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Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass Calamagrostis acutiflora

Exposure
  • Part Sun to Sun

The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

Flower Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
Mature Size
72" 36"
Height
48 - 72"
Spread
24 - 36"
  • Details

    Features

    Dramatic red-bronze flower spikes early to midsummer; will beautify your garden year after year

    Award Winner
    Heat Tolerant
    Deadheading Not Necessary
    Attracts: 
    Birds
    Grass: 
    Grass

    Characteristics

    Plant Type: 
    Perennial
    Height Category: 
    Tall
    Garden Height: 
    48 - 72 Inches
    Spacing: 
    24 - 36 Inches
    Spread: 
    24 - 36 Inches
    Flower Colors: 
    Green
    Flower Shade: 
    Green
    Foliage Colors: 
    Yellow
    Foliage Shade: 
    Yellow
    Habit: 
    Upright
    Container Role: 
    Thriller

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 
    Part Sun to Sun
    Maintenance Category: 
    Easy
    Bloom Time: 
    Early Summer
    Bloom Time: 
    Mid Summer
    Bloom Time: 
    Early Winter
    Bloom Time: 
    Late Summer
    Bloom Time: 
    Mid Winter
    Bloom Time: 
    Early Fall
    Bloom Time: 
    Late Winter
    Bloom Time: 
    Mid Fall
    Bloom Time: 
    Late Fall
    Bloom Time: 
    Late Spring
    Hardiness Zones: 
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
    Water Category: 
    Average
    Uses: 
    Cut Flower
    Uses: 
    Dried Flower
    Uses: 
    Grass
    Uses: 
    Landscape
    Uses Notes: 

    Great for landscapes and as a specimen plant

    Maintenance Notes: 

    Karl Foerster is cool-season grass. Cool-season grasses put on most of their growth in spring before temperatures begin exceeding 75 degrees Fahrenheit and in the fall when temperatures cool down. They generally maintain good color through the summer but won't grow much when it is hot.
    Cut back cool season grasses in very early spring.

    Cool season grasses tend to look good even as the weather cools. Leave their foliage in place until spring and then as soon as the snow is gone cut them back. Leave about 1/3 of the plant in place. Trimming cool season grasses too harshly can irreparably harm the plant.

    Divide cool season grasses in spring or early fall. Cool season grasses are actively growing in spring and fall. These grasses can be transplanted at either time of the year but early spring is probably the best time to divide. If you do divide them in the fall, be careful that the freeze/thaw cycles of winter don't heave the plants out of the ground, this happened to a couple of my coral bells last winter.

    Cut clumps of grass to the ground in late winter before new shoots appear.

    2001 Perennial Plant of the Year

  • 11 Reviews

    5
    7
    4
    4
    3
    2
    1
    • I'm truly impressed; and that says a lot! I just received my 1 quart pot with Karl Foerster grass in it. I was notified by e-mail that it would be delivered some time today, and was on the look out for it (because it's in the mid 80s right now). It's lush, was not completely dry when received and came very quickly from when I ordered it. I am not used to that with other plan companies. So, while this review is supposed to be about the grass itself (which I already have one of several years and love) - and I'm reporting that the condition upon arrival was excellent - I'm also thrilled by the service I received on just this first order. If you guys do this with all of your plants, I'm ALL IN!!! Thank you!

      Lisa Myshock
      , Michigan
      , United States
      , 6 weeks ago
    • This plant just grows. I would actually say it's Hardy to zone 3 because it grows very well in Alberta's harsh, dry climate. It survives the -30°C to -40°C winters no problem and seems to tolerate wet soil, dry soil and everything in between. Just plant it and water it when you water your lawn and it will be fine.

      AvgJoe
      , Alberta
      , Canada
      , 19 weeks ago
    • Grows well in Alberta. However, last year had mice and am wondering if this grass is a food source for them. Planted in a rockery to add height

      S R
      , Canada
      , 4 years ago
    • I highly recommend this plant to anyone who likes ornamental grasses. Very easy to care for. No special care. Grows fast. My greyhounds sure loved eating the green grass it begins with, so we had to move it out of backyard as vet said it could give blockage and harm these dogs. It does get large, so do not plant too close to each other and perhaps in background of colorful plants or flowers.

      Miss Roselady
      , Idaho
      , United States
      , 7 years ago
    • Hardy and easy going. In a full sun location that can dry out quickly and it performs well.

      Sandra
      , Ontario
      , Canada
      , 9 years ago
    • Does very well in Chicago

      Russell Studebaker
      , Illinois
      , United States
      , 9 years ago
    • beautiful plants

      B Kolkema
      , British Columbia
      , Canada
      , 9 years ago
    • We get western afternoon breezes and this is beautiful to see backlit.

      Russell Studebaker
      , Oregon
      , United States
      , 9 years ago
    • Russell Studebaker
      , Wisconsin
      , United States
      , 9 years ago
    • Russell Studebaker
      , Indiana
      , United States
      , 9 years ago
  • 4 Awards

    Award Year Award Plant Trial
    2005 Best Grasses at the Zoo Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
    2005 Best Grasses at the Zoo Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
    2005 Best Grasses at the Zoo Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
    2005 Best Grasses at the Zoo Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
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