is piqued, read on for more Korean feather reed grass info.
Korean Feather Reed Grass Info
Korean feather reed grass is scientifically described as Calamagrostis brachytricha. It is native to temperate Asia but performs well in gardens located through USDA zones 4 to 9. This hardy plant is a warm season grass that does most of its growth spring through summer. Unlike many ornamental grasses, this plant prefers a moist location. Try growing Korean feather grass around a pond, water feature or in an area with light afternoon shade.
This feather reed grass is medium sized at only 3 to 4 feet (.91 to 1.2 m.) tall. It
is a mounding grass with deeply green blades up to ¼ inch (.64 cm.) wide. In fall the foliage turns a light yellow, accenting the plumed inflorescences. In late summer, pink fluffy blooms rise above the foliage.
The plumes mature to tan as the seeds ripen and will last well into winter, providing unique vertical eye appeal and important wild bird food. Another name for the plant is foxtail grass due to these thick, plump plumes.
How to Grow Korean Reed Grass
Korean reed grass prefers partial to full shade. The grass will tolerate full sun if it receives adequate moisture. Soil may be almost any composition but should hold moisture and be fertile.
The plant self-seeds but is seldom a nuisance. Remove the plumes before the seeds become ripe if the plant spreads too readily.
Korean feather reed grass looks impressive when planted en masse or can stand alone in containers or perennial beds. This reed grass will perform exceptionally well around any water feature. Its roots are fibrous and most are near the surface of the soil, easily harvesting rainfall or irrigation water.
Care of Korean Feather Reed Grass
Korean reed grass is very low maintenance, a welcome trait in ornamental plants. It has few pest or disease problems, although fungal spots can occur in prolonged periods of wet, warm weather.
The flowery plumes last into early winter but take a beating in areas of heavy snow and wind. Lop them off with the rest of the foliage to within 6 inches (15 cm.) of the crown in late winter to early spring. Removing the battered leaves and flowering stems lets the new growth have room and enhances the appearance of the plant.
It was a beautiful weekend here in Wisconsin and I did not spend a single moment of it in the garden. That’s not a good thing. I should be taking advantage of good weather when I can to start sprucing up for fall.
Usually my fall gardening chores consist of weeding (the more weeding I do know, the fewer weed seeds will have a chance to take root in the garden) and cutting back a few things. But with the incredibly dry summer we’ve had, this year I’m concentrating most on watering. I want everything to be very deeply watered as we go into freezing temperatures. It’s already stressed, but if it went into winter dry, I suspect I’d lose a lot more plants.
So in between moving the sprinkler around (which seems to be the story of the summer), I paused for a moment to enjoy a plant that is really at its peak right now: Clamagrotis brachytricha (Korean feather reed grass).
I love grasses in the garden, but I like well-behaved grasses. Runners make me mad. I also like them to have four-season interest. They are great standing in the landscape all winter if you can keep them that way without folding over. I discovered Korean feather reed grass in Tracy Disabato-Aust’s book 50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants. I don’t know what became of Tracy. I went to a wonderful seminar by her several years ago, bought several of her books (all of which, I love by the way) and followed her blog, but I’ve heard nothing of her lately.
Anyway, I couldn’t be happier with this plant and I completely agree that it falls in the “high-impact, low-care” category. In fact, I’ve done absolutely nothing for it since I planted it last year other than watering it along with the rest of the garden and cutting it back in late winter. This one falls in my “highly recommended” list.