Pink muhly grass in Oklahoma

Muhly grass 'Regal Mist,' Muhlenbergia capillaris 'Lenca' is most beautiful in early morning and just before the sun sets. This was taken in the evening.
Muhly grass ‘Regal Mist,’ Muhlenbergia capillaris ‘Lenca’ is most beautiful in early morning and just before the sun sets. This was taken in the evening.

Pink muhly grass is the big star this week in my Little Cedar Garden.

My five plants have finally grown into their adult form. It’s been a long time coming–five or six years to get this kind of stand in the front bed. It now stops traffic on our rural road. We don’t get that much traffic out here, but what does whiz by usually comes to an abrupt halt. I guess you can see why.

Muhly grass 'Regal Mist,' Muhlenbergia capillaris 'Lenca'
Muhly grass ‘Regal Mist,’ Muhlenbergia capillaris ‘Lenca’ (five different clumps from one angle.

In my opinion, muhly grass has very specific conditions that must be met in order to grow well. In this one bed in the garden, I have those conditions.

  • Full, hot, summer sun.
  • Not much competition from other plants when the muhly grass is young.
  • Very little water–I use drip irrigation in this bed. Muhly grasses need water, but not too much.
  • Lean, well-drained soil.
'Alabama Sunset' coleus looks great with with muhly grass 'Regal Mist.' In fact, 'Alabama Sunset' looks great with anything pink or yellow. Try it with lantana. It's pretty.
‘Alabama Sunset’ coleus looks great with with muhly grass ‘Regal Mist.’ In fact, ‘Alabama Sunset’ looks great with anything pink or yellow. Try it with pink and yellow lantana. It’s pretty.

I’ve been most successful with two selections of the native Muhlenbergia capillaris Regal Mist‘ and ‘Fast Forward.’ ‘Fast Forward’ is supposed to bloom earlier, but I think ‘Regal Mist’ has bigger plumes. For those of you in colder climates, you might try M. reverchonii, ruby muhly grass, ‘Undaunted.’  It is supposed to be hardy to USDA Zones 5 and 6. The plumes are a bit different, but just as pretty in images I saw.

Pink muhly grass from the opposite side of the garden bed.
Pink muhly grass with coleus and Mexican bush sage in 2016. The clumps have just gotten bigger.

If you can meet its requirements, muhly grass is wonderful stuff. My dear friend, Fairegarden, turned me onto it years ago. I also grow a white variety called ‘White Cloud,‘  which is new this year, but I already love it too.

Note that it doesn’t look like much in other seasons which I think is okay. In July, it just looked like thin-bladed grass.

This is what the pink muhly grass looks like in other seasons.
This is what the pink muhly grass looks like in other seasons.

After I shared my pink muhly on Instagram yesterday, I was flooded with questions of where I bought my plants. I bought ‘Fast Forward’ from Bustani Plant Farm a couple of years ago and ‘Regal Mist’ six years ago from TLC Garden Nursery. I don’t know if they still have it or not, but I’ve given you links to High Country Gardens too. They should have plants again in spring.

 

 

 

 

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Sharrie says:

    I have some I got two years ago from the Oklahoma State Horticulture spring Plant Sale. Tiny things but they have shot up in full sun and some neglect. The club changes their stock each year. Email and ask if they’ll sell them. ?

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Hi Sharrie, you mean if I want more?

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I have never seen this for sale around here. I would love to try it. I have always admired this grass. I used to look forward to seeing the pink froth in Frances’ garden each fall. Now I will watch for yours.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Lisa, I think the only one that would be hardy in your garden would be ‘Undaunted.’ It’s a little different from mine, but still beautiful. You do need full sun though.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      I would say thank you, but it’s not really up to me. I just give it what it likes, and it does its thing. It is a really pretty thing though.

  3. I like to stop traffic with my garden, too. But it won’t be with pink muhly. Besides being too cold for it, I have the opposite of all the conditions it likes.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Kathy, I think you stop traffic with those daffodils you planted on that hill. That should do it!

      1. Yes, that does it in spring. Think I’m gonna interplant colchicums for fall. I show off through my garden.

  4. I can see where this plant would stop traffic. It stops me visually every time I see it online. I’m glad you have good luck with it, because it’s wonderful!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      It is amazing stuff when it blooms. 😉

I love your comments. Thanks for letting me know what you think.