Korean Feather Reed Grass- Feathers for your Garden!

Calamagrostis brachytricha Korean feather reed grass Plant Select

(Calamagrostis brachytricha) Is an excellent addition to your garden for fall interest. It puts on a show after many other plants have quit for the season. Korean feather reed grass produces large (12”) plumes with a pink tinge in August and matures to a tan color. These plumes can be cut and used in dried arrangements. The leaves grow to 36” tall with the plumes held above the leaves to a height of 48”. The base of the slow-spreading mound will be about 15” across. While it’s in bloom, the clump can reach 24” across. Korean feather reed Grass’s growth habit and feathery plumes are more rounded and fuller than other more common (and often overused) Calamagrostis varieties.

Korean feather reed grass likes full sun or partial shade. It is native to moist woodlands of central and eastern Asia, and it tolerates heavy clay soil which helps keep the roots moist. While Korean feather reed grass will go quite dry, it does need additional irrigation at times in the Denver area. Cut it to the ground in early spring for a beautiful fresh look for the new season.

The leaves will eventually turn to a bright yellow late in the fall. Pair Korean feather reed grass with other great fall-blooming plants like Plant Select’s Epilobium canum subsp. garrettii ORANGE CARPET® or fall-blooming asters like ‘Purple Dome,’ or put a fun selection of pumpkins around the base of your grasses for a festive fall display.

View the plant profile here. Or watch the video here.

Height: 32-40”
Width: 20-24”
Blooms: August to December
Sun: Full sun to partial shade
Soil Moisture: Moderate to dry
Hardiness: USDA zones 4-9
Culture: Clay, loam or sandy soil

Thanks to Shalene Hiller, City of Westminster, for writing this piece.

22 responses to “Korean Feather Reed Grass- Feathers for your Garden!”

  1. Jennifer J. says:

    Do Korean Feather reed grass transplant successfully? I’d like to move mine to a better location in my yard. Also, what time is better for transplanting them in Northern Colorado? Spring or Fall?

  2. ELISA P REID says:

    One of mine hasnt shown any new growth. Been in ground for 3-4 years. should I divide this plant. It is middle of May. thank you

    • Ross Shrigley says:

      You could divide it and maybe you will find why it is not growing very quickly. Is it planted with weed barrier around it?

  3. Frank Heth says:

    Will this grow in the shade?

    • Ross Shrigley says:

      This will grow in part shade, but not full shade. It will do fine under a tree that allows some sun through its leaves if that is where you are thinking of putting it.

  4. James says:

    Will feather reed grass grow in sand?

  5. Shannon says:

    Hello, we planted our reed grass this past spring and have watered it every 2 or 3 days since. When we planted them, we mixed the surrounding clay soil with Boss. They have been kind of sickly looking all summer with some green leaves and lots of brown leaves but is now getting a few plumes. The soil feels damp when I dig my finger in, when trying to decide whether to water it or not. The plants are in the full sun surrounded by black bark so they get a lot of heat. Are we watering too much? How often should we be watering them here in Denver? Should I let the soil completely dry out?

    • Ross Shrigley says:

      Yes, back off on the watering. The clay that it is planted in may be acting like a pot and holding the water. Water once per week and see how that affects your plants. They should be fine and remember it is fall so need less water and are supposed to start going dormant.

  6. Robert says:

    Would this grow well outdoors in a large (22”) pot?

  7. Sidnie says:

    I’m in Lakewood and just purchased a small pot of this reed. Can I plant it outside now, or just leave it in it’s pot until spring?

  8. April says:

    I live in Elizabeth, Co and am considering planting Korean Feather Reed Grass in front of my house in a long straight row. The area gets part-sun. I’m not sure how close to plant them together. I like the look of having them closer, but I want to allow enough room for them to grow and be healthy. Do you have a recommendation? Also, if I add a drip system, how often should I water them? We have clay soil here, but I can certainly amend it. Thank you!

    • Ross Shrigley-Plant Select says:

      These will be a great way to display this plant. Plant them close together. If you buy them in gallons, plant them 1 foot apart. Water them every day to keep soil moist (but not drowning) for a week. Then back off watering to 3 times per week for the next 2 weeks and then once per week from there on out unless you find them struggling then increase the watering time. Enjoy!

  9. Hilary says:

    Do these need to be winterized if planted in a large grow bag outside? The bottom and sides are lined with styrofoam and topped off with a thin layer of mulch.

  10. Kathleen BeBeau says:

    I have for 4 pot of this grass, I’d planed on planting this fall but circumstances have made that unlikely at this time. Can I overwinter it in the starter pots? If I can shoukd I leave outside or bring jnto a garage.

    • Ross Shrigley-Plant Select says:

      Place the grasses on the north side of your house or fence and bury them in mulch to help insulate the roots and they should be fine to plant next spring.

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