Variegated grasses can be used as accent plants or focal points, in a perennial border or as part of a mass planting of ornamental grasses. The foliage may be a combination of shades of green, gold, cream and blue. The variegation may consist of specks, spots, blotches or patches, in addition to horizontal or vertical stripes. The grasses may grow less than a foot tall to more than 8 feet tall, with an upright, rounded or arching form. Most variegated grasses need at least 3 to 5 hours of sun every day to hold their color. Variegated grasses are easy to plant and to maintain.
Decide where you want to plant a variegated grass. Consider the amount of sun and irrigation the location receives, as well as the type of soil, drainage and the zone of the location. Choose a variety that is the color and mature size you want that will grow in these conditions.
Buy variegated grass plants from a reputable local or online nursery. See Resources for some online sources of variegated grasses. Choose plants that are not stressed from insect damage, diseases or being rootbound.
Leave the variegated grass in the pot and set it in a shady place. Water well with a water hose or watering can.
Use a shovel to dig a hole as deep as the rootball of the variegated grass, and twice as wide as the rootball.
Remove the plant from the pot and set it in the planting hole, no deeper than it was in the pot. Use a shovel or your hand to push the soil back into hole the around the rootball of the plant, tamping it down firmly. Do not mound the soil around the base of the plant. Spread the remaining soil evenly around the plant.
Spread a layer of mulch 2 to 3 inches thick around the variegated grass. Do not mound the mulch around the base of the plant.
Water the plant thoroughly with a water hose or watering can.