Plant spacing is based on the ultimate width of the plants. This figure is normally given as a range; for example, 3-5’. If you live in a cold climate and/or want plants to fill in more quickly, plan to space at the shorter end of the range. If you live in a warm climate, are on a limited budget, or are willing to wait longer for plants to touch, use the higher end of the range. Using the larger number is recommended when calculating distance from a building or structure. There’s really no such thing as "maximum spacing": if you don’t want your plants to touch, you can space them as far apart as you’d like. All plant spacing is calculated on center, or in other words, the centers of the plants are spaced one half of their eventual width apart:
Unless you are planting in a straight line, as you might for hedges or edging, space your plants in a staggered or zig-zag pattern for a more interesting and naturalistic look:
Hand-picked at our greenhouse
Shipped to your door
Arrives as young plant
DescriptionVersatile and easy to grow, Karl Foerster feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) is one of the showiest, longest blooming ornamental grasses for your garden. The feathery flowers bloom in early summer and remain colorful until the hard frost in fall. Flowers will last in floral arrangements for months. This low maintenance ornamental grass can quickly provide a sense of enclosure and privacy.
This particular variety of feather reed grass is called the "metamorphic grass" or "perpetual motion grass." The slightest breeze sets this grass in motion.
In his book Designing with Plants, Piet Outdolf refers to Karl Foerster grass as "most upright of the grasses, which bends in the wind, making it almost weatherproof... spire-shaped flowerheads add lift to the garden, severing its bonds with the earth."
This grass was introduced to the nursery trade in 1950 by German nurseryman Karl Foerster via Hamburg Botanical Garden. It came to the United States by way of Denmark in 1964. Wolfgang Oehme and Kurt Bluemel were influential in introducing this popular grass to the US market.
DetailsBotanical name:Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' Common name: Feather reed grass Zone: 4 - 8 Sun exposure: Sun (> 6 hours sun) Height x width: 60" x 24" Flower color: Tan Foliage color: Green Season of interest: Early summer Bloom time: Midsummer, fall Features: Winter interest, rain gardens, heat tolerant, dry soils, drought tolerant, deer resistant Uses: Accent, background, border, container gardening, cottage gardening, foundation planting, hedge, massing, ornamental, privacy & screening How To GrowSoil: Average to wet soils. It performs well in heavy clay soils, unlike many of the other ornamental grasses. Light: Sun to part-sun. More sun exposure may increase blooms, but they do appreciate some shade in hot climates. Water: Soils should be kept moist and not allowed to dry out. Spacing: 2-3 ft. Fertilizing: Most ornamental grasses need very little fertilizer. It is best to base any fertilizer applications on the results of a soil test. Winterizing: No specific care is needed. Maintenance & pruning: Cut clumps to the ground in late winter just before the new shoots appear. Clumps may be divided in spring every 4 to 5 years. If ornamental grasses are not divided, they eventually become thin or die out in the center.
Ideas & Inspiration
Grasses for Winter Interest
Adding ornamental grass is one surefire way to bring beauty to the bleakness! Here are a few options that each have a unique pop to add to that garden you’re gazing out at during those especially chilly days.
I planted these immediately. They all appear healthy and living but it is a dormant time of year. I have high hopes for spring and summer activity.
The plants seemed to grow as soon as they were unpacked. Very healthy looking!
Good stuff Maynard!
So far so good, will see in the spring.
C.M. (New York)
Love my second order of Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grasses
Excellent products, exceptional packaging and wonderful customer service-always a responsive, friendly and courteous representative.
The feathered reed grass I ordered were so small that my wife almost 'weeded' them after planting.
We're sorry you are not satisfied with your plants! We do note that all of our plants are young on each product page and on our plant sizes page https://www.greatgardenplants.com/pages/sizes.The size and maturity of the plants varies widely depending on the time of the year you purchased and if they were recently trimmed. The important thing when it comes to purchasing plants, whether online or in a garden center, is that they have a full, robust root system, and that's what we prioritize in our greenhouses. The more roots a plant has, the more energy it can put into growing once it is planted in your garden. We do keep our plants trimmed to encourage strong root development!