Elijah Blue Fescue
If you want a compact, versatile ornamental grass for your landscape, make sure to take a look at the Elijah blue fescue (Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue‘). This grass can be used as an edging for a border, an accent piece in a rock garden, or ground cover for those smaller areas. As you can tell, the Elijah blue fescue might be the perfect option for your outdoor project.
Elijah Blue Fescue Attributes
The Elijah blue fescue is known for its porcupine-like tufts and needle-shaped blades. These features are guaranteed to add some visual interest to your landscape. The fine-textured, bluish-gray foliage makes this grass one of the most prized ornamentals on the market. The foliage forms a dome-shaped tuft that produces arching blades. This fescue can reach a height of 6 to 8 inches.
The Elijah blue fescue is a partial evergreen, and it produces light green flowers in the late spring. During this time, the panicles tower above the foliage. These flowers last from the late spring to the early summer. Once the flowers are spent, they are displaced by buff-colored seed heads. These wheat-like heads provide more visual appeal to your fescue. While some landscapers love the seed heads’ appearance, some gardeners remove them from the plant.
- Watering Needs: Once established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat or containers.
- Botanical Pronunciation: fes-TEW-kuh GLAW-kuh
- Deciduous/evergreen: Semi-evergreen
- Growth rate: Fast
- Average landscape size: Moderate growing; reaches 3 ft. tall, 4 ft. wide.
- Special features: Clump Forming, Dense Habit, Dramatic Foliage Color, Easy Care, Extreme Cold Hardiness, Tolerates Poor Soils, Waterwise, Fast Growing, Tolerates Urban Pollution
- Dramatic Foliage: Color, Easy Care
- Foliage color: Silver-blue
- Blooms: Late Summer
- Flower color: Brown
- Garden style: Asian/Zen, Mediterranean, Rustic, Xeric
- Design Ideas: The silver-blue coloring and fine texture is appreciated in both Asian gardens and the drought-resistant landscape. Most often planted near rock gardens, around landscape boulders and in dry streambeds. Does equally well as a formal edging plant or in a mass for groundcover effect.
- Companion Plants: Echinacea, Santolina, Alchemilla, Pennisetum, Stachys byzantina, Stipa tenuissima
Elijah Blue Fescue Landscape Uses
The Elijah blue fescue is one of the easiest fescue grasses to grow. This attractive fescue can edge borders on a property. With its small and compact size, the Elijah blue fescue makes the perfect choice for ground cover. These grasses should be planted about 8 to 10 inches from the center of each clump. If you want to boost a rock garden’s color, consider adding this fescue to those spaces.
Since it is a small fescue, it can adapt to a container garden. These grasses can soften up harsh edges along a concrete patio. When added with purple and blue flowers, this fescue provides contrast and color to any perennial garden. You can even use the Elijah blue fescue as an accent piece. With its needle-like leaves, it gives those areas some impressive visual interest. The Elijah blue fescue is adaptable to any space. It can tolerate salt, and it does exceptionally well around coastal regions.
If you need to choose an ornamental grass that is resistant to deer, this is a great choice for your landscape. The benefits do not stop with this exceptional grass. The Elijah blue fescue also remains the top choice for a “firewise” landscape design.
Elijah Blue Fescue Planting and Care
While the Elijah blue fescue is a durable plant, it only lives up to 2 to 4 years. However, shearing can be done in the late winter to promote a neater appearance and extend its lifespan. The Elijah blue is very tolerant of droughts, and it does grow at a quick pace. Once the plant has established in your landscape, it only requires some occasional watering. If your summers are hot and dry, you want to keep this plant watered on a regular basis. This ornamental fescue is one of the toughest grasses on the market.
This drought-tolerant ornamental grass grows in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8, and you want to plant this blue fescue in well-draining soil. The Elijah blue fescue can also tolerate some deficient soils. You need to place this ornamental grass in plenty of sunshine. Without the right amount of sun, it cannot achieve that famous blue-gray color.
In those colder climates, this blue fescue grass turns brown in the winter. Many landscapers leave the grass standing to protect the roots. In the late winter, you can comb through the ornamental grass to remove any of the last year’s foliage. If you want to cut back this fescue, make sure to remove it within a few inches from the ground in the early spring. When you shear this plant, there will be more room for the new grass blades.
Enjoy the Beauty of the Elijah Blue Fescue
The icy blue blades of this clumping ornamental grass is a must-have for your landscape. In the summer, you will be amazed by the buff-colored flowers that rise above the blue foliage. Between the foliage and flowers, this plant is the perfect contrasting piece for any space. It is an excellent choice for mass planting or edging out a border. Arbor Valley Nursery can help you secure this ornamental grass for your landscape. Please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form to learn more about our inventory.