Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass

Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ is the first ornamental grass to receive the Perennial Plant of the Year Award™ (2001), earned for good looks, long-lasting plumes and undemanding growing requirements. Green foliage grows in a neat, 2-foot clump. In early spring, stalks rise up to 6 feet, capped with elongated, wheat-colored seed heads. In addition to intrinsic beauty, Feather Reed Grass exhibits tolerance for heavy clay and compacted soil and will not reseed (seeds are believed to be sterile). Plant Feather Reed Grass in sunny, dry locations and use as a backdrop for flowering perennials. Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ was named in honor of the late great nurseryman, Karl Foerster (1874-1970). Mr. Foerster was responsible for introducing this grass, as well as many other acclaimed plants during his distinguished career in horticulture.

  • Drought Tolerant
  • Hoffman Nursery Favorite
  • Growth rate: medium-fast
  • Grow in 1, 2 or 3 gallon (any size will work well)
  • Grow in well-drained soil
  • Water needs: keep evenly moist
  • Fertilizing: use a slow release, medium-rate fertilizer
  • Possible pests: aphids, leaf spot, spidermites, tar spot; very susceptible to rust—treat at the first sign
  • Overwintering: cold frame with clear poly; do not overwater; can overwinter outside if protected
  • Note: please adapt these suggestions as needed to accommodate your local conditions.
  • Adaptable and great-looking ornamental grass
  • Long-lasting plumes add elegance to the landscape
  • Use as a specimen or plant in masses to create a sea of motion
  • Combine with colorful, blooming perennials
  • Requires very little maintenance (cut back in spring before new growth appears)
  • A cool season grower, it is one of the first ornamental grasses to bloom in spring
  • Hardy to zone 4