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All About Ornamental Grasses

Ask This Old House landscape contractor Jenn Nawada discusses a variety of ornamental grasses, how to care for them, and how to incorporate them into a landscape design.

In this video, Jenn Nawada tells you everything you need to know about ornamental grasses, and why they are some of her favorite plants to add to a landscape design. While there are many varieties you can choose from, Jenn shows a few examples and explains how you could use them to add a cool visual element to any area.

Specifically discussing Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’, Miscanthus ‘Adagio’, switchgrass, and Hakonechloa grass, Jenn points out their characteristics and shares what other plants she likes to pair them with. She also explains where the plants thrive and how to maintain this plant.

How to Maintain Ornamental Grass

  1. Be sure to place this plant in the proper location as it thrives in full to partial sunlight.
  2. Make sure your ornamental grass has well-drained soil.
  3. The only upkeep this plant requires is a yearly cut. Late winter to early spring is the best time to cut before the new growth emerges. To do so, grab the grass at the base and cut them with either hand pruners or hedge trimmers at about 2 inches high.


Jenn discussed a variety of ornamental grasses, including miscanthus “morning light,” miscanthus “adagio”, panium vergatum “purple tears,” and hakonechloa “Japanese forest grass.” These can be found at some home centers and most nurseries.

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Stonegate Gardens.