- Southern Design & Build
8 Best Ornamental Grasses For Dallas
Updated: Jul 3, 2022
Ornamental grasses are often an underused choice of plant for landscaping but we love them and highly recommend them to anyone living in the Dallas area! Grasses add so much texture and movement into your landscape during the growing season and leave a nice texture and architectural interest through the winter as they dry. There is nothing else like them!
Mexican Feather Grass
We're starting off strong with Mexican Feather Grass, it's the grass you see all over the Dallas area that sways to and fro with the wind. It's one of the more delicate of the ornamental grasses. It can easily be added to your landscape as a single planting, but is most often seen in large plantings for erosion control. Mexican Feather grass does best in a warmer climate and full sun which makes it a great plant choice for homeowners in Dallas. It should be treated as a perennial as they go dormant during the winter season. Mexican Feather Grass will grow approximately 18” tall and 12” wide.
Once the grass is full grown it will only need occasional watering. If you're looking for a way to add energy and make your landscaping more dynamic, Mexican Feather Grass is the one to chose. It will bring your landscape to life!
Purple Fountain Grass
Purple Fountain Grass is one of the best ornamental grasses, it grows very well in the Dallas area, even in poor soil. It's colorful and striking foliage and foxtail plumes add great color to any yard especially when surrounded by contrasting plants. Purple fountain grass is heat tolerant and may be grown as a hedge, or background plant. They grow to about 4' tall and wide, and bloom from July through October. Purple fountain grass grows best in full sun with occasional watering which makes it a great low maintenance choice.
Blue Fescue Grass
Blue Fescue is known for its grayish-blue blades. Its a great addition to add contrast against the greener plants in your landscape. This grass reaches 12-18 inches tall which makes it the perfect height for your beds that are close to the house where shorter plants are usually more desirable. They grow best in full sun or partial shade where the soil is well drained. This grass will need more water in times of drought. If you’re looking to add a fluffy softer texture and a pop of color to your landscape, pick the beautiful blue fescue.
Sedge Grass, also known as Carex is technically not a grass but due to its shorter grass-like foliage we're including it in this list. This "grass" is widely used along borders of landscaping beds. Carex is an evergreen ornamental grass which means that during milder winters in Dallas it will stay green year round. Carex comes in many varieties, but most grow to about 12” tall and between 12” and 18” wide. Most varieties of Carex prefer partial shade and do best with consistent watering.
Although commonly considered a groundcover plant, Liriope is one of the most widely used grassy looking plants in North Texas. It’s often seen used in narrow planting spaces, under shade trees and in the border areas of landscaping beds. Liriope comes in several varieties that grow to an average of 12” tall and 20” wide. This ornamental grass can survive in full shade, with occasional watering and blooms with sun exposure in late spring of each year.
Muhly Grass is native to Texas and is a great addition to any xeriscape. They are great if you need a big background plant or centerpiece to add to your landscape. You can also use this grass as an erosion control by planting them in groups. This ornamental grass comes in many different types such as lindheimer muhly, pink muhly, white cloud, gulf, pine, etc. Full sun is best for any type of muhly grass, but some shade is fine especially in warmer climates and tolerates any soil that drains well.
Zebra grass is a beautiful addition to your landscape with its deep green and golden leaves, it will add a nice pop of color and texture to your yard. Being a perennial zebra grass will die back in the winter and grow back each spring. This eye-catching accent grass will grow quickly to 4’-7’ tall and 3’-5’ wide and does best in full sun and well drained soil. At 4-7 ft tall you can use zebra grass to fill areas as a hedge, or add privacy.
Karl Forester Grass
Karl Forester Grass is meant to last. This impressive grass is tall, resilient, and beautiful. It is a very sustainable option because it is drought tolerant, requires very little maintenance, and is not prone to suffer from any pests or diseases. Karl Forester grows best in areas of full sun and is a great addition to any modern, rustic, or formal design styles.
Mondo Grass is small but mighty and does great in north Texas yards. This little grass comes in many sizes ranging from 2”-12” tall and 2”-15” inches wide. Which size you chose will depend on the look you are going for. Dwarf mondo can be used just about anywhere… as an accent around other plants such as trees and bushes, as well as around pavers or stepping stones. If you are going for a more luxury and low maintenance look you can use mondo grass in replacement of your traditional grass.
Inland Sea Oats
This ornamental grass is different from the rest because it’s a shade lover. Inland sea oats thrives in the shade, it's a grass that can be used in full shade yards, around trees, and side yards. This grass stays full throughout the always adding interest to your yard. In the spring and summer the beautiful green adds a pop of color while in the fall and winter it turns to a golden brown. Unlike the other ornamental grasses Inland Sea Oats can handle poorly drained soil fairly well and can also be used along ponds, creek beds, riverbeds, and floodplains. At 1-3 tall and wide Inland Sea Oats can be used just about anywhere in your North Texas yard.
Ornamental grasses are fun to watch all year long, from their lush summer foliage to the high impact of blooms throughout the year. When deciding on what to do with your landscaping don’t forget to consider adding an ornamental grass or two as there are options that will fit and elevate any style and landscape.
If you’re looking for a way to add interest, color, contrast, and texture year round an ornamental grass is the way to go.