Fescue: Planting And Care In The Open Field, Growing From Seed

The herbaceous fescue is a member of the grass family and is highly ornamental. It forms unusual dense turf with a spherical shape. On the outside they look like bumps adorned with dense thin foliage, which can be colored in different colors.

Fescues grow and grow best in regions with temperate and cold climates, and also in mountainous uplands. Being easy to care for and easy to grow, it is a drought-resistant plant, and it also grows and develops well in a salty and poor soil.

Some species of this perennial is widely cultivated in the open ground. But there are also species growing as fodder crop, in which case whole fields and pastures are sown with fescue.

Peculiarities of fescue

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

The herbaceous perennial fescue has a creeping or compact root system. Ornamental garden varieties seldom grow taller than 10 to 20 centimeters. But in natural conditions there are species whose thin upright shoots can reach a height of 120 to 200 cm.

During active growth, the shrub develops bare pedicels as well as lateral vegetative shoots covered with leaf laminae.

The sheathing leaves are linear in shape, with a hairy or scabrous surface. It grows at the base of the stems as well as at the nodes of the shoots. The maximum width of the leaves is 15 mm. The leaves are folded in half along the vertical axis, making them appear even narrower.

The fact that the leaves are folded in two, they evaporate less moisture, which helps the plant to survive during prolonged dry periods. On the surface of the leaf blade you can clearly see parallel veins, and its top looks like a thorn-like outgrowth.

This perennial begins flowering in June. At that time it forms sprawling panicle-shaped inflorescences which include shorter spikelets attached to a slender pedicel. The spikelets can vary in length from 5 to 15 mm.

At the same time, the bare pedicels are almost twice as long as the leaves. That's why during flowering, the unusual inflorescences spectacularly rise above the shrub. The dense paniculate inflorescences make the bush look more airy and light. They are colored in light greenish and yellow hues. The scales that form on the spikelets are keeled and vary in size.

Underneath them is an ovary-shaped ovary with a pair of stigmas and three stamens.

If pollination occurs, the plant forms seeds, which are grains. They are only 0.2 to 0.5 cm long, with a deep groove at the front and a tubercle at the back.

Production methods

Open field fescue can be propagated in two ways: by splitting the shrub and by seed.

Growing from seed

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

This perennial is self propagating. If the fading inflorescences are not cut back in time, the seeds will sprout out of the ears and float to the soil surface when mature. With the coming of spring, seedlings will appear in the places where seeds have sprouted. After 30 days if necessary the seedlings can be dug out and planted in a permanent place.

In this case, sowing the seeds purchased in a flower store is carried out at the end of winter. To do this, take a special container for seedlings and fill it with soil mixture. Seeds need pre-sowing preparation, for this purpose they are kept for some time in a pinkish solution of manganese potassium. Sow the seeds densely, in this case you will have a spectacular dense pillow. To do this, make holes 50 mm deep in the surface of the substrate, and the distance between them should be 10-20 centimeters.

In each such hole put from 5 to 7 seeds. The first seedlings should appear after 10-15 days. They are characterized by rapid growth, so it takes very little time to form a dense, lush turf. When the weather is warm outside, the bushes are planted in the garden. Until then, they are kept in a place where it is light and cool.

This will help prevent the stems from pulling out.

Single fescue - growing from seed, planting, care

Shrub division

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

Only plants that are two or three years old, but must be very old, are suitable for propagation by shrub division. Carefully remove all the turf from the ground and divide it into pieces, which should not be very large, while trying not to injure the root system. Once the bush is divided, the dividers are planted in a permanent place. At the same time, the soil on the plot should be recultivated in advance and make humus or compost into it.

The young plants will need time to form a dense turf.

There is a way to speed up the growth of the seedlings:

  • Dig the sprawling bush in deep autumn and plant it in a vase;
  • transfer it for wintering to a place where it is always cool and has good light, with no dampness;
  • In early spring, the bush should be divided into parts to be planted in containers filled with suitable soil, where the dividers will grow until warm weather sets in.

Open ground planting

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

Since fescue is young, it is not very frost-resistant, so plant in the ground in late spring and only when return frosts are left behind. A suitable site for planting should be sunny with light and loose soil, well permeable to water and air, slightly alkaline or neutral. Overly nutritious soil and a place with a high groundwater table are not suitable for this plant.

Bush plants should be planted in previously turned over soil with sand and quicklime. Fescue grows quickly so it should be dug out, divided and replanted every 2 or 3 years. Otherwise the plant will lose its decorative qualities.

Maintenance for fescue

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed


Fescue plants are drought-resistant, so water them only if absolutely necessary when it has not rained for a long time. Avoid stagnant water in the soil, as this causes some of the stems to die off and rot on the roots.


Fertilizer should be infrequent. Even if the bush is growing on depleted soil, it will suffice to feed it 1 or 2 times during the season. For this purpose, take a complex mineral fertilizer for ornamental foliage crops, and you will need only ½ of the dose recommended by the manufacturer.


Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

When the snow melts in the spring, trim off all withered leaves and stems from the shrub. Then clear it of debris with a rake.

If you don't want seeds, cut them off after the inflorescences have withered.


Most fescue varieties are highly winter hardy. But if winters in the region have little snow and frost, then in deep autumn the bushes are covered with a layer of fallen leaves and dry straw. Old bushes are less resistant to frost than young ones.

Diseases and pests

The plant is resistant to pests and diseases.

However, if it grows in a flooded or wet area it may be infested with a fungal disease.

Sharing my experience: WHAT TO NOT DO WITH Fescue

Fescue species with photos and names

There are more than 660 fescue species. However, about 20 species are cultivated outdoors by gardeners.

Meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis)

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

One bush of this herbaceous perennial plant has both lodging and upright shoots. The turf can reach a height of 0.

5 to 1 meter. The bush is decorated with lush lettuce or deep green foliage, which has a linear shape and is about 0.3 m long. Flowering occurs in June with paniculate inflorescences that reach 15 to 17 centimeters in length. They consist of elongated spikelets on flexible pedicels.

This species is highly frost-resistant but does not tolerate prolonged drought.

Red fescue (Festuca rubra)

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

The turf consists of bare shoots varying in height from 60 to 80 mm. And there are also lateral pale red shoots that are highly dense. On the surface of the shoots are dense, thin leaves, which are 0.3 to 0.

4 m long. Reddish-green leaf laminae are folded along the median vein, with a ribbed surface. The flowering shrub is decorated with loose panicles, which are about 12 centimeters long. This winter-hardy plant grows best in moist or flooded areas.

Folk fescue (Festuca glauca)

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

Thick, ball-shaped, dense turf looks very much like a bump with a height of 0.

5 to 0.6 m. It is decorated with luxuriant bluish-blue or silvery-green narrow-line foliage. Greenish-gray paniculate inflorescences are also very lush. At the same time when they fade, they are colored in a straw color.

This heat-loving plant can die due to severe frosts.

Best varieties:

  • blue bumpThe dense bush is adorned with a large number of narrow, bluish-green leaf plates;
  • lazurite - this variety stands out from the rest with spectacular silvery blue foliage;
  • glacial bluebird - the bush is 0.3-0.4 m tall and has dense, narrow foliage with a grayish-blue hue.

Sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina)

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

The bush forms dense, ball-shaped cushions no taller than 0.

2-0.3 m as it grows. They are composed of long, thin shoots and narrow leaf plates. The shoots have a deep green color. In June, loose paniculate inflorescences of oblong shape are formed, consisting of drooping spikelets.

The plant is very drought-resistant and grows very well in poor soils.

Stunted fescue (Festuca arundinacea)

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

This perennial does very well in saline soils. Its rhizome is short and its shoots are dense and grow to a height of about 1.5 meters. Narrow stiff leaf plates are formed at the base of the stems.

The shrub blooms in June and July. During this period bare peduncles are forming with paniculate inflorescences about 20 cm long.

Gautier's fescue (Festuca gautieri)

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

This evergreen plant is very compact: it is up to 10 cm high and reaches about 60 cm across. Its filamentous leaf plates are dark green in color. In the last days of June they form paniculate greenish-gray inflorescences that may be 5 to 7 centimeters long.

Fertile fescue in landscape design

Fescue: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

In a stony cluster, at the perimeter of a flower garden, on a lawn or at a border, lush shrubs of green, light blue or gray fescue look simply beautiful. It has also been noticed that its root system strengthens the soil and is therefore used for landslide prevention. On slopes it is often possible to plant different kinds of fescue with different shades of foliage. As a result a wonderful beautiful scenery appears.

This perennial can be planted with cuffs, trudescantia, miscanthus, campanula, hostas, veronica and medunia.

Also fescue is often grown as a regular lawn, planting the bushes more evenly.

MORTAL Fescue in My Garden


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