Calamagrostis (Feather Reed Grass)
A wonderful and rewarding family of ornamental grasses, Calamagrostis are easy to grow and their height is perfect for bringing accent into mixed flower borders and softening harsher features and buildings. They all look good in larger drifts if you have space and are lovely for a tall feathery screen. They are low maintenance plants needing no more than an annual chop close to ground level each Spring before the new foliage emerges.
Calamagrostis are ‘good doers’ with just a little bit of kindness and soil preparation when planting, soon bulking up to make satisfying clumps of foliage without becoming invasive. All varieties are suited to well drained soil in sun or partial shade, Karl Foerster and Overdam will also succeed in situations with more moisture.
Types of Calamagrostis Grasses
Calamagrostis are deciduous grasses, the old foliage should be left over the Winter as this will protect the crown of the plant from inclement weather conditions and will still provide structure and interest, especially on frosty days. Cut them back close to the ground in February or March before the new foliage emerges. The cut stems and foliage is useful as a natural mulch or may be composted.
How to grow Calamagrostis
Position: Sun or partial shade.
Foliage: Deciduous grass, foliage turns to yellow and then brown in Winter, fresh new foliage emerges in Spring.
Soil and site: Any well drained soil, Karl Foerster and Overdam will take some moisture.
Flowering time: Summer
Growth rate: Moderate
Ultimate height and spread: up to 180cm x 60cm
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Aftercare: Water regularly after planting and through the first season until established. Cut to ground level in early Spring.