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Festuca glauca - Blue Fescue Grass

Festuca glauca is a dwarfish type of ornamental grass with blue foliage and green flowers, that turn to light straw brown in the Autumn.

It shows well when planted as clumps or drifts, but here in the image you can see how effective it is against a pebble background. The dark of the background also helps to highlight the seedheads - especially with the low sun light of the autumn and winter months.

This blue fescue is a good garden plant and lends itself to many uses - formal landscape, rock garden, border plant, dry garden, container growing and of course well suited to the rock garden.

It forms a dense clump of narrow - almost cylindrical leaves, which are best blue early in the new growing season, but then often fading to a metallic blue. It is evergreen - but fades a little in colour as the winter progresses.

The flower spikes are very attractive and profusely produced. Starting green and then turning light brown for the autumn and winter as flowers change to seedheads. This is when it is at its best for me, though the attractive foliage is good through spring and summer.

Festuca glauca as a solitary specimen plant agains pebble gardenFestuca glauca Elijah Blue

It retains a better blue if grown slightly on the dry side - and in dappled shade. Though full sun is its normal choice of habitat. It is fully clump forming and not at all invasive via creeping.

As with many perennials, it tends to get a bit weak in colour and vigour if not divided every three years or so. There will always be places in the garden to soak up the divided plants - or neighbours who will be attracted to the idea!

Festuca glauca types are fully hardy and suffer no insect or disease problems. It responds well to a close haircut in the late winter or early  spring, but requires no special attention

Propagation of Blue Fescue - Festuca glauca

Easy to divide in the spring - and advantageous to do this from time to time.

Sow seeds in early spring in seed trays placed in cold greenhouse or cold frame. Alternatively sprinkle a few seeds per 3in (7cm) pot and plant out after germination. With seed sown plants, look out for any variations that may be an improvement in colour, and discard those that do not have good promise of bright blue foliage.


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