Three ornamental native Utah grass varieties to plant in the fall
Erin here! With summer getting longer and fall getting hotter, it might be time to rethink when "gardening season" actually occurs.
- In my experience, hardy ornamental grasses and shrubs do well when I plant them in October — and even into November.
- They establish fine when it's not too hot, and then they get winter precipitation early in their growth.
Many nurseries focus on non-native grasses, but some amazing bunch grasses are native to Utah.
1. Blue Grama
The eyelash-looking seed heads flutter sideways like little flags, catching low rays of the sun in a dramatic display.
Size: Mine are 12–18 inches wide and 18–24 inches tall, but some cultivars reportedly grow to 3 feet wide and tall.
2. Little bluestem
In summer it's a serviceable green bunchgrass. In fall it's on fire as its blades turn purple, pink and red.
Size: 18-24 inches tall, 12 inches wide.
3. Alkali Sacaton
Seedheads rise in creamy plumes off this plant in late summer, softening the often sharp texture of other arid-climate plants.
- This can be hard to find for sale, but some nurseries can order it.
Size: 2–3 feet wide and 3 feet tall.
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