General information

Decorative cereal - gray fescue


Bluegrass fescue - an unusual plant with high decorative and exotic. It is a compact hemispherical undersized bush of the original form.

Interesting color, coupled with the endurance of the plant and unpretentiousness allows him to be a favorite of landscape designers and people who want to make beautiful landscape compositions in his garden.

Gray-Fescue: Description

Fescue decided to refer to the family of cereals. Distribution in nature - temperate and subtropical zones. As an artificial ornamental plantings, the plant “spread out” in all climatic zones from northern to tropical. Of all the types of fescue, gray is most loved by garden designers, both professionals and amateurs. Due to the color of leaves, the plant got its name, its variants: ashy, blue fescue. Depending on weather conditions, the color may vary, but the plant does not lose its decorative effect.

The plant is a lush bush with a height of 20 to 60 centimeters, the leaves are narrow, twisted into a tubule. Modified in this way, they save water. Evergreen leaves form round dense bushes. The roots are thick, small in size.

It blooms in early or mid-summer with inconspicuous light brown small flowers. Formed after flowering seeds are very small. Without replanting in one place, fescue can grow for 5–10 years. Clumps are divided and transplanted after five years, if the plant has dried or frozen, then earlier.

As a soil cover to protect it from drying out and weeds, fescue is ideal. Serving this goal, it creates a unique decorative effect that persists throughout the season.

There are many garden forms of fescue, they are different foliage and color.

Growing conditions

Fescue - big lovers of the sun, almost all of them are cold-resistant and not afraid of frost. It is advisable to buy copies, bred in the area and acclimatized to its conditions, so that there are no unpleasant surprises after the winter season. The disadvantage is that clumps degenerate quite quickly. After two or three years, the plant has to be divided, because the center of derninki dies. The advantage is that it grows quite quickly, spreading wide, and already in the first year it acquires a decent look that can beautify any part of the landscape with its exquisiteness.

Soil for growing plants

This unusual plant does not require humus or other nutrients. The soil should be dry or fast drying, loose and breathable. Stagnant water should in no case be. Often additionally used drainage.

Fescue does not need nutritious soil, regular watering, careful feeding. Best of all, she will feel herself on rocky, dry soil. Only in the conditions of suitable soil and abundant sunlight this plant will thank its owner with a beautiful gray color, abundant flowering and an exquisite unusual look of the bush.

Terms and rules of landing

As unpretentious itself fescue, and simple process of its landing. Compliance with simple conditions will ensure success in the cultivation of perennial.

Gray fescue breeds mainly by vegetative means; cultivation from seeds is also practiced.

Seed propagation

Seed propagation method is used for species. In this case, the seeds:

  • sown in the ground
  • planted on seedlings
  • use plants resulting from self-seeding.
Perennial seeds are harvested independently of the largest spikelets, which must be dried beforehand.

If you decide to purchase seeds in order to plant funny "hedgehogs" in your garden, you should prefer specialized outlets. Seed material should be chosen from those varieties that are acclimatized to the area and have a certain level of frost resistance.

Seed planting It is produced after warm weather is set in spring or before cold weather comes in autumn.

  • Before planting seeds that were collected independently, be sure to pickle in a solution of potassium permanganate. If you have purchased seed from a reputable seller, especially if there is an indication on pre-treatment on the packaging, this is not necessary.
  • It should be planted on 5-7 seeds in each well, so that they quickly formed a lush hummock.
  • The hole should not be too deep, a maximum of 5 centimeters.
  • Planting seeds in the ground, you need to fill them with soil mixture, compacted and watered.
  • The interwell distance can be from 10 centimeters, depending on the desired result.
  • After the appearance of the first shoots that will appear in a few weeks, semicircular lush hummocks will very soon form.
Planting seeds for seedlings occurs in early March, so that in the first half of May to plant fallen and grown bushes.

  • The substrate should be light, air- and water-permeable, sowing the seeds, do not sprinkle them, and moisturize with a spray.
  • Cover with cellophane or glass, the container should be placed in a warm bright place. Such a greenhouse will allow seedlings to roll in a few days.
  • So that the seedlings are not thinner and not dead, the container will need to be rearranged to a place where it is cooler, however, it must be light.
  • After the formation of two true leaves, seedlings to obtain a lush bush dive groups in separate containers.
  • After the weather has settled, most often it happens on the May holidays, the seedlings need to be planted in the ground.


Most often use the vegetative method of reproduction during transplantation and separation of overgrown bushes. This should be done either in the spring before the beginning of the crop rotation, or in the autumn when the plants are preparing for winter.

  • Bushes that have grown heavily, and it's time to plant them, should be divided into parts.
  • The resulting delenki need to land as separate plants.
  • The core, which has become unusable and due to which the decorative appearance of the whole bush has been broken, is removed without using it.

To give the plant additional winter-resistance, the mother bush should be dug with a clod of earth, planted in a container and placed in a lighted but cold place, for example, a greenhouse. At the same time it is necessary to exclude any dampness in order to avoid the destruction of the bush.

In early spring, when it comes time to plant fescue, the curtain is supposed to be divided, the dumplings are planted in containers in a mixture of soil with humus and sand. Planted in the ground should be in early summer. Having gone through a similar hardening, they will be much stronger and more quickly gain green mass.

How to care for a plant in the garden

Bluegrass fescue has many advantages: not only is it completely undemanding to soils, it tolerates both high and low temperatures, it almost does not need watering and top dressing, and to preserve the decorative look of the bush is not difficult.

Excess moisture - this is something that absolutely can not be allowed in the care of fescue. The roots begin to suffer: they rot and die off, as a result of which the whole plant dies.

Water the bushes should be very moderate, only if necessary: ​​let there be little better water than too much.

Fertilizer rules

The fescue is completely undemanding to the soils: it is loamy, stony, sandy to its taste. Only in the case of extreme nutritional needs, when the plant has become worse to grow and develop, is it permissible to further fertilize the soil in which it grows.

Fertilizers make organic or mineral, the dosage specified in the instructions can not be exceeded. Excess nutrients can adversely affect the decorative perennial.

When spring comes, the grass needs to be rid of depleted leaves and dead fragments, which will improve the appearance of the ornamental plant. This can be done both manually and using a rake, which, due to the rigidity of the leaves, will not cause damage to the aesthetic component of the fescue. After the bush blooms, it is necessary to cut the flower stalks to preserve the appearance. In the case when you need to collect the seeds, you should leave the largest flower stalks until full maturity.

Bluegrass fescue - a real decoration of any garden, which is quite easy to grow even for a beginner. The plant is hardy: it resists high temperatures with dignity, while it is frost-resistant. Growing conditions and care require minimal. The disadvantage is the impossibility of planting fescue on shaded areas, besides, it does not tolerate moisture. If the plantings are large, taking care of them can be quite time consuming, due to the need to periodically divide and rejuvenate curtains.

Description of fescue: types and varieties

The plant belongs to the numerous family of cereals. Total genus "fescue" includes more than six hundred species.

Gray. The most sought-after view in landscape design. Narrow leaves form a dense globular bush, as in the photo. The colors, depending on the variety and lighting, vary in a greenish-blue range. The species does not grow to a large area, but forms a neat outlet. Grades:

  • Azurit (prefers wet, wetland soils, stems are gray-green, up to 60 cm tall),

  • Blaufuhs (can be diluted on dry barren soils with irrigation, low bushes with bluish-gray narrow foliage),
  • Meerblau (blue leaves with an emerald green shade),
  • Blue bump, Lapis lazuli, Blue (domestic selection).

Furrowed. In the wild form is common in the steppe zones. It tolerates drought and severe frosts (up to 50ºС). Propagated by seeds, used mainly for lawns.

Sheep. Resistant to drought and frost, poorly tolerated waterlogging. A tight planting will equally well tolerate low mowing and regular trampling. Planted not only on the lawn, but also on flowerbeds and slides, as well as in decorative flowerpots.

Valis or tipchak. Very decorative look with thin needle-shaped leaves. Growing up, the plants create a solid dense "carpet". Leaf color is green with a matte coating.

Mayerie. Mayer homeland - Altai highlands. Hard stems gracefully bend, giving the fescue the shape of a sphere. The surface of the leaves is glossy, greenish-gray color. Thin flower panicles adorn an already attractive plant.

Paniculata. Low-growing with light green foliage. Growth is fast, in the third year forms lush large mounds.

Fescue: how to propagate and plant an ornamental plant

For fescue choose a bright place with well-drained soil. Small penumbra is allowed. Do not plant fescue under tall trees and bushes, it will not allow it to develop fully.

Attention! Some species prefer more moist areas, for example, the banks of reservoirs.

It is preferable to choose loose sandy-humus soil. At one place fescue can grow up to 10 years. To preserve the decorative qualities, the cereal culture is rejuvenated once every 2-3 years. The plant is propagated vegetatively or by seed.

  1. Vegetative method. The best period is considered to be early spring or late autumn. Adult bushes dig up completely, remove the old overgrown core. The remaining parts are neatly divided, keeping the leaves and root system. Delenki seated in separate holes. Some gardeners prefer to keep the donor bush until spring in the greenhouse, and the breeding procedure is carried out in the spring. Children are seated in containers, transferring to open ground only at the beginning of summer.
  2. Seed method. Fescue seeds are highly germinating and capable of self-seeding. Evidence of this young growth near the old bushes. Plants easily take root in a new place. You can collect the material yourself. To do this, choose large ripened ears, which are dried until the seed completely rains. Planted in the open ground in the spring after the completion of frosts, or in the fall before the onset of sub-zero temperatures. The holes are dug not 3–4 cm deep. In each, 5–7 seeds are dipped to obtain a lush bush. The distance between the holes is arbitrary, depending on what you want to receive.

Care of fescue: subcortex with fertilizers and watering

In open ground, the plant does not require special attention. On particularly dry days the fescue is watered. In weeding and loosening, there is practically no need. Fertilization is cautious, as fescue does not tolerate excess nutrients. For the season, you can not make any additional fertilizing.

To preserve an attractive shape, get rid of dead leaves last year. They do this with the arrival of spring, cutting off excess stems and leaves. If the plant is not required to obtain seeds, then break out and peduncle.

Council Purchase only varieties adapted to your location.

Of particular danger to the fescue are the snowless, freezing winters and the spring flood. To prevent the plants from dying, they are covered with straw or a dry leaf. The location of fescue at higher sites and slopes will help prevent rotting of the roots of the grass.

If the fescue is present in the composition of the lawn mixture, then take care according to the instructions on the package.

Pests and diseases of fescue, combinations with other plants

Culture is resistant to diseases, rarely affected by pests. In cases of waterlogging in the open ground, oteobelez (fungal rot of the stem) develops. Mycelium spreads quickly throughout the area and infects new plants. Detecting the disease early is visually difficult. Rot is detected most often when leaves and stems turn black. As a preventive measure, it is useful to add ammonium-potassium complexes to the site and acidify the soil. Infected plants are burned.

The fungus also causes infection of seeds. A brown felt patina appears on the spikelets. Such material is not suitable for planting and requires destruction.

Wild fescue is common in almost all climatic zones. There is a plant everywhere in the forests of the middle zone, in the subtropics and tropical mountainous areas. It survives well on poor rocky soils and in arid areas. Fescue is used as a grazing feed crop. Another practical application is turf holding back crumbling mounds. Ornamental varieties decorate flowerbeds, rockeries, unusual "rock gardens".

Fescue is combined with many plants. Classics is a partnership with conifers: juniper, cypress, thujas. Such ensembles will create the impression of an untouched wilderness area.

Tall species often play a leading role in compositions. Planted in the center of lush bushes, complement bright flowering herbs. Stunted - usually serve as an ornament curbs, edges of garden paths. Solid "carpet" of fescue can be used as a lawn near the cottage. Feel like a landscape designer of the site, show imagination. Use incredibly malleable natural material - fescue.

Types of fescue

Of all the representatives of the festuca family, the most popular today is gray fescueor Calle fescue. The unique steel color of the leaves, cold and somewhat metallic, glorified this low grass as one of the most spectacular and fashionable plants. Reaching a height of only 30-60 cm, gray fescue forms a very lush, dense and almost perfectly spherical bush of linear, narrow and rigid leaves. Gray panicles blooming over them on direct peduncles are soft, tender and generally inconspicuous, only emphasizing the spherical shape of the cutlets.

Gray fescue will bring revival and harmony to any composition on the site. It adds perfect forms, shine effect, brings texture and harmony even to the most dry and unfavorable places in the garden. At the most gray fescue there are a lot of different varieties, both higher and compact, with different shades of blue, white, azure and silver color. But among the fescue there are other spectacular species that can boast textures no less spectacular.

Inflorescences, panicles, which seem to be transparent lace or droplets hover over long, narrow leaves sticking out in all directions, characteristic of fescue filamentous. Its greens bring unusual textures, and derninki seem voluminous and transparent at the same time. This fescue is considered the best partner for other species, because it is more airy and contrasts beautifully with the classic thick cereals.

Gray fescue. © Stickpen Myra Fescue. © Daderot Ovalis Valitsa (Tipchak). © Dezidor

The ideal spheres are similar and very thick, large, reaching 80 cm in height. Mayra Fescue (Mayeri). This species is distinguished not so much by the dark, grayish color of the leaves, as by their surprising grace. Tall and thin, they create dense spheres-cascades, ideally distributed in derninka and form a perfect silhouette. Метелки тонкие, но весьма изящные, как и у всех остальных овсяниц, но главным достоинством этого вида является все же форма куста.

Более густые полусферы создает овсяница ледниковая, но ее можно использовать только в альпинариях. Dense hemispheres from thicker leaves up to 30 cm high seem unusually rigid and almost prickly.

Very different in character - Siberian fescue. It forms dense derninki, the height of which always exceeds the diameter. The bright color of the young, as if the leaves that were striving upward, is effectively emphasized by the brown or gray color of the dry, old, arched and drooping foliage at the base of the bush, which creates the effect of a two-color color. The tall flower stalks seem to continue the lines of leaves and are remarkable for their amazing weightlessness, being crowned with panicles shining in the sun.

In many ways similar to the Siberian fescue, or valis fescue, but the shape of an elongated and narrow, dense bush, it does not last long, because this plant likes to grow and seize new territories due to the almost uncontrolled self-seeding.

Glacier fescue. © Harald Pauli Siberian fescue. © Sergei Kazanovsky Amethyst fescue. © Stan Shebs

To the big blue fescue ranked and amethyst fescue. It forms quite loose, slightly inaccurate derninki from practically round, in the cross section of needle-shaped leaves up to 60 cm long. At the same time young, brighter and already drying leaves are preserved on the bush, which creates the effect of different colors of greenery in one curtain. This evergreen plant, which changes its color depending on the weather and conditions, gradually increases the density and size of the curtain, is constantly expanding, sometimes reaching 1 m in diameter, but always retains a spherical shape. It can only be used in the foreground, against the background of low-growing plants or lawns, where a beautiful silhouette will be visible and the fescue will not face the risk of stagnant water or the slightest shading.

Among the undersized fescue it is worth paying attention to:

  • forest fescue - a very elegant plant that forms small curtains, resembling peculiar dense cushions, over which the branched panicles of gray-metal small flowers rise dramatically from the beginning of summer until the first frost comes,
  • modest in size but extremely spectacular sheep fescue, which forms a kind of lawn of loose round hummocks, decorated with so densely arranged, greenish-like bristles, that curving peduncles with elongated, almost white panicles seem almost unearthly,
  • pancake fescuecreating even more dense, low cover, seemingly artificial pillow, gradually capturing large areas and as if covering them with thick green moss up to 8 cm with peduncles too high for such a plant in the form of panicles, as if composed of small droplets of dew,
  • It is worth paying attention to spiny fescue, whose silvery thin foliage creates a graceful, resilient and very dense rug about 15 cm high, always seeming more artificial than real.
Fescue prickly. © Daderot Sheep fescue Pancake fescue. © El Grafo

Growing conditions comfortable for fescue

These representatives of the extensive family of ornamental grasses belong to the most sun-loving species. In order to succeed in the cultivation of fescue, it is necessary to select the warmest, better even hot, dry and sunny areas in the garden. Fenishes are not afraid of even the most intensely illuminated southern sides of rock garden or rock arias, they do an excellent job with the heat of July and are not afraid of the highest temperatures. They do not tolerate cold drafts and platforms with even medium penumbra, so it is better not to try to grow these plants without sufficient light. In particular, in the shading of the fescue completely lose their ability to show their gray colors.

To fescue soils undemanding. They can grow in completely dry, moderately dry or well drained standard garden soils. The key parameter for them is the absence of the slightest risk of stagnant moisture, loose, light, and better - loose texture, high-quality drainage, air and water permeability. Fescue does not like nutrient soils. They effectively grow and delight with the beauty of greenery only on the ground, which contains the minimum amount of humus and nutrients. It is believed that the most beautiful "balls" of fescue form on the dry stony soil of rock gardens and rockeries.

Almost all types of fescue are completely cold-resistant, they are not afraid of the conditions of severe winters and do not need protection. When buying fescue, try to choose varieties and types already acclimatized to the conditions of your area. There is a wide variation in the degree of winter hardiness among fences, which primarily depends on where the plant passed its selection. Buying plants grown in local nurseries or private gardens, you guarantee yourself that the fescue will not surprise you with low frost resistance.

The main disadvantage of all fescue - fairly rapid degeneration of curtains. After 2-3 years after planting, the plant begins to gradually die off the center of derninka, and accordingly, to maintain the decorativeness, it is necessary to constantly rejuvenate and divide them. But fescue grows amazingly quickly, grow well not in height, but in width and, as a rule, reach showiness in the first year of cultivation.

Fescue is gray, blue. © uconnladybug

Care required fescue

When fescue is ranked among the easiest garden crops to grow, first of all they have in mind, of course, the modesty of the requirements for conditions and soil. But the care of the fescue other than the minimum can not be called. In fact, it boils down to the regular separation and transplant of these plants.

The rest of the care of fescue consists of only:
- cleaning the bushes from dry foliage in early spring, which can be performed both manually and in the form of raking through sufficiently dense and tough leaves,
- pruning inflorescence panicles at the leaf level after the flowering period.

Breeding fescue

Fescue plants are mainly propagated by vegetative methods. This plant is easiest to divide in early spring, during the rejuvenation of old curtains separating several small pieces of derninka and throwing out the dry center.

Fescue из Elijah Blue из gray beside lavender. © Distant Hill Gardens

Also often used is the method of obtaining stronger delenok from the mother plant, which in the winter is transferred to pots and kept in cold temperatures, but in good light. Separated already in early spring uterine bushes allow you to get stronger and more ornamental plants in the first year after planting.

You can propagate the fescue and seeds. At the same time, it is not at all necessary to grow them through seedlings, because, as a rule, these plants produce abundant self-seeding, and in order to obtain new planting material, it is enough just to dig out the young shoots that appeared in the next season.

Plant propagation

The most convenient and therefore the most common breeding options for plants is the vegetative method.

  • In spring or autumn, fescue shrubs should be divided into several parts,
  • Young bushes land on a new place and at the same time rejuvenate,
  • With this method, the middle of the bush can dry out, then it just needs to be destroyed, it is not suitable for transplanting.

Planting fescue

If you are well acquainted with the features of this plant, then you probably know how to increase its number in your garden. Planting fescue, as well as its reproduction, is not laborious and laborious work. You only need to follow the basic rules on agricultural work on your site.

The most successful place for landing fescue will be an open area with good lighting and without drafts. Do not plant bushes next to tall plants that will shade and oust it from the site. In the shade the foliage will lose its interesting color and become more green.

On the lighted area, the leaves will be especially beautiful. It is better if the land on the plot will be light and nutritious, although this is not at all necessary. The main thing is that the landing site does not stagnate water. Excessive dampness will not benefit the bush, so it is better to pre-build a good drainage layer.

If you nevertheless decided to improve the poor soil, then humus, sand and peat will help you. Do not overdo it with top dressing, because the best growth you will still see on poor ground. You can often see the fenced cousin of fescue with decorative stones, in which she also feels excellent.

Seed planting

  1. You can sow the seeds under the seedlings or directly into the open ground,
  2. Before sowing, process the material with a weak solution of manganese,
  3. Put at least 5 seeds in one hole, so you will get a good bush nest in the future,
  4. The hole should be no deeper than 5 cm,
  5. Between the holes should be left no more than 10 cm of free space,
  6. It is possible to sow material in the fall or spring, when the frosts have definitely receded
  7. The first shoots appear after a few weeks and very soon they will turn into lush bushes.

For more information on planting a video in a video:

You will get a beautiful and healthy plant by observing elementary agrotechnical rules. The bush does not need special care. In the spring you need to cut dry shoots that died during the winter, for this you can use the usual rake.

In the summer, all flower stalks should be cut during flowering, as they have no decorative value, but only take nutrients.

Watering is carried out moderately and only when necessary. It is better to fill the fescue a little, than to pour. Every few years the bush needs to be divided and transplanted to another place, so you will rejuvenate the plant. Fescue is not afraid of chills, so it does not require shelter for the winter period.

If the winter was snowless, the bushes can be covered with straw, thereby preventing the death of many shoots.

Application in landscape design

The main purpose as a ground cover plant. This culture is the most common in the gardens of our climate zone. Grass is used as a background plant, filling in all the gaps, in rabatkah, beds, mixborders, curbs. Only gray fescue is used in carpet flower beds. Sit in whole arrays near dwarf and medium-sized shrubs. You can find planting plants in baskets and containers, near flowering summer plants. Plays a role in the design of rock gardens. Being a background or addition to the main elements of the composition, the blue-eyed fescue helps the ensemble to find a complete and complete image.

The plant is universal. It is combined with almost all flowers and shrubs, looks beautiful against the background of garden furniture, decor items, gravel dumping, boulders. If hewn logs are used instead of benches, then planting grass around will create a natural and natural look. The same effect will produce a culture on the shore of a natural or artificial reservoir. The slight swaying of grass from the slightest breath of wind brings a pacifying aura and romantic mood. The modest charm of the fescue in combination with its expressive leaves, needles complements the image of any backyard.

Landscape style "New Wave", which uses a combination of different types of cereals, gives the fescue the role of not only the background, but also the basis in the compositions. The color, texture and movement of the plant allows you to give the garden absolute naturalness, without a trace of human intervention. The color of the bush that changes throughout the year allows you to combine around you plants that bloom in different periods. In this case, the composition will be transformed independently, without requiring the attention of the gardener. In winter, the plant is seen from under the snow and attracts many birds that fill the garden with their singing.

The first time the fescue is planted on the side auxiliary beds, due to slow growth. When the plant completely enters the role of a decorative element of the garden, it is moved to the site that is accessible to the survey from different points. There fescue will be able to fulfill its main purpose - to create a magically beautiful landscape. Cereals are a canvas on which a skilled designer will create bright colors by planting flowering shrubs, evergreens and colorful flowers nearby.

Combination with other plants

The idea of ​​using cereals in garden design came about thanks to the versatility of the plant and the ability to create bright contrasts in colors, shapes, sizes. Bluegrass fescue is an ideal background and addition for roses, yarrow, rhodiola, peony, carnations, geraniums, violets, echinacea and many others. Performing the role of an array of low-growing plants, fescue is combined with a lung box, cuff, geyher, tradescantia. Perfectly in addition to such soliter: Volzhanka, miscanthus. Near garden furniture and other designer utensils are harmoniously combined with field flowers: poppies, daisies, cornflowers and salvia. Framing paths effectively interacts with the bunny tail.

But gardener's design ideas are endless. They created a flower garden without flowers, with the participation of fescue. Skillfully combining ornamental species and varieties of cereals, natural picturesque islands are obtained. Given the height, shape, color and sweepingness of adult representatives of cereals, designers planted them along the curb, high boulders and garden furniture. Choosing an open area for planting a mini-garden of cereal will be visible at different points in the backyard. The most popular "neighbors" of the fescue are the gray-gray cereal - long-necked barley, cattail, blue elimus. Flowerbed, catching any breath of wind - a fresh and original solution for a country house. Plants can be planted in semicircular tiers or rows.

Compatibility with needles has become a classic. Exotic southern view of the landscape will give a combination of emerald green and seribris-blue flowers. This combination will decorate the site all year round, refreshing in the summer heat and dynamically speaking in the snowy winter. The combination can take the place of the main mixborder or the territory near the entrance to the garden. The texture of the cereals gives the needles a flowing look and complements the ensemble, Fescue is able to emphasize all the play of shades of coniferous shrubs or trees. Grasses bushes are combined with juniper, western thuja, and pea-growing cypress.

The most popular and popular varieties of fescue are gray: