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Festuca glauca - Care Guide

Caring for Festuca glauca

Blue fescue, Grey fescue

These ornamental grasses are densely tufted evergreen perennials with erect or arching smooth blue-green leaves. They are rhizomatous perennials which are grown, often in mass plantings, for their blue-grey foliage. In the border or rock garden these plants provide foliage contrasts to green leaved plants and can break up the overall foliage effect especially with other similar ornamental grasses which grow to roughly the same sort of size.

F. glauca and F. glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ are fully hardy but they do need some care and maintenance. As the clumps develop and grow they will increasingly become a bit tired and scruffy with rather too many old brown dead leaves which rather spoils the overall colour effect. Picking over an individual plant to remove all traces of dead leaves may be possible on the show bench but it is not practical in the garden itself. Instead, the best approach is to lift the clumps every three or so years and gently divide them to remove the dead parts at the same time before replanting the divisions with more space to grow on and develop themselves again. This is best done in early spring.

F. glauca grows to around 12in in height and the clumps can extend to around 10in. The blue-green flower heads appear in midsummer and seed may be sown in the autumn or spring in the cold frame if you have the time or energy to keep on producing young plants of this very attractive and decorative grass.


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