How to Plant and Grow Feather Reed Grass: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Plant and Grow Feather Reed Grass
11 min reading time

Feather reed grass is an excellent addition to any garden, providing height, texture, and visual interest. This ornamental grass variety is easy to grow and care for, making it a popular choice among gardeners. In this section, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of planting and growing feather reed grass.

With our guide, you will learn valuable planting tips to help you successfully cultivate this stunning grass variety in your garden. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice, our guide will provide all the information you need to get started.

Key Takeaways:

  • Feather reed grass is an excellent addition to any garden, providing height, texture, and visual interest.
  • Our step-by-step guide will teach you how to plant and grow feather reed grass, with valuable tips for success.
  • Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice, our guide provides all the information you need to get started.
  • By following our tips and best practices, you can create a serene oasis in your yard with this beautiful and easy-to-care-for grass variety.
  • Proper care and maintenance are essential for the health and vigor of your feather reed grass, and we will provide guidance on how to keep it looking its best.

Understanding Feather Reed Grass

Feather reed grass, or Calamagrostis x acutiflora, is a popular ornamental grass known for its stunning appearance and versatility. This grass can grow up to 5 feet tall and has narrow, green leaves that turn golden yellow in the fall. It produces feathery, reddish-brown plumes in the summer, which give it its name.

To ensure successful cultivation of feather reed grass, it’s important to understand the growing conditions that are best for this plant. This grass is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9 and thrives in full sun to partial shade. It prefers moist, well-draining soil and can tolerate a wide range of soil types, as long as they are not constantly wet or dry.

If you’re interested in growing feather reed grass, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. This grass is low maintenance and easy to care for, making it a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. It’s also deer resistant and can attract birds to your yard.

With the right growing conditions and care, feather reed grass can add texture, height, and visual interest to your garden. In the following sections, we will guide you through the process of growing and maintaining this beautiful grass variety.

How to Plant and Grow Feather Reed Grass: Choosing the Right Location

Feather reed grass is adaptable and can grow in a variety of soil types and conditions. However, selecting the right location is crucial for the success of your feather reed grass. Here are some tips to ensure optimal growth:

  • Choose a spot that receives full sun or partial shade. Feather reed grass thrives in sunny locations that receive at least six hours of sunlight per day.
  • Avoid planting in low-lying areas that are prone to flooding or areas with poor drainage. Feather reed grass prefers well-drained soil.
  • Consider the size of the area where you plan to plant. Feather reed grass can grow up to six feet tall and two feet wide, so be sure to choose a spot that can accommodate its mature size.

By selecting the right location, you can set your feather reed grass up for success. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your garden, and you’ll be on your way to a thriving and beautiful grass variety.

Soil Preparation

Before planting feather reed grass in your garden, it’s important to ensure that the soil is prepared and ready for optimal growth. The following steps will guide you through the soil preparation process:

Soil Testing

The first step in soil preparation is to test the soil. This will help you determine the soil type, pH level, and nutrient deficiencies. You can purchase a soil testing kit at your local garden center or send a sample to a soil testing laboratory for analysis.


Based on the results of the soil test, you may need to amend the soil to create a better growing environment for your feather reed grass. Common soil amendments include organic matter, such as compost or manure, and inorganic substances like lime or sulfur.

Improving Drainage

Feather reed grass prefers well-draining soil and can suffer from root rot in soil that is too wet. If your soil is heavy or has poor drainage, consider amending it with sand or perlite to improve drainage.


Before planting, it’s important to fertilize the soil to provide your feather reed grass with the nutrients it needs to thrive. Use a slow-release fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, such as a 10-10-10 formula. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package for application rates and timing.

By following these soil preparation steps, you can create an ideal environment for your feather reed grass to grow and thrive in your garden. Proper soil preparation is an important aspect of feather reed grass maintenance that will pay off with healthy and beautiful grass.

Planting Feather Reed Grass

Feather reed grass can be easily planted from seeds or mature plants. Follow these steps for a successful planting:

  • Prepare the soil: Before planting, ensure the soil is healthy and fertile. Loosen the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches, and remove any weeds or debris. Mix in organic matter if needed to improve soil quality.
  • Sow seeds: If planting from seeds, sprinkle them evenly over the soil surface. Lightly cover with soil and water well.
  • Plant mature grass: For mature plants, dig holes that are slightly larger than the root ball. Space the holes at least 18 inches apart to allow room for growth. Place the grass in the hole and backfill with soil, gently pressing down the soil around the roots.
  • Water regularly: Water the newly planted grass thoroughly, and keep the soil consistently moist until the roots are established. After that, water as needed to keep the soil slightly moist.
  • Protect from wind: Feather reed grass is prone to wind damage, especially in its early stages of growth. To protect it from strong winds, consider planting it near a windbreak or installing a windbreak barrier.
  • Feed regularly: Fertilize the grass with a slow-release, nitrogen-rich fertilizer in the early spring and midsummer. This will encourage healthy growth and vibrant color.
  • Maintain proper height: Feather reed grass can grow up to 6 feet tall, so it’s essential to maintain the desired height by cutting back the stems in the early spring before new growth begins.

Watering and Fertilizing

How to Plant and Grow Feather Reed Grass

Feather reed grass requires proper watering and fertilizing to maintain its health and beauty. Here are some tips to ensure successful feather reed grass growth:

  • Water the grass deeply once a week, providing 1-2 inches of water per week.
  • Water in the morning to allow the grass to dry before nightfall, reducing the risk of disease.
  • Fertilize in the spring with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer, following package instructions for application rates.
  • Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plants to help retain moisture and reduce soil temperature.
  • Consider using organic fertilizers such as compost tea or fish emulsion, which provide nutrients slowly and naturally.

Remember not to overwater or overfertilize, as this can lead to weak growth and susceptibility to disease. Following these watering and fertilizing tips will keep your feather reed grass healthy and vibrant for years to come.

Maintenance and Pruning

Proper maintenance and pruning are essential for the continued health and beauty of your feather reed grass. Follow these guidelines to keep your grass looking its best:

  • Remove any dead or damaged foliage regularly to prevent disease and pests from taking hold.
  • Divide your grass every 2-3 years to prevent overcrowding and maintain its vigor.
  • Prune your grass in the late winter or early spring before new growth appears. Cut it back to about 6 inches from the ground to stimulate new growth.

By following these simple maintenance tasks, you can ensure that your feather reed grass stays healthy and vibrant for years to come.

Dealing with Pests and Diseases

While feather reed grass is generally a hardy and resilient plant, it can still fall victim to pests and diseases. Here are some common issues to watch out for:

AphidsSmall green or black insects on leavesRemove with a strong stream of water or spray with insecticidal soap
Leaf spotBrown spots on leavesRemove infected leaves and dispose of them in the trash
Crown rotYellowing leaves and wiltingImprove drainage and remove infected plants. Avoid overwatering.

Preventative measures such as good sanitation practices and proper watering can help keep pests and diseases at bay. Regular inspection of your feather reed grass for any abnormal symptoms is also recommended.

With these tips for pest and disease prevention, you can ensure your feather reed grass stays healthy and continues to grow successfully.


Feather reed grass is a stunning and versatile plant that can add a touch of elegance to any landscape. By following the steps and best practices outlined in this guide, you can successfully plant and grow feather reed grass in your garden. Remember to choose the right location, prepare the soil, plant correctly, and provide proper watering and fertilization.

Maintain your grass by regularly pruning, dividing, and removing dead foliage. And be sure to keep an eye out for common pests and diseases, such as aphids and rust, and address them promptly.

With a little TLC, your feather reed grass will thrive and reward you with its beautiful foliage and graceful plumes. So don’t hesitate to add this lovely grass variety to your garden and enjoy the beauty and serenity it brings.


How often should I water feather reed grass?

Feather reed grass should be watered deeply once or twice a week, depending on the weather and soil conditions. It is important to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.

When should I plant feather reed grass?

Feather reed grass can be planted in the spring or fall. It is best to avoid planting during extreme temperatures to give the grass the best chance of establishing and thriving.

How tall does feather reed grass grow?

Feather reed grass typically grows to a height of 3 to 6 feet, depending on the variety. It is a tall grass that adds vertical interest to the landscape.

Can I divide feather reed grass?

Yes, feather reed grass can be divided every few years to prevent overcrowding and rejuvenate the plant. Dividing should be done in the early spring or fall when the grass is not actively growing.

Does feather reed grass attract wildlife?

Yes, feather reed grass is known to attract birds and butterflies. The grass provides cover and nesting material for birds, while the flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators.

How do I prevent feather reed grass from flopping over?

To prevent feather reed grass from flopping over, it is important to provide adequate support. You can use stakes or plant the grass in groups to provide mutual support. Additionally, cutting back the grass in late winter or early spring can help promote more compact growth.

Is feather reed grass invasive?

Feather reed grass is not considered invasive, but it can self-seed and spread if not properly managed. Regular maintenance, including deadheading and removing seed heads, can help prevent unwanted spread.

How long does it take for feather reed grass to establish?

Feather reed grass typically takes one to two growing seasons to fully establish and reach its mature size. During this time, it is important to provide proper care and maintenance to ensure its success.

Can I grow feather reed grass in containers?

While feather reed grass is typically grown in the ground, it can be grown in containers as long as the container is large enough to accommodate its root system. Make sure the container has good drainage and water the grass regularly to prevent it from drying out.

Read Also:

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Protection Status

Win one of the 20 coolest kitchen gadgets!

Image of Chefd giveaway Nessie Ladle.

Surprises every month. The fun twist is that you can choose your own in the next step.


Chefd subscribers - contest