Native Grasses | Low Maintenance, High Impact Curb Appeal

10/14/21  |  Kerry Boccella

A clean, well-kept exterior can significantly increase a home’s value, but most of us don’t have the time (or energy) to keep up with our yards as much as we would like to! That is where native plants come in due to their low maintenance nature and beautiful appearance. You can read more about the benefits of native plants here.

Investing in good landscaping never goes out of style as the plants and grass grow fuller as time goes by. When someone drives by your home or is pulling into your driveway, of course, they notice the house, but the landscaping is what truly provides the full curb appeal. Grasses native to Pennsylvania are already adapted to the weather and soil, which allows the grasses to thrive with little to no maintenance. Some PA native grasses include Little Bluestem, Switchgrass, and Indian Grass, but my favorite is Pink Muhly Grass. Read on below for details on each!

Little Bluestem

Starting in August this grass begins to bloom to its blue-green stems that can reach up to 3 feet tall. This low-maintenance grass has pastel colors throughout the summer that attract butterflies and coppery tones during cooler months. This grass is special because it’s native to over half of the country and can survive in many different climates. It can be planted in the spring or fall and is known for being tough, adaptable, and can survive in a range of moisture conditions. Little Bluestem isn’t made for small gardens so be sure to plant it where it will have room to fully grow, and check out this planting guide for more details! You can buy Little Bluestem at almost any local Nursery.


One of the easiest native grasses to plant is Switchgrass, but you do need to take into consideration how far apart they are placed and where in your yard you are putting them as they do spread and grow tall. This is another grass that begins blooming in August, while its stems change to a yellow or burgundy color during the Autumn months. The only care this grass needs is fertilizing in the spring if the soil is poor, but it isn’t necessary. Once planted, Switchgrass needs a little sun and it will do the rest of the work itself! If you choose to plant Switchgrass on your own, you can find suggestions on Gardening Know How.

Indian Grass

One of the most common native grasses is Indian Grass, known for its height growing up to 8 feet tall and a foot long! Like most grasses, when it blooms in August it has a golden crown and blue-green stems. Later in the fall, the crown can have a more red color to it. This database explains distribution by state and how Indian grass can grow in moist, rich soils. Being a warm-season grass it’s known for creating a striking visual scene perfect for a low-maintenance yard that attracts attention. 

Pink Muhly Grass

This is my absolute favorite native grass! I might be a little biased because this is what is planted along the front of my yard. I get tons of compliments and questions on my pink grass as it adds color to my lawn and requires barely any upkeep - perfect for my survival of the fittest gardening style. Pink Muhly Grass attracts attention because of its vibrant color. It grows from 1 to 4 feet tall with a 2 to 4-foot spread and is recommended to be planted in the Spring. When you buy Pink Muhly grass in the spring it will be a green color, but as the fall approaches, the blades burst into magnificent puffs of cotton candy pink plumes! There are many types of Muhly grass that this article goes into detail about. ​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Local Nurseries to Find the Perfect Ornamental Grass for your yard:

You can easily find all variety of grasses at the big box stores but I prefer to shop at local nurseries where there are plant passionate staff that give great advice. Hate gardening but want your yard to look amazing?  Reach out, I am happy to connect you to a talented landscaper/designer that can help.


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