Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'

9cm pot £8.99
available to order from autumn
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' feather reed grass: Upright and architectural

This grass dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.

  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: dry or wet, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: fast growing
  • Flowering period: early summer to autumn
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    A stiff, erect habit is the defining feature of this grass, named after the famous German plantsman who introduced it to the public in the 1950s. Plant it en masse to form a feathery screen, or in small groups to add height and definition to a perennial border. It also looks good planted next to buildings. This is one of the earliest perennial grasses to get going, with shoots appearing in early spring, followed by flowers that are green first, then fade to buff.

  • Garden care: Very low maintenance, it simply needs to be cut down to the ground in February. Don’t be tempted to chop it earlier, as its wheat-coloured stems add drama and strong winter presence to the garden.

Delivery options
  • Standard
more info

Eventual height & spread

I would buy this product again


The grasses are spread about the garden and I'm hoping they will spread, if they don't I'll buy some more.

Viv the plodder



Excellent plant for a smaller space, upright and textural.


Covered this already.




Excellent grasses, performed very well this year


Used grasses almost as a hedge to back a large border and separate the border from the summer 'house'


North yorkshire

A great structural plant


Great plant that doesn't need staking, holds itself up well and makes a statement

Lucy's keeper

West Dorset




Ornamental grasses are expensive. I was hoping to get a bigger plant but I guess I just have to be patient and wait. Excellent service - on time, expertly packed, came with full instructions. As always.

Baba Jaga



Excellent quality


Great used as a screen around my patio

Gardening grandma



I would buy this again


I needed a barrier to block the views of my garage from a patio and raised koi pond area so I brought three. I did not want a plant that dropped leaves nor was I interested in bamboo which would be too tall. Karl Foerster was perfect. It grows quite dense, is high enough to disguise views of my garage when sitting on the patio and frames the raised koi pond brilliantly (the pond is a large rubber tub with very thick sides so I don't need to worry about the roots not that I have found it invasive). It forms a nice visual barrier, adds an interesting texture, makes a lovely reflection in the pond and makes a lovely rustling sound in the wind.




tall grasses


was very put off by how small and unlike the photo these grasses were they are huge in the phoyo and i wanted to use them as a partial screen i was going to complain but i decided to plant them as i was unsure how to return them.I am glad i did they grew really fast and really tall and straight almost sculptural.I wish i had given them support in the high winds though as i had some breakage and had to cut them but i am hopeful they will grow tall again as a had many people comment on how beautiful they looked .




Excellent grass. Good for 9 months


Useful in borders as narrow, upright flowers that look good anywhere


Southern england


All round quality plant.


Easy to establish and flowered in their first year. Was coveting this plant for a while and was not disappointed. Mesmerising to watch the flowers sway in the breeze.




Calamagrostisxacutiflora'Karl Foerster'

4.7 15


Are the small size Karl Foerster in 9cm pots suitable for planting out in October? Clay soil and part shade conditions. Thank you


Yes definitely - now is a great time to plant them out.


Hi, the 9cm pot is smaller than we were hoping to buy this in. Can you give me an idea of how quickly this would get to a metre in height please? Many thanks.


Hello, These are pretty fast growers, but ultimately the growth rate is determined by external factors such as the availability of water, light and nutrients. If you want a more immediate impact, we do have a larger sized (2-litre) plant, which will be a year or so older than the 9cm one - please click on the following link to go to both.


Hello. I would like to plant this to screen a wall . The area is sheltered and gets the east sun all morning and then south sun until about 2pm. I live in Edinburgh... Thank you

Sea Glass

Hello, It will be happiest in a sunnier spot, however provided it gets a reasonable amount of sun, it should be fine.


How many pots (small or big ones) would I need to build a screen along a 2m wall?


Hello, It really depends on how impatient you are and what type of effect you are trying to create. These plants will eventually form a clump around 60cm across, however if you want a hedge-like effect, then I would recommend planting them at 30cm intervals as they will fill in faster.


Hi Do you think these grasses would be suitable to screen an oil tank in a quite a windy area? Thanks


Hello, This can be a bit tricky, as while the more established plants tend to hold up better in a windier spot than the younger ones, I would not recommend growing them in a very exposed position.


Hi there, I am looking on your site for a nice upright, oaty-turning grass to add height to a naturalistic planting bed, with the other grass being Stipa tenuissima. But the bed and garden is small, so the tall grass needs to retain a relatively narrow footprint and not to arch too much at the top. Do you have any suggestions? I love Karl foerster, but have been told it's base grows too wide. Thanks very much.

Johnny P.

Hello, I would not rule out Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' as it does have a distinctly upright habit, and it it does get too big, it can be lifted and divided in mid-spring. As for alternatives, there are a couple of things that spring to mind - here are some of my favourites... Helictotrichon sempervirens Miscanthus sinensis 'Kleine Silberspinne' Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal' Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah'


Is this grass suitable for growing in a container? What maintenance would be required in terms of fertilising, repotting etc?


Hello, This plant looks so great when planted in big blocks in the border, but it is possible to grow it in a pot filled with John Innes No.2 too. You will need a biggish pot - I would suggest something with a diameter of at least 45cm and a sturdy base, so it does not topple over. As for maintenance, it is pretty easy to care for, just make sure it is well watered in the growing season and cut it back hard when it starts to look really tatty. You can also give it the occasional feed with a good, general-purpose fertiliser such as MiracleGro from spring to midsummer.


Please can you tell me how far part these should be planted?

Naughty Nicky

Hello there These plants can grow to at least 60cm wide eventually. The planting distances between the plants depends really on the look you would like to create, and how patient you are waiting for them to grow But normally I would plant them 50-60cm apart.


Indulge a passion for ornamental grasses by creating a prairie- or meadow-style garden. They can be richly planted with native wildflowers or a selection of complementary perennials and self-seeding annuals to create a naturalistic planting effect.

Read full article

Tall grasses and partners to gaze through in the autumn garden

As the days shorten, the autumn sun sinks a little lower every day and begins to backlight the borders, picking up detail and silhouette. There’s plenty to enjoy and seed heads, in suitably autumnal shades of brown and silver take centre stage, often last

Read full article

Shimmering late-season grasses

With the garden devoid of summer froth and carpeted in autumn leaves, certain plants shine at this time of year, a well-placed grass shimmering against a winter sunset, or the reddish brown, silky feathers shimmering in low sunlight are winter treats.

Read full article

Late ornamental grasses

Late-season grasses come into their own from September adding another element or two - movement and texture to your garden. Most are tall and graceful and most move and sway with a gossamer presence. As autumn continues the texture of the awns, be it soft

Read full article