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Types of Feather Reed Grass

If you want ornamental grass that is attractive and needs less maintenance, opt for feather reed grass. What is it? What conditions favor its growth? Read all about it right here.
Ratnashri Dutta Jun 22, 2019
While walking down the river, you may have probably noticed feather reed grass growing along its bank in huge clumps. This grass derives its name from the Latin word "Calamagrostis x acutiflora".
This grass grows mainly in early spring, and continues to flourish until the start of winter. It is a type of ornamental grass that can be grown by your pool side or in your garden. It needs wet soil to grow, as dry soil results in stunted growth. It is deep green in color and flowers in the month of June.
The flowers, when they bloom for the first time, are rosy pink in color. Later, they change their color to a darker shade of maroon, and much later they change their color again to a shade of bronze.
During the final stages they are a shade of golden, lasting for three to four weeks. The golden color lasts until start of winter. This grass grows vertically to about 3 to 5 feet. The height varies based on type of grass. There are several feather grass varieties. Let us see a few of them.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'

In the year 2001, the Perennial Plant Association, proclaimed this particular variety of feather grass as 'Plant of the Year'. Of all the garden grasses that you find in this world, this grass is one of the most popular.
The flowers that blossom in mid summer, are reddish in color or creamy white, with a tinge of pink in them. They grow best in well drained soil with enough moisture content, but they can also grow well in clay soil as well as dry soils. They also need enough sunlight for their proper growth.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Overdam' (Striped Feather Reed)

This grass does not require much maintenance. It is an ornamental type, which grows up to a height of at least 3 feet. It grows brilliantly in well-drained, moist soil. It needs enough sunlight to grow although, partly shaded areas will also do. This grass mainly blooms during February to July. The flowers are green in color with a pink tinge.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Avalanche'

Like the other varieties, even this type does not require much maintenance. It can grow in moist soil and adequate sunlight. It grows up to a height of 5 feet and blooms mainly during the months of February to June. The flowers are purplish green in color.

Calamagrostis brachytricha (Korean Feather Reed Grass)

This grass mainly grows in Central and Eastern parts of Asia. It grows up to a height of 4 feet. Just like the other types, this grass grows best in moist soil and in places where there is enough sunlight. It blossoms in the months of September to November and the flowers that grow are pink tinged ones.

Caring for the Grass

Soil and Light

When planting the grass, you should choose a location which has well drained soil, is moist, and is also a region that receives proper sunlight.
Add some fertilizer to the soil in order to retain the moisture and also to increase the nutritional value of the soil. Cow manure is a good option and can be used as an effective fertilizer.

Cutting the Stems

During the late winter or early spring months, you need to trim the grass and its stems, in order to improve the growth of the grass.

Watering the Grass

You need to water it well, regularly. Unlike blue fescue grass, this grass does not grow well in dry soil. Without proper supply of water, the grass will not grow up to its proper height.

pH Level of the Soil

Before you plant this grass, check the pH level of the soil. This kind of grass grows well in soil where the pH level is not less than 6 and not more than 6.5. Get a pH test done beforehand just to be sure.
Now that you know about the different types of feather reed grass and the care you need to take for them, you can decorate your lawns, front gardens, backyards, or swimming pools with a type that suits your requirements the best.