Grasses Make Yard Maintenance Easy Breezy

Low maintenance is key for on-the-go households with little time for trimming overgrown bushes near sidewalks, property lines, utility boxes, and driveways. Perennial ornamental grasses offer a variety of sizes, colors, and textures, proving to bring great vertical interest and movement to any landscape. “Many of our landscape design requests are for plants that don’t grow too big,” says Mary Saba, TGP Landscape Designer.

Three of Mary’s favorite Growing Place Choice ornamental grasses that stay shorter are Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis ‘Tara’), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparius), and Autumn Moor Grass (Seslaria autumnalis). These strong performers are all drought tolerant once established. They provide great fall color and winter interest to a home landscape. Planted around spring bulb flowers, the grasses come up in time to hide the withering leaves of bulbs after blooms fade and flower heads are clipped.


Prairie Dropseed

Prairie Dropseed ’Tara’ is native to our prairies and brings eye-catching beauty to a small garden or border edge with its fine-textured blue-green leaves and wispy stalks that swirl with the slightest breeze. Weeds find it hard to grow near Prairie Dropseed when planted in mass because the greenery acts as a mulch.


Little Bluestem

Little Bluestem is great planted in mass or grown in mixed flower borders. Its upright blue-green foliage turns to shades of bronze, copper, and burgundy in the fall. Little Bluestem grass is clump-forming and well-mannered when paired with Rudbeckia or Helenium for late summer color.


Autumn Moor Grass mixed with allium at the entrance to Cantigny.

Autumn Moor Grass is also neat and tidy and does well when massed as a groundcover or edging. It has bright yellow-green foliage and grows best in full sun to part shade.

The deep, narrow root systems of ornamental grasses do not compete with tree root systems. Plant them near trees or in skinny, long spaces between sidewalks and houses. Nothing softens the corner of a house like a grass gently swaying in the breeze. They are the perfect addition for areas where snow gets piled up in the winter and they are also an approved plant to grow near utility boxes and gas meters.

To learn more, come in and ask our perennial department staff about all of our ornamental grasses. They love to share their favorites! You can also search online on our TGP Plant Search to learn more about the wide variety of perennial ornamental grasses offered at The Growing Place.

Aurora Location

2000 Montgomery Road,

Aurora, IL 60504

Phone. 630-820-8088

Naperville Location

25w471 Plank Road,

Naperville, IL 60563

Phone. 630-355-4000

Spring Hours

March 30-June 30

Monday-Friday: 9am-7pm

Saturday: 9am-5pm

Sunday: 11am-5pm

Memorial Day Hours

Monday, May 27


Growing for the future with
right plantsĀ in right places.