Blue fescue grass (Festuca glauca) is a bright ornamental grass with silvery blue leaves and light green blooms that develop to buff. It grows in USDA zones 4–8 and is drought-tolerant. Its low maintenance and exquisite texture make it a suitable companion plant for bolder plantings. F. glauca, a Poaceae perennial, grows quickly.
Blue fescue is a beautiful grass that grows to 12 inches. Plant blue fescue seed in early spring or late summer.
|Botanical Name||Festuca glauca|
|Common Name||Blue fescue, blue fescue grass|
|Plant Type||Perennial, grass|
|Mature Size||6-12 in. in high, 6-18 in. spread|
|Sun Exposure||Full, part|
|Soil Type||Moist, well-draining|
|Soil pH||Neutral, acidic, alkaline|
|Flower Color||Green, yellow|
|Hardiness Zones||4-8 (USDA)|
Blue Fescue Care
Blue fescue can be relatively maintenance-free by following a few key steps. Mulching with a 3-inch layer of bark mulch or other organic material is advisable, especially when fostering the growth of young plants. Mulch helps to conserve moisture in the soil and suppress weed growth. It eventually decomposes and releases nutrients into the soil (at which time you can replace the old mulch with a new batch).
Blue fescue has minimal pests and diseases. If not raised and split, the plant will die in the middle in two to three years. Division keeps plants healthy and adds to your landscape.
In part-shade, blue fescue flowers less and has green leaves instead of slate-blue. This attractive grass will become blue-gray with additional sun.
It likes well-drained, wet soil. It hates damp weather. Mature plants are drought-resistant.
This plant requires moderate watering. Water regularly in summer to keep it green and thriving. Short droughts will stunt but not kill the plant.
Temperature and Humidity
Blue fescue enjoys chilly spring and autumn weather. It thrives in generally mild summers, but extreme heat and humidity will kill the leaves and decrease its lifetime.1
Blue fescue is fed just by compost mulch.
Types of Blue Fescue
- ‘Elijah Blue’ Most popular variety features pale blue foliage.
- ‘Golden Toupee’ features chartreuse leaves.
- ‘Boulder Blue’ boasts a silver-blue hue and tolerates higher heat and humidity.
- ‘Blaufink’ offers compact features and a fine texture.
- ‘Tom Thumb’ grows to be only about 4 inches tall.
- ‘Harz’ olive-green with purple highlights.
Early spring, cut leaves to a few inches above ground. The fresh grass blades will fit better and the plant will appear better.
Remove dead grass to maintain foliage. The seed heads offer winter appeal, while the blossoms add movement. If you wish to contain the plant, remove the seed heads.
Propagating Blue Fescue
Blue fescue is best propagated by division. This is necessary since blue fescue only survives three to five years without division. Here’s how:
- Shovel or trowel the plant out of the ground.
- Spade or pruner the cluster in half. Remove brown areas. Pulling away the cluster may harm the root structure.
- Replant cluster portions 8–10 inches apart as fresh plants.
- Soil the roots. Water thoroughly after planting and periodically until new growth appears.
How to Grow Blue Fescue From Seed
Blue fescue seeds grow easily. Late winter seed-starting in peat pots using seed-starting mix. Three seeds per pot are plenty, gently covered with the specified soil and kept damp until they’re ready to go outdoors. Before gardening, harden seedlings. After frost or in late summer, blue fescue seeds may be put straight into the soil.
Cool-season fescue is USDA zone 4-hardy. Overwintering requires no particular care. Winter dormancy renders grass brown in cold areas.
Blue fescue has aphids. Horticultural oil or insecticidal soaps may treat harder infestations.
Common Problems With Blue Fescue
Gardeners in warm climates may experience a different problem with blue fescue: above-ground growth may die back during the summer, due to excessive heat and humidity. When this happens, give the plant a “haircut,” since its appearance is temporarily spoiled anyway. In many cases, the plant will recover when more moderate weather returns.