Empire Landscaping frequently has customers ask about this grass, so here is a little more information. Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima) is a cute little mounding plant worth trying in the garden, especially if you want an easy-to-grow ornamental that has lots of natural movement every time the wind blows.

The delicate strands of Mexican feather grass combine well with the coarse leaves of lamb’s ears and other perennials. This plant is a mounding perennial bunchgrass with good garden characteristics.

This popular ornamental grass hit the garden mainstream in the mid-1990s and has proved much more widely adapted than previously thought. It’s native to parts of west Texas, New Mexico and the north central states of Mexico, where it grows in open, dry woods, on rocky slopes and in dry, disturbed areas. It certainly does very well in North Texas.

Mexican Feather Grass highlights one of the quandaries homeowners face when deciding what to grow. It’s one of the good guys in the landscape because it’s easy to grow, drought-tolerant and pest-free– a real low-maintenance gem subsisting on natural rainfall and not requiring pesticide sprays or fertilizers. The grass may go dormant in dry sites in summer and begin growing again when temperatures cool and rains return in the fall.

In your landscape, Mexican Feather Grass is best used en masse as an open and airy groundcover for edging beds or to cover steep banks. It fits well in natural landscape plantings, rock gardens and in conventional borders, where the plant’s fine texture plays off the coarser texture of neighboring plants.

The plant will reseed in your outdoor planting beds but isn’t overly aggressive about it. It won’t survive the close mowing and frequent watering of the typical lawn, and it’s too shade-intolerant to survive long in shady beds and borders.

Mexican feather grass does best in full sun in a well-drained soil and tolerates soil with a pH range between 5.8 and 8.0. It can be grown from seed (sewn inside in late winter), or new plants can be propagated by springtime division of the clumps.


For more plants and shrubs that thrive in the North Texas areas of Plano, Frisco, Allen and other North Dallas cities, contact Empire Landscaping at empirelandscaping@gmail.com or call us directly at 214-228-0904.