Have you noticed around town a grass-type plant with wispy, very delicate pale pink plumes blooming lately? That, my flower freaks, is the beautiful native ornamental grass called Muhly grass, aka Muhlenbergia capillaris.
Muhly is a very hardy, easy to grow grass that would do awesome in your sun to part sun garden. It quickly grows to 3-4′ tall x 3′ wide with an arching habit. The fluffy flower stalks can add another 3′-5′ of height to the plant. The blooms start showing color in late October. I think they’re pretty cool looking even after they dried out. Oh but wait … there’s more: The dried seed heads also are a favorite of hungry birds.
Muhly makes an excellent medium-size hedge, accent plant, foundation plant, middle of the border plant, or even container plant as long as the container is large. It thrives in zones 7 – 11. Maintenance is pretty simple: Cut it back in late January to about 6″ to 1′ from the ground. Give it organic fertilizer such as Milorganite twice a year: mid-March and mid-October are perfect times. Rake or hand pull the dead leaf stalks to keep it clean looking. Then just sit back and enjoy the beauty of Muhly!
It’s a pretty versatile plant in the type of soil it likes, its only requirement is well draining soil. While it is drought tolerant after becoming established, it looks much better with regular watering. Are you thinking about putting in a rain garden, or do you have an area that drains well but stays moist for awhile after rainy days? Those are areas Muhly will do great in, along with it adapting just fine to normal garden situation.
Oh, did you know that Muhly grass also comes in a white flowering variety!! Why, yes it does:
So now that you know all about Muhly grass, how about popping over to R&G’s Unique Garden Boutique and ordering yourself one … or more!
Happy digging in the dirt …
Jeanni, Gibbs, and Ziva