15 Best Ornamental Grasses For Shade

Sheri Dorn is a versatile homesteader and culinary artist with a strong focus on organic and heirloom gardening. Holding a Master's degree in Culinary Arts, she combines her love for cooking and gardening in a unique way. Sheri is an active contributor to online gardening communities and enjoys quality outdoor time with her family and pets.
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If you’re looking to jazz up your shady garden, then these Best Ornamental Grasses For Shade are the way to go!

Shady gardens not only add texture and dimension to your garden, but they also thrive in shady areas. So, let’s get into the top picks for the Best Ornamental Grasses for Shade.

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Best Ornamental Grasses for Shade

1. Autumn Moore Grass

Best Ornamental Grasses For Shade

Botanical Name: Sesleria autumnalis

USDA Zones: 5-8

This beautiful grass is a popular choice for shady gardens. The foliage turns golden in the fall, adding a warm glow to your garden as the days get shorter.

Learn How to Grow and Care for Bermuda Grass here

2. Dwarf Fountain Grass

Botanical Name: Pennisetum Alopecuroides ‘Hameln’

USDA Zones: 4-11

This grass is perfect for adding some height to your shady garden without taking up too much space. It has a stunning pinkish-tan color that stands out in any garden.

3. Fall Blooming Reed Grass

Best Ornamental Grasses For Shade 3

Botanical Name: Calamagrostis arundinacea

USDA Zones: 4-9

If you’re looking for grass that will bring some late-season color to your shady garden, look no further than Fall Blooming Reed Grass.

Here are the best ornamental grasses you can grow in containers 

4. Flame Grass

Botanical Name: Miscanthus Purpurascens

USDA Zones: 4-9

If you’re looking for shady grass that adds some drama to your garden, then the Flame Grass is the way to go. This low-maintenance grass has a stunning red and orange color.

5. Feather Reed Grass

Best Ornamental Grasses For Shade 5

Botanical Name: Calamagrostis X Acutiflora

USDA Zones: 3-9

Feather Reed Grass is a striking grass that grows up to 4-5 feet tall, even in the shadiest spot. Its feathery, vertical foliage comes in shades of green and bronze.

6. Greater Wood Rush

Botanical Name: Luzula sylvatica

USDA Zones: 4-9

Greater Wood Rush is perfect for adding some texture to your shady space. It has a unique appearance with its dark green, glossy leaves and tiny, bell-shaped flowers.

Here are the Best Tall Grass Like Plants

7. Japanese Forest Grass


Botanical Name: Hakonechloa macra

USDA Zones: 5-9

This grass, also known as Hakone grass, is a shade-loving plant that adds a touch of elegance to any garden. The delicate appearance makes it perfect for adding texture.

8. Lilyturf

Best Ornamental Grasses For Shade 8

Botanical Name: Liriope Spp.

USDA Zones: 4-10

For those who want grass that is a little more low-key, the Lilyturf is a perfect choice. This grass has a delicate look that adds a touch of elegance to any garden.

9. Muhly Grass

Botanical Name: Muhlenbergia Capillaris

USDA Zones: 5-11

Muhly Grass is a showstopper when it comes to fall color. Its delicate pink or purple flowers appear in late summer and early fall, creating a stunning contrast against its green foliage.

Check out Types of Bamboos to Grow in Containers and Gardens here

10. Mondo Grass

Best Ornamental Grasses For Shade 10

Botanical Name: Ophiopogon japonicus

USDA Zones: 5-10

This grass is perfect for adding some interest to your garden with its unique appearance. The Mondo Grass has a dark green color and thin blades that add a touch of sophistication.

11. Northern Sea Oats

Botanical Name: Chasmanthium latifolium

USDA Zones: 3-9

This grass is a great choice for those who want to add some movement to their garden. It has a unique appearance with drooping seedheads that sway in the breeze.

12. Sedge

Best Ornamental Grasses For Shade 12

Botanical Name: Carex Spp

USDA Zones: 2-9

Another great option for shade-loving grasses is the Sedge. This grass is perfect for adding some movement to your garden.

Learn all about lemongrass plant care here

13. Sweet Flag

Botanical Name: Acorus Spp.

USDA Zones: 4-11

Sweet Flag is a versatile grass that can grow in sun or shade. Its glossy green leaves resemble those of a lily, and it produces small, insignificant flowers in the summer.

14. Tufted Hair Grass

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Botanical Name: Deschampsia Cespitosa

USDA Zones: 2-8

This lovely grass is a favorite of gardeners who wants to give a natural and wild look to their shady area. It grows in tufts up to 3-5 feet tall, with feathery green foliage.

15. Variegated Bulbous Oat Grass

Botanical Name: Arrhenatherum elatius ‘Variegatum

USDA Zones: 3-9

Most grasses need full sun to thrive, but not our Variegated bulbous oat grass. This is a perfect choice if you’ve got a dark corner of your garden that needs some sprucing up.

Check out Black Mondo Grass Care and Growing Tips here

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