Zone 5 Native Grasses – Types Of Grass For Zone 5 Climates

Image by KatyLR

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Grasses add incredible beauty and texture to the landscape all year round, even in northern climates that experience sub-zero winter temperatures. Read on for more information about cold hardy grasses and a few examples of the best grasses for zone 5.

Zone 5 Native Grasses

Planting native grasses for your particular area offers many benefits because they are perfectly suited to the growing conditions. They provide shelter for wildlife, require little maintenance, survive with limited water and rarely need pesticides or chemical fertilizer. Although it’s best to check with your local garden center for grasses native to your area, the following plants are excellent examples of hardy zone 5 grasses native to North America:

  • Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) – Pink and brownish blooms, graceful, arching, bright-green foliage turning reddish-orange in autumn.
  • Purple Love Grass (Eragrostis spectabilis) – Reddish-purple blooms, bright green grass that turns orange and red in autumn.
  • Prairie Fire Red Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ‘Prairie Fire’) – Rose blooms, blue-green foliage turning deep red in summer.
  • ‘Hachita’ Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracili ‘Hachita’) – Reddish-purple blooms, bluish-green/gray-green foliage turns golden brown in autumn.
  • Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) – Purplish-bronze flowers, grayish-green grass that turns bright orange, bronze, red and purple in autumn.
  • Eastern Gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) – Purple and orange flowers, green grass turning reddish-bronze in autumn.

Other Types of Grass for Zone 5

Below are some additional cold hardy grasses for zone 5 landscapes:

  • Purple Moor Grass (Molina caerulea) – Purple or yellow flowers, pale green grass turning brown in autumn.
  • Tufted Hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa) – Purple, silver, gold and greenish-yellow blooms, dark green foliage.
  • Korean Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) – Pinkish blooms, bright green foliage turning yellow-beige in fall.
  • Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaries) – also known as Pink Hair Grass, it has bright pink blooms and dark green foliage.
  • Hameln Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’) – Also known as Dwarf Fountain Grass, this grass produces pinkish-white blooms with deep green foliage turning orange-bronze in autumn.
  • Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Strictus’) – Reddish-brown blooms and medium-green grass with bright yellow, horizontal stripes.

More Information about Zone 5
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