Festuca Mairei is an evergreen clumping grass that covers the whole ground with its attractive khaki green color. It is also known as Atlas Fescue, representing its North African origin.
It is one of the most popular grass in the regions with mild winters, as its color does not fade and remains evergreen throughout the year. It changes to parchment color if the winters are freezing while keeping the original essence and feel of its eye-catching beauty.
This grass is used widely for ornamental purposes because of its tidy foliage with drought resisting capabilities. You can use this grass in your rock gardens, beds, mixed borders, meadows, slopes, or as a groundcover.
The best characteristic of this plant that makes it plant lovers favorite is its low maintenance and easy caring. These plants do not require daily watering or specific soil requirements to grow well.
Characteristics of Festuca Mairei
It can grow from two to three feet high and wide. These grasses spread themselves all over the ground, with flowers extending just above the grass to enhance the garden’s beauty.
Khaki green foliage mixed with gray-green flower spikelets changes the whole outlook of a place. These grasses require warm winters to keep their colors intact throughout the year.
The evergreen properties remain as long as the required conditions are met. If the winters are too cold, the color of the grass can fade a bit but their beauty-enhancing trait does not, making it useful for ornamenting even in winter.
Its inconspicuous brown flowers can be seen at the start of the early summer season lasting till the end of August.
The flowers are in the form of spikelets which are a bit higher than the actual size of the grass, intensifying the beauty with its unique appearance surrounded by the clumps of khaki green foliage.
They are easy to care for as it does not require many different conditions to grow well.
They can adjust themselves to different conditions, whether it be the changing atmosphere or the ground on which they are grown. Festuca mairei can grow even on a stony surface, requiring it to be warm and dry.
Festuca Mairei can tolerate various external conditions that can cause any other grass to die. They do not grow well under harsh conditions, but they do continue to live by adapting to the situation and condition.
They have strong and flexible branches, which allow them to handle strong winds well. They can also live without water for days as they have drought tolerating properties.
These plants can control erosion by holding the soil to keep it intact with the slopes. The erosion control properties are ensured by their fibrous root system and adapting to the environment trait.
The Hardiness zone of these plants is 4 to 9. These plants grow in the climate zones between 2 to 24. The range defined above provides these grasses an ideal environment to grow and establish healthy and strong.
Caring tips for Festuca Mairei
These plants can be planted anytime between spring and fall. You can start by digging up from 13 to 16 inches deep into the existing soil to prepare a garden.
The soil must have a good drainage system for the plants to prosper. For this purpose, add some organic material such as garden compost, manure, or peat moss.
Fertilizers are always helpful in boosting and blooming the new plant, so add a granulated starter, quick-release, or water-soluble fertilizer.
Take the plant out of the pot, making sure that its roots remain undamaged with the soil of the pot surrounding its roots in the shape of a ball. Dig a hole in the ground at least two times larger than the root ball.
Now place the root ball into the ground so that its height is equal to what it had while planted in the pot. Fill up the space around the root ball with the ground soil to make the plant stable at its position.
Strong compost soil is required to prepare the garden bed; for this purpose, use organic matter to improve the fertility and water drainage of the soil. Compost can be added to the soil a week before planting to improve the water retention and drainage system.
It can grow well in both sand and clay soils, but make sure that you water more often if you are using sandy soil as it does not hold moisture well compared to clay soil.
It is recommended that you water the new plantings daily as they use more water in their growth stage. Once they are established into their mature height, you should water them once every two to three days if the soil seems dry.
There are various types of fertilizers that you can use for your plant to boost its growth; some of them are as follows.
- Granulated fertilizers
- Slow-release fertilizers
- Organic fertilizers
- Water-soluble, quick release fertilizers
Remove the flowers from their base once the blooming period is over as it boosts plant growth and helps it become healthy instead of producing seeds. You can prune the foliage whenever you like to control its size.
Festuca Mairei Propagation
Festuca mairei can be propagated by either sowing or division method.
In the sowing method, the seeds are planted directly into the soil. You are not required to grow the plant inside the house and transplant it once it is grown; instead, you can grow it directly in the garden by placing the seed in the prepared soil.
In the division method, plants are divided into two parts, ensuring that both the crown and the roots of the plant are kept intact.
Make sure to use the planting method discussed above before planting your Festuca Mairei in the garden.
Festuca Mairei is one of the best plants for ground cover. It can lighten up the whole place with attractive green foliage that does not fade throughout the year.
Its flowers multiply their beauty when they show their true colors in the blooming season, making it one of the best ornamental grass chosen by almost every plant lover for their garden.