In many cases, the plant will recover when more moderate weather returns. If you choose to leave the flowers, be aware the plant may produce some seedlings. Suggested uses. This plant is one of the “no fuss” plants perfect for the low maintenance garden. Unlike some other plants grown as ornamental grasses, F. glauca is a true perennial grass, a member of the Poaceae family. Blue fescue plants are evergreen but they do lose some of the older blades and grow new fresh deep blue leaves in spring. Basic Care Summary. Plant Care These ornamental grasses are Evergreen: Comb or rake off any old, tired or dead leaves and flowers in spring. Remove the flower heads to help promote the tight mound shape of the plant. Follow a few blue fescue growing tips for a brightly colored, mounding accent plant for borders, rockeries or even containers. The plant also has several cultivars, such as the popular Elijah Blue. Allow soil to dry between thorough waterings. Aphids Tree Disease – How To Treat Tree Aphids And Honeydew Dripping, The Act Of Giving – Crafty Ways To Give Back, Grateful To Give Back: Sharing The Garden With Others In Need, We’re All In This Together - Passing On Gratitude In The Garden, Recipes From The Garden: Pressure Cooking Root Vegetables. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. To keep the foliage looking good, remove dead blades of grass, and remove the flower heads to encourage a dense, mounded shape. Care of Blue Fescue Grass Caring for blue fescue ornamental grass isn’t difficult. Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue' Elijah Blue is a classic variety that offers silvery-blue foliage on a tidy mounding plant. Divide every few years to maintain vigor and color. It is suitable for USDA zones 4 to 9, but prefers areas without blistering hot summers. Barbara Gillette is a Master Gardener, Herbalist, beekeeper, and journalist with decades of experience propagating and growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamentals. The center part will pull out by hand, leaving you with two plants full of healthy foliage. F escue grasses are famous for being clump-forming, and thus not chocking out other less tough plants near them. Gardeners like its ease of care and its fine texture, which makes it a good companion plant for heavier or more dramatic plantings. Garden care: Comb through the plant with your fingers in winter to remove dead foliage. Blue fescue prefers to grow in … Blue fescue grass needs average moisture, and will require supplemental water in summer. The dying plant simply needs to be dug up and cut in half. May be cut back in spring to 3-4" if needed. Cultivation. Festuca Boulder Blue takes intense heat & drought without losing its blue color, and makes the perfect addition to patio/deck container gardens. Loves good drainage. Dramatic foliage The truest blue of the dwarf grasses and totally drought-proof once established, Festuca glauca has stiff thread-like blue foliage which forms dense, upright tussocks, from which steel blue flower-heads appear in summer. Family Poaceae . There are several selections of Blue Fescue, all of them valued for their clumping habit, and display of colourful, grassy foliage. Festuca glauca 'Intense Blue' (Blue fescue 'Intense Blue') will reach a height of 0.3m and a spread of 0.3m after 2-5 years. Extreme heat causes the plant to die back. It is drought-tolerant and grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. Within a few years, blue fescue will begin to develop brown areas in the center of the clump, and will soon die away altogether unless lifted and divided. The plant may die back if the soils are too heavy and full of clay, so amend the area prior to planting with plenty of compost. Mulch helps to conserve moisture in the soil and suppress weed growth. With its compact habit and blue foliage, blue fescue works well in many settings. Gardeners like its ease of care and its fine texture, which makes it a good companion plant for heavier or more dramatic plantings. Plant blue fescue in full sun and in well-drained soil, although it will tolerate poor soils. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Dry to medium soils that are well-drained. The grass is also an attractive foil for wide, leafy plants and provides contrasting texture. Grow in poor or moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Special features: Cold hardy, Disease resistant, Easy care, Evergreen, Fast growing, Foliage interest, Multi-seasonal interest It is hardy between USDA zones 4 and 9 and grows from 6 to 10 inches tall. Blue fescue grass (Festuca glauca) is a colorful ornamental grass with icy blue foliage and pale yellow flowers. Its noninvasive trait also means it works well as an edging plant because it won't leave its bounds. Suggested uses. Other common names blue fescue 'Elijah Blue' . Cut back the foliage in early spring to within a few inches of the ground. Grown for its striking blue-green foliage. If you plan on using these plants in masses, select th… How much sun, shade, water and care does it need? One of the best and most colorful of all Blue Fescue varieties, Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue' is a wonderful dwarf ornamental grass, mostly grown for its superb, evergreen, bright silver-blue foliage. Read on to find out. Fescues are cool season grasses so they look their best in spring and fall. Blue fescue, such as the Elijah Blue variety (Festuca glauca "Elijah Blue"), is a sun-loving and drought-tolerant ornamental grass. There are few pest and disease problems with blue fescue, but the plant will die within a few years if it is not lifted and divided. Older blue fescue plants tend to die out a bit in the center. Plant database entry for Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca) with 15 images and 17 data details. The large blue fescue (Festuca amethystine) is hardier than the regular blue fescue (Festuca glauca). Soil type Care is very easy and blue fescue doesn’t require any care at all, except perhaps for watering during sweltering heat and in the first few weeks after planting. In late spring into early summer it produces tiny light blue-green flowers, these are followed by grass seed heads. Tolerates poor soil, heat, and drought. City, Cottage/Informal, Edging, Beds and borders, Low Maintenance, Containers, Rock. Plant blue festuca in a sunny, well-drained area of your yard, at least 12 inches apart if planting more than one, as they spread. Blue fescue (Festuca ovina glauca), also commonly called sheep fescue and sometimes mistakenly classified as F. cinerea, is a small semi-evergreen grass native to Europe.Grown as an ornamental for its attractive foliage color, it is hardy in zones 4-8. Cultivation. The classic blue color of the foliage accents most colors and makes a cool statement in a mass planting. There are several varieties of blue fescue grass for the garden. Each 'Elijah Blue' Fescue Grass plant forms a handsome blue-green clump with slender foliage, adding interest to the landscape. Pry the dying plant up out of the ground with a shovel or a garden trowel. It has very similar growing habits and is planted and cared for in much the same way as blue fescue. However, you can simply comb them out with your fingers. This plant rarely lives past three to five years unless it is divided. Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ ... Care Level Easy . Care Grow in full sun and poor to moderately fertile soil. Festuca glauca is not a showy specimen plant but in a minimalist scheme, against a backing of slate and red chippings, it adds texture, colour and interest. City, Cottage/Informal, Edging, Beds and borders, Low Maintenance, Containers, Rock. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Blue fescue is a commonly grown ornamental grass. The roots are not deep on this grass and they perform well for many seasons in containers, too, with Golden Barberry or other yellow or variegated plants. Soil type This selection forms a dense tuft … Place blue fescue grass in clusters along a border as a bright accent to other perennials. Care Tolerant of drought, heat, and poor soil. Festuca Plant Care. To divide, simply dig up mound and cut in half. Details 'Elijah Blue' forms small cushions of very fine, inrolled, intensely ice-blue leaves, becoming greener in winter. Festuca glauca ( Festuca cinerea) Festuca ovina glauca - Common Blue Fescue is a low, fine bladed evergreen grass with a distinctive silvery blue foliage. The plant may die back if the soils are too heavy and full of clay, so amend … Above-ground growth may die back during the summer, due to excessive heat and humidity. Festuca glauca- Blue fescue care Festuca glauca- Blue fescue is a clump forming evergreen grass. Genus Festuca can be herbaceous or evergreen, rhizomatous grasses with linear, often strikingly coloured, leaves, and dense or lax panicles of brownish flowers in summer . Wherever you decide to put the plant, it must have well-drained moist soil in a full sun position for best growth. Cut the clump in half, prying away the brown center portion of each smaller clump. It is different, however, from the tall fescues typically used in turf lawn mixtures. 6-12" tall x 6-12" wide. Water weekly during hot summer months to keep it green and growing; short periods of drought will stunt, but not kill the plant. Keep the foliage looking its best by hand combing out the dead blades of grass and removing the flower heads. By using The Spruce, you accept our, 9 to 12 inches in height, with a 6- to 9-inch spread, How to Select, Arrange, and Plant Flowers in a Planting Bed, 12 Best Ornamental Grasses for Your Landscape, 10 Best Full-Sun Perennials for Michigan Gardens, 15 Best Zone 8 Plants to Put In Your Garden. Drought, wind, and deer tolerant. If needed evergreens can be cut back (by up to half) at almost any time from April to July. Divide every few years. May be cut back in spring to 3-4" if needed. Grow in dry, well-drained soil of poor to moderate fertility in full sun. Division every 2-3 years will keep Blue Fescue at its best and prevent any center die-back. Deciduous Tree Leafing Problems: Why Won’t My Tree Leaf Out? One of the useful blue fescue growing tips is division. It is drought-tolerant and grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Back to Top Blue fescue grass (Festuca glauca) is a colorful ornamental grass with icy blue foliage and pale yellow flowers. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! According to the University of Arkansas, blue fescue is a cool-season perennial grass with blue-gray leaves. Propagation Divide in spring, or … Cut back in early spring as new growth appears. The grass forms low tight mounds and produces tall flower tipped stems in May to June. Replant the two new clumps as new plants, spacing them 8 to 10 inches apart. Get expert gardening tips on the FESTUCA glauca. In cold climates, blue fescue grass often turns brown in winter, but many growers leave it standing to help protect the roots from cold. Division can be done every three to five years or as the plant begins to slow blade production in the center. Care Thrives in average to very lean, loose, well-drained soils; does not tolerate soggy, poorly-drained soil. Slender, wiry blades of blue characterize blue fescue plants. Blue fescue thrives in full sunlight; it tolerates shade, but will not flower as well. Elijah Blue grows 12 inches tall and 8 … Densely tufted, the foliage of finely-textured, blade-like needles forms a neat mound topped by upright flower plumes in summer. Compost applied around the plant as mulch provides all the feeding that blue fescue requires. It can be short-lived in hot-summer areas. Sign up for our newsletter. Blue fescue plants do not need fertilization as long as an organic mulch is used around the base of the grass. Appearance and Characteristics. Do not cut back in autumn or winter. Grow in poor or moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Festuca glauca 'Compacta Blue' (Blue fescue 'Compacta Blue') will reach a height of 0.2m and a spread of 0.5m after 2-5 years. In spring, tease any dead blades of grass by hand combing through foliage. Gardeners in warm climates may experience a different problem with blue fescue. In other words, this is one grass that doesn't overrun everything around it. When this happens, give the plant a "haircut," since its appearance is temporarily spoiled anyway. Drought, wind, and deer tolerant. It eventually decomposes and releases nutrients into the soil (at which time you can replace the old mulch with a new batch). It’s perfect for growing in a rock garden, where it teams well with a … Festuca Plant Care In spring, tease any dead blades of grass by hand combing through foliage. See how RHS can give expert advice on growing, feeding, pruning and propagating plants. Read more articles about Blue Fescue Grass. Choose a sunny location when planting blue fescue. Water regularly during first growing season to establish root system. Find specific plants with our Plant Finder & Plant Selector. Blue fescue's uniform habit adds both texture and color when used in mixed containers. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. This plant has average moisture needs. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Caring for blue fescue ornamental grass isn’t difficult. Leaving the flowers may cause the plant to self-seed; this can be fine where you want the plant to spread but will require culling out the volunteers if you want to keep it confined. To divide, simply dig up mound and cut in half. Mulching with a 3-inch layer of bark mulch or other organic material is advisable, especially when fostering the growth of young plants. The ornamental grass is a tidy evergreen that is very tolerant of a wide range of sites and conditions. This will help make room for the new grass blades and will improve the look of the plant. Adaptive to soil types with a great diversity of compositions, blue fescue is hardy and fears practically no disease at all. A very similar plant to blue fescue is tufted fescue (Fescue amethystina), sometimes called tall blue fescue. Because it is easy to care for and retains color all year (in warm regions), Festuca is a suitable plant for landscape borders. Growing Fine Fescue: Learn About The Care And Uses For Fine Fescue, Barberry Shrub Care: Tips For Growing Barberry Bushes, What Is Tall Fescue: Growing Tall Fescue Grass In The Lawn, Gifting Used Gardening Books: How To Donate Garden Books, Regional To-Do List: West North Central Gardening In December, Plant Swap Ideas – How To Create Your Own Plant Swap, Growing Mango Trees: Information On Planting And Caring For A Mango Tree, Growing Salvia – Tips On Growing And Caring For Different Types Of Salvia. Plant in ordinary, well-drained soil. Blue fescue prefers cool summers but does fine in moderately warm conditions, but blistering heat and high humidity will cause the foliage to die back and may shorten the lifespan of this already short-lived perennial. This plant prefers relatively dry soil that is well-drained. It does not tolerate wet, soggy conditions. But tufted fescue is a taller plant, and a number of cultivars have attractive olive-green foliage. The older leaves adhere to the plant and spoil the bright coloration. It is mainly grown for it fine foliage, which has the best colour when it is planted in a spot that gets sun for the entire day, but it also produces bluish green flowerspikes in summer that age to straw. Propagation Sow seed in a cold frame from fall to spring; divide in spring. The more sun this ornamental grass receives, the more likely it is to achieve its famous blue-gray color. Blue fescue grass needs average moisture, and will require supplemental water in summer. 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