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Grasses and Grass-like Plants for the Shade

If you’re looking for some ornamental grasses for shady locations, you do have a few options.

Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra) is shade tolerant and the variegated varieties combine nicely with the bold leaves of hosta. Keep the soil moist, especially in the first few years for greatest success.

Many of the grass-like sedges tolerate shade and moist soils. Palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis) is more upright and grows in full sun to partial shade. Little Midge is a shorter palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis 'Little Midge') that only grows 8 to 10 inches tall and is hardy in zones 4 to 9. Try using these in areas that receive a bit more sun. The golden foliage of Bowles Golden Sedge (Carex elata ‘Aurea’) will brighten up those shady spots and create a striking contrast to the surrounding greenery.

Consider growing the partial shade and moisture loving sweet flag (Acorus). The long narrow leaves mimic that of grass. 

A bit more information:  Add color and texture to the shade garden with Acorus calamus 'Aureovariegatus'. It grows 9 inches tall and has attractive creamy stripes on the leaves. The variegated foliage helps brighten the shade in zones 3 to 9.

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