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: Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) has pink and brownish blooms that are graceful and arching with bright green foliage that turns reddish orange in autumn.
- Purple Love Grass: Purple Love Grass (Eragrostis spectabilis) has reddish purple blooms, and bright green grass that turns orange and red in autumn.
- Prairie Fire Red Switchgrass: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum ‘Prairie Fire’) has rose blooms, and blue-green foliage turning deep red in summer.
- ‘Hachita’ Blue Grama Grass: Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracili ‘Hachita’) has reddish purple blooms, and bluish green/grayish green foliage turns golden brown in autumn.
- Little Bluestem: Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) has purplish bronze flowers, and grayish green grass that turns bright orange, bronze, red, and purple in autumn.
- Eastern Gamagrass: Eastern Gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) has purple and orange flowers, with green grass that turns 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: Purple Moor Grass (Molina caerulea) has purple or yellow flowers, and pale green grass turning brown in autumn.
- Tufted Hairgrass: Tufted Hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa) has purple, silver, gold, and greenish yellow blooms with dark green foliage.
- Korean Feather Reed Grass: Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) has pinkish blooms, and bright green foliage turning yellow beige in fall.
- Pink Muhly Grass: Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaries) – also known as Pink Hair Grass, it has bright pink blooms and dark green foliage.
- Hameln Fountian Grass: 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: Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Strictus’) has reddish brown blooms and medium green grass with bright yellow, horizontal stripes.