When it comes to containers, we often discuss thrillers, fillers, and spiller; the three main criteria for a perfect container. As a recap for anyone who doesn’t know this lingo, a thriller is the height feature, typically something like a Dracaena green spike or a Canna Lily. The filler tends to be something like a Petunia or a Verbena. And the spiller is often a vining plant such as Potato Vines or Creeping Jenny. Often, I find myself talking about the fillers and spillers since those tend to be my favourite plants. Today however I want to talk about a thriller, specifically an often underrated thriller. This misunderstood beauty is called Ruby Savannah Grass. Now I won’t be too hard on anyone who’s overlooked this plant as it often doesn’t show off its true colours till later in the summer. Before it shows off it is simply a very soft silvery blue grass that mounds very nicely. But that’s it. Often this is the longest lasting grass in our greenhouse because it doesn’t show off in May when 70% of our customers are shopping. People don’t want plain grass in their containers; they have enough of it that they are yanking out of their gardens. However, don’t judge this book by its cover or rather this plant on its leaves, the best it yet to come! With some patience and enough space this grass will flourish getting close to 3 feet tall and produce a lovely mounding structure. Once established in its place this grass will send out velvety soft vibrant pink plumes. A lot of them! This plant goes from 0 – 100 really fast on the “look’s” scales. Let’s just say this grass quickly made its way onto my list of favourites. The picture I have attached to this blog barely does it justice, the pink plumes just show off in a way few grasses can!
So, we’ve talked aesthetics, let’s talk facts. Just because it’s pretty doesn’t mean it a great plant. In Manitoba we are prone to disappoint in plants as it can seem that all beautiful plants don’t grow here. If you are wondering why, it’s pretty simple, we are just too cold. With such harsh winters any of the exotic and beautiful plants just can’t tolerate it here. I’ll come right out of the gates and say this plant isn’t a perennial; however, you will get a really beautiful season out of them. Once they send out their plumes, they will hold onto them until the frost. As far as care these beauties are very easy to tend to. They can take full sun to part shade making them versatile for different locations and yards. Ruby Grass is also drought tolerant making them great for garden beds, containers, and Xeriscaping. I had never heard of Xeriscaping before until researching ruby grass. For anyone curious Xeriscaping is a gardening strategy that involves only plants that require very little irrigation, often leading to a Mediterranean looking garden. With the plants needing less water, this leads to a feature garden that requires much less labour. Ruby Savannah Grass is incredibly low maintenance requiring little moisture and no deadheading! Obviously, it does require weeding and fertilizer is always beneficial to any plants! Though low maintenance and not requiring a ton of moisture do not neglect them. Make sure to check the watering needs and general health of the plant regularly. Plants are pets, not furniture, that is slowly becoming my personal motto. Plants are living things after all, and every living thing needs constant care. But like humans some are more low maintenance then others, ha-ha.
So is the Savannah Ruby Grass worth your time? Absolutely! Easy care, gorgeous ruby red to pink plumes, and no aggressive take overs because its annual. This is a plant definitely worth your time!