How to Care for Blue Festuca Grass

Overview

Blue festuca ornamental grass, also called Elijah Blue fescue, provides a dash of grey-blue foliage to your landscape. This perennial grass grows low to the ground, in attractive round clumps, and fares well in most soils (including sandy soils), as long as the soil has good drainage. Because it is easy to care for and retains color all year (in warm regions), Festuca is a suitable plant for landscape borders.

Step 1

Plant blue festuca in a sunny, well-drained area of your yard, at least 12 inches apart if planting more than one, as they spread. Daytonnursery.com warns that this grass may rot if planted in heavy, poorly drained wet soils. If your garden soil is heavy clay, add sand and other additions, such as perlite, to lighten the soil. Avoid peat moss, however, as blue festuca grass prefers a slightly alkaline soil--peat moss may make soil too acidic for this plant.

Step 2

Water new plantings of this grass enough to keep soil moist (but not muddy) so blue festuca will develop strong roots. Once established, this plant is tolerant of drought, however, and you won't need to water it often--watering needs will depend much on rainfall and how hot your region gets. Be flexible with your watering habits--if you are watering every week and the plant is doing poorly, try watering more frequently; if the plant continues to decline, water less frequently--and eventually you will get an idea of the appropriate watering schedule for your festuca.

Step 3

Clip off old, brown foliage as it appears. Use garden shears to do this--clip it down close to the ground level.

Step 4

Divide the clump into smaller plants for replanting. Monrovia.com suggests doing this every two to three years and only in the springtime. To divide, gently loosen soil around the grass with your garden spade. Lift the plant and gently pull away small clumps of the grass for replanting. Have your garden shears on hand in case you must cut the clumps away (if they are resistant to pulling). Plant the new clumps immediately and water them--treat these newly planted grasses as if you just brought them home from the nursery. They will need time to root to their new location.

Step 5

Fertilize blue festuca once each spring with a balanced fertilizer. You can use a liquid or granular fertilizer, as long as you place the fertilizer at the soil level (not the leaves) and water it in well.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Garden shears
  • Spade

References

  • Daytonnursery.com: Ornamental Grass
  • Monrovia.com: Elijah Blue Fescue (Blue Festuca)
  • Bluestem.ca: Dividing Ornamental Grasses
Keywords: blue festuca care, ornamental festuca care, growing blue festuca, grow blue festuca

About this Author

Corey M. Mackenzie is a professional freelance writer with knowledge and experience in many areas. Corey received a B.A. with honors from Wichita State University and has been a writer for over two decades. Corey specializes in pets, interior decorating, health care, gardening, fashion, relationships, home improvement and forensic science. Corey's articles have appeared in Garden Guides, Travels and other websites online.