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Growing Grasses

Lomandra 'Lime Tuff'

Lomandra 'Lime Tuff'

In recent years, ornamental grasses have become increasingly popular in New Zealand because they are such easy care plants for the garden and patio pots. 

We share some tips for growing success and some of our top varieties.

Why grow grasses?

Grasses are versatile, come in a range of sizes, colours and shapes and best of all, being low maintenance, suit our busy lifestyles. 

Grasses are not fussy as to soil type, but it must be well-drained. Generally speaking, the poorer the soil, the better plants perform! They add texture and movement to a space and look great in pots through a courtyard too.

Tui Tips for ornamental grass success

  • Soak newly purchased plants in a bucket of water until the bubbles stop.
  • When planting, remove the plant from its container and using a sharp knife, make vertical cuts around the root ball to stimulate new root growth.
  • Plant to the depth of the previous container. Don't plant too deeply – they rot. If planted too high, the plant will dry out quickly and not thrive.
  • Right plant, right place! Plant grass varieties best suited to your climate, soil type and situation – then they will be virtually maintenance free.
  • Regularly water newly planted grasses until they become established, especially during dry periods.
  • It is usual for the foliage tips to turn brown and die – this is a feature of grasses. They do not need to be removed.
  • Remove old foliage once a year in late winter or early spring before the new growth appears. Using a pair of gloves, thin out old growth by hand or with a rake. Some books will recommend cutting grasses to ground level, but this is not recommended for New Zealand grasses as they can be very slow to recover, if at all.
  • An annual application of Tui General Fertiliser, Blood and Bone or Sheep Pellets will be beneficial – apply in early spring at the recommended rate.

ornamental grass favourites

Carex Testacea (Orange Tussock) great for mass plantings, coastal areas and low maintenance gardens.

Lomandra Lime Tuff & Lomandra Tanika tough and reliable options that look great all year round.

Ophiopogon Japonica Mondo grass durable and compact, great for adding texture.

Chionochloa Flavicans (Dwarf Toe Toe) lush green foliage with mini toe toe flowers.

Festuca Glauca (Blue Tussock) fine, soft silvery-blue foliage.

Miscanthus showy ornamental grass with tassel-like flowers.

Libertia (NZ iris) golden leaves with pure white flowers in spring and summer.


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