Feather Reed Grass

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Lawn & Garden

Feather reed grass is a type of grass that only grows for one year. You can see more photos of other types of flowers that only live for one year.

The Calamagrostis genus is made up of grasses that grow every year or only for one year, and come from Europe and Africa. A few of these species are used for decoration. They grow upright and have flowers that bloom in the early summer and spring.

Feather reed grass grows into a tall, strong, and upright clump that can reach a height of 5 feet. The leaves are a dull green color and are around 2 feet long, with a slight arch. In late spring, flower stalks rise above the foliage, growing to around 2 to 3 feet high. The flower head is around 12 inches long and is purplish in color during the spring, turning into a buff-colored seed head in the fall.

You can use feather reed grass as a screen or as a vertical accent. It is a great plant to use around pools and streams that have wet soil. This grass is perfect for cool seasons and will keep its beauty from spring all the way through to fall.

If you want to grow feather reed grass, you should plant it in fertile soil with full sun exposure, and make sure the soil is moist. It can handle wet soil (like the edge of a pond) and once it’s established, it can also handle droughts.

Feather reed grass is a hybrid plant that is propagated by division in early fall or early spring.

Related species include Foxtail grass, Calamagrostis arundinacea abrachytricha, which grows up to 3 feet tall and produces lavender-colored, fluffy, foxtail-shaped flowers that are 12 inches long.

Feather reed grass is also known as Calamagrostis acutiflora stricta.

Interested in learning more about gardening? Check out:

  • Annual Grasses; learn more about annual grasses and foliage
  • Perennial Grasses; read more about perennial ornamental grasses and unusual ground cover
  • Gardening; turn your garden into a lush retreat using these step-by-step instructions


1. What is Feather Reed Grass?

Feather Reed Grass, also known as Calamagrostis x acutiflora, is a tall and elegant ornamental grass that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a popular choice among gardeners and landscapers due to its striking appearance and low maintenance requirements.

2. How tall does Feather Reed Grass grow?

Feather Reed Grass can grow up to 6 feet tall, depending on the variety. However, with regular pruning, it can be kept at a more manageable height of around 3 feet.

3. Does Feather Reed Grass require a lot of water?

Feather Reed Grass is drought-tolerant and can survive in a variety of soil conditions, including dry soil. However, it does require regular watering during its first year of growth to establish a strong root system.

4. How do you plant Feather Reed Grass?

Feather Reed Grass should be planted in well-draining soil in a location that receives full sun to partial shade. Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball, then plant the grass at the same depth it was growing in its container. Water the grass thoroughly after planting.

5. When is the best time to plant Feather Reed Grass?

The best time to plant Feather Reed Grass is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and there is plenty of moisture in the soil. Avoid planting during the hot summer months, as the grass may struggle to establish in the heat.

6. How do you care for Feather Reed Grass?

Feather Reed Grass is a low-maintenance plant that requires very little care. It should be watered regularly during its first year of growth, and then only during periods of extended drought. In the spring, cut back any dead or damaged foliage to encourage new growth.

7. Does Feather Reed Grass need fertilizer?

Feather Reed Grass does not require fertilizer, but it can benefit from a slow-release, balanced fertilizer in the spring. However, be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can cause the grass to become too lush and floppy.

8. Is Feather Reed Grass invasive?

No, Feather Reed Grass is not considered invasive. It is a clumping grass, which means that it forms tight clumps of foliage rather than spreading through underground rhizomes.

9. Can Feather Reed Grass be grown in containers?

Yes, Feather Reed Grass can be grown in containers. Choose a large container with good drainage, and fill it with a well-draining potting mix. Water the grass regularly, and fertilize it once a year with a slow-release fertilizer.

10. Does Feather Reed Grass attract wildlife?

Feather Reed Grass is a popular choice among gardeners for its ornamental value, but it also provides habitat for a variety of wildlife. Birds are attracted to the grass for nesting material, and insects use it for food and shelter.

11. Can Feather Reed Grass be used for erosion control?

Feather Reed Grass has a deep root system that makes it an effective choice for erosion control. It can be planted on slopes or along stream banks to prevent soil erosion.

12. How do you prune Feather Reed Grass?

Feather Reed Grass should be pruned in the early spring, before new growth appears. Cut back the previous year’s growth to a height of 2-3 inches above the ground. This will encourage new growth and prevent the grass from becoming too tall and floppy.

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