Autumn Red Maiden Grass - (Miscanthus sinensis 'Purpurascens')
Other Common Names: Flame Grass, Miscanthus Flame Grass, Autumn Red Miscanthus, Flame Miscanthus, Eulalia, Flame Maiden Grass
Family: Poaceae Genus: Miscanthus Species: sinensis Cultivar: 'Purpurascens'
Plant Type: Ornamental Grass
Sun Exposure: Full / Mostly Sun, Morning Sun / Evening Shade, Morning Shade / Evening Sun
Soil Type: Clay, Loam, Sand, Silt
Soil Drainage: Well Drained, Moderately Drained
Water Needs: Average, Low
Level of Care: Low
Growth Rates: Fast
Flower Color: Cream, White
Attracts: Visual Attention
Foliage Color: Medium Green
Average Width: 3' to 4'
Average Height: 3' to 4'
Season of Color: Fall Blooms, Fall Foliage, Summer Blooms
Resistant To: Deer Resistant, Disease, Drought, Heat, Insect, Mildew
Landscape Uses: Accent, Entryway, Garden Pond, Landscape Beds, Median Strips, Outdoor Living Areas, Perennial Garden, Small Groups, Woodland Border
Growth Habits: Arching, Clumping, Dense, Grassy, Upright
taken from http://www.gardenality.com/Plants/1715/Ornamental-Grasses/Autumn-Red-Maiden-Grass.html
Karl Foerster grass
Several exciting new ornamental grasses have come into our gardens the last few years, but none with the beauty, versatility, and reliability of feather reed grass, also known as Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'.
This tall and narrow grass is believed to be a natural hybrid of C. epigejos and C. arundinacea, both natives of Europe and Asia. The noted German nurseryman, Karl Foerster, discovered the plant in the Hamburg Botanical Garden. He listed it in has 1939 nursery catalog, and included it in his 1950 garden book, The Use of Grasses and Ferns in the Garden. From there it spread around Europe until in 1964 it was brought from Denmark into the U.S.
Leaf blades are 2 to 3 feet long and a deep, shiny green. Loose, feathery flowers atop 5-foot stems appear in June and are initially light pink in color. As the seed heads mature, they become very narrow and turn a golden tan color that lasts through the fall. One of the distinguishing and highly regarded features of 'Karl Foerster' compared to other varieties is its narrow and upright growth. At only 18 inches wide and up to 5 feet tall, a grouping creates a dramatic vertical element in gardens.
The plant is fully deciduous in cold winter areas, but semi-evergreen in mild winter climates. Leaves emerge early in spring and last until early winter.
Unlike many common ornamental plants from other continents, the seeds of 'Karl Foerster' are sterile. After nearly 40 years in American gardens, it has never become an invasive pest.
Where and how to grow
'Karl Foerster' grows well in most North American gardens. Hardy throughout USDA Zones 4 through 9. 'Karl Foerster' is a cool-season grass meaning it grows best at temperatures near 70oF, and the best time to plant is spring in the North; fall in the South and West. The plant does suffer in the heat and humidity of an eastern zone 9 summer.
Plant in full sun to partial shade, in well-drained soils. Moist soil and regular rain or irrigation are preferable, but the plant will tolerate heavier clay soils and drier sites.
To grow to their maximum 5-foot height, fertilizer is required. Use about 1 pound of a 10-10-10 fertilizer per 100 square feet. Low fertility is not a problem, but will result in shorter plants.
'Karl Foerster' is usually free of serious disease or insect problems although a foliar rust disease may appear in particularly wet summers and in situations with poor air circulation. Browsing deer don't bother it. Little maintenance is required except to cut back the stems to about 6 inches in late winter or early spring. In areas with mild winters the foliage may remain evergreen.
Some call the plant "metamorphic" for all the different stages it passes through in a season. Others have referred to it as the "perpetual motion grass" for its ability to catch and give motion to the slightest breeze.
Use 'Karl Foerster' as an individual specimen or small clump to provide a strong vertical accent, or mass a row to create a very fast growing, 5-foot high screen. It also serves well in containers and will survive most winters unprotected as far north as zone 6.
Naturally floral designers love 'Karl Foerster' for its use in fresh or dried arrangements. Stems cut before the flowers mature will last for months in an arrangement while maintaining the golden tan color. In heavy rain or wind the stems will dip and droop in all directions but return to vertical as soon as the storm passes.
A combination of 'Karl Foerster' feather reed grass with various other perennials makes a dramatic effect in the landscape. Consider combinations with late summer and fall-blooming perennials blooming perennials such as Coreopsis, Echinacea, Liatris, and Rudbeckia.
Given all this attributes, it's easy to see why 'Karl Foerster' feather reed grass is one of the most popular ornamental grasses year after year, and why the Perennial Plant Association named it Perennial of the Year.
taken from https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/1673/
Red Baron Ornamental Grass
Japanese bloodgrass can serve as an excellent border or massed groundcover.
"Red Baron" bloodgrass (Imperata cylindrica "Red Baron" or "Rubra"), also commonly known as Japanese bloodgrass, is an ornamental grass cultivated as a perennial across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 or 10. Japanese bloodgrass rarely flowers and is instead prized primarily for its foliage and form. Proper site selection and preparation and stellar plant care will encourage an excellent appearance and good vigor. This plant can also require special care if it reverts back to the taller, green and more aggressive Imperata cylindrica species, or cogongrass.
Japanese bloodgrass grows in clumps about 1 to 1 1/2 feet tall with a similar spread. The glass blades are thing, or no more than about 1/4 inch wide, and erect. They are green when they first grow, then the upper half of each leaf turns red beginning in summer, eventually deepening to burgundy. This ornamental grass rarely blooms but when it does, the inflorescence is grayish white and appears in late summer. Japanese bloodgrass remains an attractive dark red until it goes dormant at the end of the growing season.
Japanese bloodgrass can grow in a site that receives full sunlight to partial shade but will offer the best color when cultivated in a position with ample sun. This grass prefers a slightly acidic and moist soil but can often perform satisfactorily in wet sites with heavy soil. Prior to planting, work about 3 inches of well-rotted compost or peat moss into the top 8 inches of soil to improve drainage and fertility and slightly lower the soil pH. The Missouri Botanical Garden recommends planting this grass where it will be back-lit by the sun in early morning or evening for the most attractive display of foliage color.
Water the Japanese bloodgrass regularly following planting until it exhibits new growth, then irrigate it occasionally throughout the growing season whenever there is a period of drought. Spreading an organic material mulch like wood chips or shredded leaves around the ornamental grass in a loose layer no more than about 3 inches thick retains soil moisture around the grass roots. Cut the clump of Japanese bloodgrass back to just above the soil surface in late winter or early spring just before new growth begins to merge or earlier when the ornamental grass loses its attractive fall appearance. Every few years, digging up the clump of grass, dividing it and discarding the old center can multiply plant numbers and reinvigorate a languishing specimen.
Potential Problems with Aggressiveness
Japanese bloodgrass does tend to spread, although it grows slowly and is not particularly aggressive. Planting the grass in a container sunk into the ground minimizes the potential for spread. Japanese bloodgrass may occasionally revert back to the species form, which is green, grows 4 to 5 feet tall and is extremely aggressive. If you notice that your Japanese bloodgrass has turned green and is growing well more than 1 to 2 feet tall, plan to remove the ornamental grass before it threatens to spread and overtake your landscape.
taken from http://homeguides.sfgate.com/red-baron-ornamental-grass-70683.html
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa