How well does Carex Ice Dance do in shade?

(Zone 4b)

I successfully make use Hakonechloa "All Gold" in some part shade locales.

I am wanting to try another type of grass in a similar aspect.

I like the look of "Ice Dance" but would like to hear of your experiences with this grass; specifically how wide and tall and how it has overwintered for you.

Thanks in advance.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I have had Carex 'Ice Dance for perhaps 5 years. I have it in dry full shade under a Laurel hedge gone wild, and it is watered occasionally. Hakonechloa died there, I think it wanted more water. The 'Ice Dance for me stays evergreen, I doubt it would do that for you. The clumps expand slowly, after all this time maybe 2 feet across, and I get a few sprouts a foot or two away. Here in Seattle it can grow nearly year-round, but is under drought stress for many months as we get almost no rain from May-Oct, and it rarely even gets to the ground as the evergreen hedge soaks it up. The variegation is very stable, I have never had a reversion to all green. It is never fabulous or showy, but always looks good. The upright stiff growth is quite a different effect from Hakonechloa. I like this plant very much, I never do anything to it and I consider it one of my easiest plants here. The instructions said it likes moist soil, perhaps it would expand faster but I have never placed it in those conditions.
Here it is today, after a truly prolonged drought.

Thumbnail by Pistil Thumbnail by Pistil Thumbnail by Pistil
(Zone 4b)

Excellent Pistil...great information!

You have convinced me that this grass will work well for me.

Hobart, IN

I've had 'Ice Dance' for about 15 years. It does tolerate shade well and I think it has normal water requirements to remain looking good without browning edges although it can go a couple of weeks in summer in the shade without looking bad. It forms a pretty dense mat of foliage and roots and does tend to travel. I do "edit" it in the spring to keep it within its boundaries. Depending on your winter, you might want to give it an early haircut to remove ratty foliage before it starts growing. I would not plant this next to a more delicate plant if you don't monitor its spread.

(Zone 4b)

Thanks Pistil and 'Cindy'. I planted 2 "Ice Dance" and 2 Pennisetum alopecuroides "Hameln" in a small plot.

Here it is today.

(Due to the tree, the 2 "Ice Dance" get much less sun than do the 2 "Hameln").
(Next year the begonia annuals you see will be located as close to the edging as possible).

This message was edited Aug 14, 2015 5:05 PM

This message was edited Aug 15, 2015 7:08 AM

Thumbnail by rouge21
Hobart, IN

Nice grouping of plants.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Cool and elegant. You make it look so easy.

(Zone 4b)

You are too kind you guys. My goal for this garden was to remove several water needy perennials to be replaced by much more water conserving grasses.

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