University of Illinois Extension
Blue Fescue - Ornamental Grasses - University of Illinois Extension

Types of Ornamental Grasses

Blue Fescue
Festuca species

Zone: 5-9

Height: 6-18 inches

Two varieties are of interest in the garden: Large Blue Fescue (Festuca amethystina) and Blue Fescue (Festuca ovinia var. glauca). Fescues are mound-forming, semi-evergreen perennials used as accent and specimen plantings in the foreground of borders and in rock gardens. Large Blue Fescue is hardier than blue fescue and should be considered in zone 4. Fescues are grown for the blue gray foliage. The flowers are insignificant and should be removed to help retain the mound like effect. Both fescues must be planted in well-drained soil in order to grow their best. They tend to die back in hot, dry weather and should be watered to prevent browning of the foliage. In heavy, poorly drained soils fescue tends to die out in the center. It should be divided frequently to maintain vigorous growth. Spring cleaning should be limited to raking out and removing brown foliage. Cultivars to look for: 'Bronzeglanz' and 'Elizah Blue'.