Helictotrichon is a plant genus that comprises about a dozen species of wild grass that are native to Europe. The name is derived from the Greek word ‘helictos’ and ‘trichon’, which mean ‘twisted’ and ‘awn’, respectively. One species that is particularly popular among gardeners and landscapers is Helictotrichon sempervirens. This perennial ornamental grass is commonly known as blue oat grass, primarily due to its slender blades and distinct blue hue. It grows between three and six feet in height and has a spread of one to three feet. It naturally develops into symmetrical clumps, which makes it an ideal plant for borders or beds, especially in rock gardens.
There are several things to consider when planting and growing blue oat grass. The condition of the soil, the climate, and possible pests or diseases can affect the health of Helictotrichon sempervirens.
The natural habitat of H. sempervirens features relatively poor to slightly fertile soil. This is great for most gardeners since the plant won’t suffer too badly from infertile soil. In fact, it can thrive in gravelly soil that has an alkaline pH. Just ensure that the soil is well-draining.
This species of grass is capable of surviving in hardiness zones higher than three. It handles cold very well, and it can survive through droughts, once it is established. Full sunlight is ideal for this plant, but it can tolerate partial shade for a bit.
Watering and Fertilizers
H. sempervirens is a low maintenance plant. It doesn’t require a lot of water, and it doesn’t require fertilizers.
There are two options for propagation. Sowing seeds during the spring is one option. Another option is to divide the clumps and re-plant in the spring.
A common problem that affects this plant is rust, which is a fungal infection. It may require the use of fungicidal sprays to prevent the spread of the disease. One way to reduce the likelihood of infection is to remove dead and decaying leaves that surround the plant.
Helictotrichon sempervirens (Blue oat grass) – FineGardening