Growing Grasses In Containers

In general, grasses are strong plants that appear to have the aptitude to effectively deal with the pressures that are very frequently endured by plants grown in containers. During the hot summer months, plants that are grown in outdoor pots require regular watering, usually several times in a day and, owing to the restricted space of the roots of these plants, they also require feeding on a regular basis.

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Our attention is drawn to the graceful shape and delicate leaf colors when these ornamental grasses are taken care of in the form of sampling container plants, having their most gorgeous appearance while they are grown individually. The characteristic forms of the containers as well as the ornamental grasses may well be mingled in numerous manners. Ornamental grasses growing upright in round shaped pots have a dynamic appearance, while the arching showy grasses may look their best when they are grown in tall containers having perpendicular band of colors.

In fact, the importance of the common ornamental grasses that grow in our gardens is also enhanced when they are cultivated in containers. Growing them in containers highlights their characteristics as they are being grown individually and very close to the level of the eyes. This treatment is perfect for the small treasures in the world of ornamental grasses that may have otherwise been bogged by the comparatively larger plants when grown in an open garden.

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In the form of elements of small landscapes, the ornamental grasses may be cultivated in sink gardens for the alpine aficionado lavish all the care required to maintain the plants in their optimum condition. Alopecurus lanatus is an alpine treasure having its origin in Spain. This ornamental grass possesses prickly leaves having a blue-grey hue. The leaves are swathed with delicate hairs that make them look like woolly. In order to stay alive, this species as well as A. antarcticus, an elevated family member of this plant, require total sun and if possible a well drained soil. When grown in a container, it is relatively simple to provide the appropriate growing medium as well as to place the plants under a shelter during the winter months with a view to shield them from exposure to too much moisture.

Two other small ornamental grasses need the same care and will recompense you by turning out bunches of excellent green hued leaves. Poa tasmanica, the smaller of the two varieties, takes the shape of mats comprising ice-blue hued leaves very sluggishly. The leaves of this species of ornamental grass seldom grow beyond 2.5 cm (1 inch) in height. The second variety, Festuca glacialis grows somewhat higher and takes the shape of thick gloomy mounds made up of excellent foliage. In addition to these two varieties of ornamental grasses, there is a sedge called Carex firma 'Variegata', which looks its best when grown in a pot or a sink garden. This sedge produces erect, firm leaves that take the shape of thorny mounds that are less than 2.5 cm (1 inch) in diameter. This particular ornamental grass has a preference for a moist growing condition and has the aptitude to endure limited shade.

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It has been found that when the comparatively bigger ornamental grasses having an arched shape are grown in containers, they have a certain advantage. Among these larger grasses, Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' is considered to be the most exciting case in point. This plant possesses vivid, yellow-motley leaves that continue to be gorgeous all through the summer. It may be noted that this variety is a comparatively sluggishly growing ornamental grass that gains from the absence of contest from other plants - something which is possible when it is grown in containers. Another variety, the Carex siderosticha 'Variegata' has a similarly slow growth. This plant produces attractive broad leaves that are arching. The leaves have a white border and there is a pink tint at the base.

Ornamental grasses having a comparatively more erect form are a different collection that makes them plants that are ideally suited to be grown in containers. Chionochloa rubra is a faintly colored species of ornamental grass that has an exceptional appearance. This variety of ornamental grass is rather big, often reaching a height of about 75 cm (30 inches) when full grown, and produces excellent perennial leaves imbued with a brass-like tint of brownish yellow hue (ochre or iron oxide) on their upper façade.

In fact, the hues of a number of the sedges are still unfamiliar. For instance, Carex kaloides, Carex buchananii and Carex petriei are somewhat comparable species that have been confounded in several nursery catalogues quite frequently. Although each of them is dissimilar, each of them have a firm and erect pattern with rubbery leaves in unusual dashes of brown. The extraordinary and incredible look of the leaves distinguishes them from the other ornamental grasses, thereby making them perfect for growing individually in containers - basically, they are all ideal container specimens. In the same way, the stiff, thorny clumps of several fescues having blue leaves may also have an unreal appearance. These ornamental grasses have the aptitude to especially become accustomed to growing in containers and are also perfect for an open balcony or terrace.

When comparatively big ornamental grasses are grown in containers, they leave a mark as show plants meant for being placed in conservatory or patio and may even work in the form of spotlights or may do the work of transferable screens. In this context, it may be mentioned that bamboos are the sole big grasses that are often seen cultivating in containers, ushering in a suggestion of the Orient to whichever corner they are positioned. However, the difficulty with some bamboo species is that they have a tendency to multiply belligerently when grown in the garden. However, when they are grown in the confinement of a container, this problem is overcome. The yellow-molted bamboo species Pleioblastus viridistriatus is an ideal plant that is eye-catching, but, at the same time, it is an invasive plant. This species is extensively available and an alluring alternative, which has caused several gardeners to repent for planting this variety in their exposed garden.

On the other hand, the relative small growing collections of Miscanthus sinensis, for instance, 'Yakushima Dwarf', 'Morning Light and 'Sarabande', also have the aptitude to excellently familiarize themselves to growing in containers provided the soil has a proper drainage system and does not become excessively damp during the winter months. As you might expect, when all these larger varieties of ornamental grasses are grown in containers, it becomes essential to undertake their root division and plant them again in new compost once in every couple of years.

In fact, the selection of ornamental grasses grown in open gardens may be enhanced by cultivating the sensitive or delicate species in containers indoors and providing them with shelter during the winter months. Papyrus is one favourite house plant and still they receive a lot of advantages from the summer when grown outdoors, may be beautifying the sides of any pool. The stems of papyrus are firm and topped with leaves assembled in the same fashion as those of the spokes of umbrella, ushering in an exceptional as well as alien tone in a garden. Cyperus papyrus is a plant that usually grows to a height of above 2 meters (6.5 feet) without much difficulty, while its close relative Cyperus involucrate normally attains a height of 1 meter (above three feet) - they are the most common papyrus species that one comes across very often. The giant reed, Arundo donax 'Variegata', which is a frost-tender motley variety of ornamental grass, also finds this type of condition. This species of ornamental grass is among the most amazing of all varieties of showy grasses and when growing robustly, may easily grow up to a height of 3 meters (10 feet).

While Cymbopogon citratus or the lemon grass cannot be described as striking, but the growing popularity of this species among chefs is likely to earn lemon grass a position on the patio during the summer. The leaves of lemon grass are somewhat firm and erect and may grow to a length of more than one meter (in excess of 3 feet). This species is likely to grow into rather magnificent varieties. For instance, it is possible to grow a number of ornamental grass species like Pennisetum setaceum and Pennisetum villosum in containers with a view to bring them indoors during the cold winter months. When grown in this method, these selections of ornamental grasses mature into big plants that also blossom before time and more consistently compared to the smaller plants propagated by their seeds.

Ornamental grasses
The families of grasses
How grasses grow
The life of grasses
Growing ornamental grasses
Propagating ornamental grasses
Maintaining ornamental grasses
Grasses' pests and diseases


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