A collection of shrubs and trees is a wonderful, low-maintenance way to fill your garden with color and interest. But there are some areas where something different is needed. That bottom level – the foot or so right above the ground – needs plants too. These plants should be easy to care for, and striking in appearance, and they add a whole extra dimension to your garden layout. Elijah Blue Fescue is the ideal plant to bring that extra dimension to your garden. With its striking foliage, sun and drought tolerance, and easy care, it’s the perfect plant to add variety to your plantings, soften rocky areas, or create a dramatic ground-cover that needs almost no care.
Ornamental grasses of all types are enjoying an enormous vogue and are very popular across the country. The Elijah Blue Fescue is one of the very best, and most desirable varieties. We have top quality stock available, but we know these plants will be snapped up quickly so order now to avoid disappointment.
Growing Elijah Blue Fescue
Elijah Blue Fescue is a small, grassy plant that grows to around 12 inches tall, or a little less. It makes a dense clump of narrow leaves of a striking, blue-green color. Almost porcupine-like, it creates a dramatic vertical accent in the garden, and looks perfect in many different settings. Use it among gravel and rocks to add interest to a rock garden. Plant it with a collection of dwarf evergreens for contrast and variety. Use it in a Zen or Asian garden, where its beauty stands out, and fits perfectly with the calm theme you are developing.
Another popular use is to plant Elijah Blue Fescue in a row as an edging along a walkway or driveway. Use it to create a novel ground cover, in a striking color, which needs just one trim a year to look perfect all year round. Put it into a planter box with flowers, to bring height and contrast. Mix it among flowering plants in your beds, to bring a stylish look and striking color too. Every garden, big or small, has places where this plant will look perfectly at home.
Planting and Initial Care
Plant the Elijah Blue Fescue in a sunny spot. It will also grow well in light shade, but the blue coloring of the foliage will be less pronounced if it does not receive enough sun. It will grow happily in any well-drained soil, but it should not be planted in wet areas. It does best in dry places, and it is very winter hardy, down to minus 30 degrees. It grows well in poor soil, among gravel, rocks and sand. It handles heat well, but not very humid and very hot weather, so it thrives in areas with moderate climates.
Although it is a grass, it doesn’t need mowing, and these kinds of ornamental grasses are very popular and fashionable as additions to the garden. There are many types of ornamental grasses, of all sizes, but the Elijah Blue Fescue is a top favorite, and one of the easiest to grow.
Long-Term Care and Maintenance
In summer your Elijah Blue Fescue may produce flower stems, and these rise above the leaves by several inches, carrying drooping clusters of soft brown seed-heads and making it clear that this attractive plant really is a grass. Some gardeners remove these stems, preferring to keep the silver-blue leaves only – the choice is yours. The only care needed is an annual ‘hair cut’, best done in spring, which will remove the older stems, and allow them to be quickly replaced by fresh new leaves.
After a few years you might find the base of the plant is very brown, with older leaves. Simple dig up the plant, break it into several pieces, and replant, making sure it is firmly planted, a little deeper than it was before. Very soon you will have fresh, bright, new clumps again – it’s that easy.
History and Origins of the Elijah Blue Fescue
Blue fescue, Festuca glauca, is a native grass from southern and southeastern Europe, first described by the French naturalist Dominique Villars around 1787. It grows naturally in dry, stony places, on hills or among low vegetation. Its fine, spiky foliage attracted the attention of gardeners, who quickly developed forms with strong blue and grey coloring to the foliage.
There are many named cultivars of varied sizes and colorings, but of them all, ‘Elijah Blue’ stands out as perhaps the sturdiest, most striking and best colored form available. Avoid cheaper varieties, or those just labelled ‘blue fescue’, as these will simply be seedling plants, that are notoriously variable, in size, color and vigor. Our plants of the Elijah Blue Fescue are derived from the original named selection – one top-quality plant selected from among thousands of seedlings. You know that you really are getting the best.