Gardening 101: Ornamental grass – CBS Texas

Gardening 101: Ornamental Grass

Gardening 101: Ornamental Grass


NORTH TEXAS ( – My ideal landscape has lots of shades of green, lots of shapes and textures, all teamed with spots of color throughout. This is where ornamental grasses come into play. 

First off, they are tough. Once these perennials, almost all of them are, get established they require little attention and not much water. There is a reason you see municipalities use ornamental grasses along roadways.

They are also tremendously versatile since they come in a wide range of sizes. I have a pair of Pampas Grass to fill in the back corner of my yard. They both get the size of a large refrigerator by the end of the season. I also have some mondo grass growing in a shady spot, it only gets about five inches tall.

Then there is the texture of ornamental grass. On our windy days, it sways in a graceful constant motion. It can be hypnotizing if you have a group planting of them.

Some of them are also invasive. 

I was given a tour of a new greenbelt being developed in Dallas near Love Field. This is land that has been basically untouched since the city was developed in the late 1800s. It had liriope growing along the creek bank, the seeds had come down the creek from landscapes upstream. 

Those beautiful plumes the larger grasses put out are full of seeds. I had used some Mexican heather grass in my yard before pulling it out because of what it did to my pool (clogged the filter). I still find little start-ups of these throughout my yard two years later.

Keep this in mind when selecting ornamental grasses. There are some less invasive options, please check out their classification using the Texas Invasive website.

Jeff Ray is the senior First Alert Meteorologist at CBS News Texas and an avid gardener. When not covering the weather, he is finding stories about Gardening in north Texas. If you would like Jeff to come talk to your group about how changing weather patterns are changing the way we garden in this area, please email him at [email protected].