Identifying ornamental grasses growing in your lawn requires exactly the same type of analysis as choosing which grass to plant, but the steps are completed at the contrary direction. When deciding upon an ornamental grass from the some 9,000 species of the grass family (Poaceae or Gramineae), a wise gardener believes her climate, soil and tastes subsequently leads into the garden shop to see what fits her info. To identify an extant grass, detail the plant characteristics then fit them with ornamental grasses that can thrive in the climate and soil. The search is complicated by the fact that the term “cosmetic grass” includes relatives of true grasses, such as sedges (Cyperaceae) and rushes (Juncaceae). Collect info, then compare it with a neighborhood gardening manual or university website.
Determine the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone to your region to narrow the types of ornamental grasses which can grow in your lawn. Like other plants, ornamental grass species are confined to a specific climate range.
Examine your soil with a soil pH test kit. Some ornamental grasses thrive in acidic soil, others at alkaline soil. When you know the soil type in which the ornamental grass grows, you can cross out many potential species from your list of possibilities.
Assess the type of irrigation and sunlight the ornamental grass has accessible. Many native grasses are drought-tolerant, but a few are imports from wetter areas and need moist soil and regular watering. Likewise, most grasses like sunlight, but a few need shade to thrive.
Mark on your calendar the time of the year your cosmetic grass begins to grow after dormancy. Cool-weather grasses shoot up early in spring and perish with summer’s warmest weather to boom again in autumn and into winter. Conversely, warm-weather grasses do not show their tips until summer warms the ground.
Watch your cosmetic grass to find out how it interacts with other perennials. If it grows in passive, slowly enlarging mounds, then it’s clump-forming grass. It does not overrun other plants and is not invasive. “Running” or rhizome-forming grass sends out underground stems and aggressively inhabits as much terrain as possible.