8 Ornamental Grasses That Like to Grow in Containers

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Ornamental grasses are a popular choice for gardeners wanting to add a sense of depth and interest to their outdoor space, but do you know the species that grow best in containers? Check out this list of versatile ornamental grasses that will not only look spectacular in containers, but they’ll also thrive!

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African fountain grass
8 Ornamental Grasses That Like to Grow in Containers

African fountain grass (Cenchrus setaceus) is a grass plant also commonly called crimson fountain grass. It grows throughout East Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Crimson fountain grass is drought tolerant and the existence of it increases the risk of fires. Crimson fountain grass is often considered to be an invasive species.

Lyme grass
8 Ornamental Grasses That Like to Grow in Containers

The Strandroggen is a perennial herbaceous plant and forms large, gray-green to bluish-gray colored clumps with long underground foothills and many renewal sprouts. These sometimes grow up within the lowest leaf sheaths, but usually break through the leaf sheaths with their buds. The stems are 60 to 120, rarely up to 200 cm high, are upright and bare.

Chinese silver grass 'Morning Light'
8 Ornamental Grasses That Like to Grow in Containers

Chinese silver grass ‘Morning Light’ is a popular ornamental grass cultivar of Chinese silver grass. Bred to grow in a tighter, vase-shaped, club pattern, it stands out well in gardens. It also has small purplish flowers in summer. This cultivar was named for its characteristic silvery color, reminiscent of hazy morning light.

Low bulrush
8 Ornamental Grasses That Like to Grow in Containers

Low bulrush (Isolepis cernua) is a sedge found in many regions around the world. It grows in freshwater wetlands, as well as salt marshes. Gardeners use it as a ground cover, as part of a water feature, or in hanging baskets to display its graceful foliage. The plant and its seed contain toxins.

Hakone grass 'Aureola'
8 Ornamental Grasses That Like to Grow in Containers

Hakone grass ‘Aureola’ is a Japanese Hakone grass with characteristic variegated green and yellow blades. This cultivar is noted for its golden-yellow color that darkens to a deeper orange color in fall. Its name refers to a halo or aura of surrounding brightness since Hakone grass is famed for seeming to glow under the diffuse sunlight of dawn and dusk.

Japanese sweet flag 'Ogon'
8 Ornamental Grasses That Like to Grow in Containers

Japanese sweet flag ‘Ogon’ is a dwarf cultivar of the Japanese sweet flag. This cultivar is noted for its long narrow, sword-like leaves. The yellow and green stripes on its leaves differentiates this cultivar from its mother plant, whose leaves are solid green. Though variegated, Japanese sweet flag ‘Ogon’ appears yellow at first glance.

Cogongrass
8 Ornamental Grasses That Like to Grow in Containers

Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) grows in pointed, sharp blades. It is highly flammable even when green, but can recolonize an area quickly after a wildfire because the underground rhizomes do not burn. This species is used to thatch roofs in Southeast Asian residences. It’s also used to weave bags and mats.

New zealand flax
8 Ornamental Grasses That Like to Grow in Containers

New zealand flax (Phormium tenax) is an ornamental perennial that offers colorful accents year-round. Its sword-like leaves change color in fall and red or yellow tubular blossoms appear in late spring through early fall attracting hummingbirds. This low-maintenance plant prefers full sun to partial shade and will grow to 3 to 8 feet tall.