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Tall grasses for shade ?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

A few days back, i posted a question about growing grasses in the shade, and i've gotten no responses.

I have a lady friend who would like something like Pampas Grass ... but she's pretty much full shade.

the only grasses i found for the shade need to be 'wet' as in standing water or heavily watered every day...
well - she's looking for something lower maintenance.

any ideas??

OH -- she's looking to cover some lattice below her front porch.

she likes that 'willowy' | plumey look.

thanks --


Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi Terese - The link below is for Bluestone Perennial's Plant Finder. I use it all the time to see what types of plants are available for different areas.

I looked for grasses with different amounts of shade just to get an idea, but the link I gave you is blank so you can fill in the requirements yourself.

There are some pretty "full shade" grasses, but not the Pampas Grass types. In "mostly shady" there were more, but it appears the types like she likes need closer to "half sun/half shade". . .but here's the link if you want to look yourself.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

thanks Nuts... i actually got a nice grass from Bluestone yrs ago... guess i should have looked there during my quest.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

You're welcome.

Hope it helps.

Hobart, IN

What height are you looking for? Most of the grasses that I have for shade tend to be on the shorter side compared to say, Miscanthus. Check the hardiness of pampas grass as it might be marginal here. DD grows it in TN from seed I started for her and it does take a few years to reach a good clump size. Carex is a good place to start for shade grasses.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks Cindy... she's looking about 4-5'
and we are zone4... most aren't for that cold.

I did find one on Bluestone. I also told her she could do day lilies -- the taller ones do well in the shade too, if she wanted to go that route.

Hobart, IN

Most of the hardy grasses for shade that I've seen don't get that tall. The dreaded (read: outrageously self-sowing) northern sea oats can get to about 4 ft. I grow it but I have to be vigilant because the seedlings are tough to pull. If you find a tall shade-loving perennial grass the behaves, I'd love to know.

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

Calamagrostis xacutiflora 'Karl Foerster' supposedly does quite well in shade. More so than most grasses other than carex as noted above. Mine gets morning sun and stays around 3-4 feet tall. It is sterile so it does not reseed and become invasive. Recommended.


Hobart, IN

Doug - I have that one but it never gets that tall for me but mine is in full shade (and not high shade). Sounds like I need to relocate mine.

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