Mexican Feather GrassNassella tenuissima (= Stipa tenuissima)
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Nassella tenuissima (= Stipa tenuissima)
Outdoor Growing zone
Mexican Feather Grass has the finest foliage of any ornamental grass. It forms soft plumes of hair-like silvery-green leaves, that sway gracefully in the slightest breeze. This grass grows a little over 2 feet tall and has feathery beige sprays of seed-heads from mid-summer into winter. It looks especially beautiful in fall, and it fits well with fall-blooming plants. It grows from Zone 6 and warmer, thriving in full sun, and even in poor, dry soils. This is the ideal choice for low-maintenance gardens, and natural cottage gardens too. It looks perfect in containers and pots, with or without flowers added. There is a calming beauty about grasses that is relaxing to look at, even in the simplest planting arrangement. Plant this grass in clumps or drifts and watch it sway and billow in the breeze, like ocean waves.
You can easily grow Mexican Feather Grass in any sunny spot. It prefers drier, well-drained soils, including sandy soil, and it is easy to care for – just trim back to a couple of inches tall in early spring, before new growth begins. It is not eaten by rabbits or deer, so you can grow it at a cottage, or in any natural style of garden. It has no pests or diseases either. In Zones 9 and 10 this grass has been known to invade natural areas and pastureland, so grow instead Dwarf Fountain Grass.
Ornamental grasses come in many forms – some are large, with bold foliage, while others are smaller. Some have very fine leaves, making a soft, feathery effect, and Mexican Feather Grass is the top-pick of this type, with its fine, soft foliage creating a delicate look – although in fact it is a tough, easy to grow plant.
This is a beautiful grass with a graceful, airy look, and it is also drought-resistant and thrives in drier areas. Problems with this grass in Australia do not apply in most of the USA, since this grass already existed as part of our native flora. For cooler regions, this grass is perfectly safe, and all gardeners love the soft, flowing look at this plant. Our stocks are limited, so order this popular grass now, while stocks last.
Mexican Feather Grass grows into an upright clump of very fine, narrow leaves that are almost thread-like. They are a silvery green color, and spout upwards and then outwards in a cascading fashion. They grow to about 2 feet high, and 18 inches across, swaying in even a gentle breeze, and bringing life and movement to your garden. In summer, flower stems rise 6 to 12 inches above the foliage in creamy-white feathery plumes. The overall effect is very airy, yet the clumps are dense, so it also fills the spaces in your beds well.
Mexican Feather Grass grows well in hot, dry, sunny places, and it is a perfect choice for a sunny bank, or for planting in front of shrubs in a sunny bed. It is also a very useful and attractive grass for planters and pots, where it brings height without looking heavy. Place them in groups or drifts as a groundcover plant, or mix it with perennial flowers, especially later-flowering kinds, like Sedum or Asters. It looks lovely in a cottage-style garden, or in more formal settings. It is also a great choice for low-maintenance natural and xeric gardens.
It is drought resistant, needing very little care, and in suitable places it will grow from is own self-sown seeds, naturally filling empty areas for you. Mixed with other, easily-grown plants, and ornamental grasses, this is a very easy way to turn a hot, dusty, part of your garden into an attractive picture. These natural grassy areas should be mowed once a year, in winter, at the highest setting. Remove the clippings, and do not use fertilizer, as that will encourage coarser plants to move in to the area.
This grass grows in all but the coldest regions, being hardy from zone 6 all the way to zone 10. It grows best in full sun, and in any well-drained soil, even dry sandy soils. It is an ideal choice for sloping sites and banks, where the roots will stabilize the soil, and the grass will grow well in the drier soil. If you have wetter soil this grass will not grow so well, so choose Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass instead – that grass is taller, but also has fine foliage, and thrives in damp to wet soils.
Mexican Feather Grass is easy to grow, and it is usually not eaten by rabbits or deer. It has no pests or diseases, and it grows into dense clumps that stay where you put them. It does not spread by the roots, but it does sometimes spread from seed, so remove seedlings you do not want before they mature. The only care needed is an annual ‘hair-cut’. These is best done in early spring, before new growth appears. Cut the foliage back to 2-3 inches above the ground and new growth will quickly appear, making your plants look fresh and new again. In fall the foliage will turn a soft, sandy-brown color, which is attractive all winter. If you wish to, you can also cut back in late fall.
Mexican Feather Grass, Nassella tenuissima, is native to Mexico, Argentina, west Texas and southern New Mexico. It is sometimes described under an older name, Stipa tenuissima. It grows in dry areas, alongside other grasses and drought-resistant plants. In zones 9 and 10 this grass is not recommended because it grows too fast, producing too many seeds, and spreading inside and outside the garden, sometimes invading natural areas and pasture land.
Mexican Feather Grass is also a poor plant for grazing animals to eat, so the quality of pasture deteriorates. If you live in these hotter zones, such as California, and you are looking for a fine-foliage grass with a similar appearance, we recommend that you plant Dwarf Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’) instead.
Mexican Feather Grass is a versatile plant that pairs well with a variety of other plants. Its soft, airy look makes it a great companion for bolder, more structured plants. It thrives in hot, dry, sunny places, making it a perfect choice for a sunny bank or for planting in front of shrubs in a sunny bed. In a cottage-style garden, it can be paired with other perennials like Sedum or Asters, which bloom later in the season. In more formal settings, it can be used as a softening element. It’s also a great choice for low-maintenance natural and xeric gardens, where it can be paired with other drought-tolerant plants.
Mexican Feather Grass can be propagated by seed. The plant does not spread by the roots, but it does sometimes spread from seed. To propagate, allow the seed heads to dry on the plant, then remove and collect the seeds. Plant the seeds in a well-drained soil mix, preferably sandy, and place in a sunny location. Keep the soil lightly moist until the seeds germinate. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, they can be transplanted to their final location. Be sure to remove any unwanted seedlings before they mature to prevent unwanted spread.
Mexican Feather Grass is not a primary food source for wildlife. It is usually not eaten by rabbits or deer, making it a good choice for gardens where these animals are common. It also has no known pests or diseases, so it’s unlikely to attract unwanted insects. However, its dense clumps and seed heads may provide shelter and nesting material for small birds and beneficial insects.
While Mexican Feather Grass is primarily an outdoor plant, it can be grown indoors with the right conditions. It requires full sun, so it would need to be placed in a very sunny window or under a grow light. It also requires well-drained soil, so a pot with good drainage is essential. It is drought resistant and needs very little care, so it should not be overwatered. However, it may not thrive indoors as well as it does outdoors due to the lack of natural sunlight and airflow.
Mexican Feather Grass is a perennial plant, meaning it can live for several years under the right conditions. Its exact lifespan can vary depending on the growing conditions and care it receives. It is a tough, easy to grow plant that is drought resistant and has no known pests or diseases, which contributes to its longevity. With proper care, including annual trimming and ensuring it is grown in well-drained soil in a sunny location, Mexican Feather Grass can be a long-lasting addition to your garden.
Including Mexican Feather Grass in your garden has many benefits. Its soft, airy look adds a unique texture and movement to your garden, especially when it sways in the breeze. It is drought resistant and needs very little care, making it a great choice for low-maintenance or xeric gardens. It thrives in hot, dry, sunny places, making it a versatile plant for different garden locations. It is also not usually eaten by rabbits or deer and has no known pests or diseases, making it a resilient choice for your garden. Finally, it grows into dense clumps that stay where you put them, so it won’t spread uncontrollably.
Mexican Feather Grass can be planted at any time of year, but the best time is usually in the spring or fall. Planting in the spring gives the plant a full growing season to establish before winter, while planting in the fall takes advantage of cooler temperatures and natural rainfall. However, Mexican Feather Grass is a tough, easy to grow plant that is drought resistant, so it can be planted in the summer or winter as long as it is watered appropriately and protected from extreme temperatures.
Mexican Feather Grass is drought resistant and needs very little care, making it a great choice for low-maintenance gardens. It prefers well-drained soil and can tolerate dry conditions. However, it will need regular watering until it is established, usually for the first few months after planting. After that, it can usually survive on rainfall alone, but it should be watered during prolonged dry spells. Always allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent waterlogging and root rot.
Mexican Feather Grass prefers full sun and may not thrive in shaded areas. It needs plenty of sunlight to produce its characteristic feathery plumes and maintain its dense growth habit. While it can tolerate some shade, particularly in hotter climates, too much shade can result in leggy growth and a lack of flowering. If you have a shaded area in your garden, consider planting shade-tolerant grasses instead.