Purple moor grass with heather
image by Blokenearexeter/Wikimedia
If you are looking for a hardy, ornamental grass that is often favored by landscapers, try growing purple moor grass. Purple moor grass is an upright, arching grass that forms itself into neat mounds. The yellow-purple flowers appear in the summer months and will break off from the base of the plant in the fall. Unlike many other ornamental grasses, purple moor grass will basically clean itself from the foliage of the previous season, making it easy to maintain.
Add purple moor grass into your gardens if you live in zones four through nine. It is a warm season grass that will form into small clumps.
Choose one of the two varieties of purple moor grass. Variegata grows two to three feet tall and has variegated foliage in green and white stripes. Skyracer grows six to eight feet tall and has blue foliage.
Select an area in your yard that receives full sun in cooler locations and partial sun to shade in hotter regions.
Amend the soil with organic matter if the soil where you will be planting the grass isn't fertile. Add manure or peat to the existing soil, working it into the planting area before you plant the grass. Be sure the soil drains well because the purple moor grass will not grow well in areas that are flooded.
Dig a hole that is a little bigger than the purple moor grass root ball. This will give you enough space to work organic matter into the soil and loosen it at the same time. The plant's root system will have an easier time spreading out into soil that is not hard but has been loosened up.
Water your purple moor grass regularly. Keep the soil moist but not flooded. Purple moor grass will not grow in areas where the soil is kept dry.
Fertilizer is not necessary, but if you are spreading fertilizer around existing plants in your garden, you can give a little to the purple moor grass too. Pruning will not be necessary, as the grass is self pruning.