Blue Oat Grass

Helictotrichon sempervirens

Family: Blue Oat Grass

Type: Ornamental grass

Blue Oat Grass, known scientifically as Helictotrichon sempervirens, is a striking ornamental grass. Its standout feature is its silvery-blue foliage that maintains its color throughout the growing season.

This grass is valued for its hardiness and low-maintenance nature. It forms neat, dense clumps of narrow leaves that create a distinctive architectural form in the garden.

Blue Oat Grass is a slow-growing perennial that’s perfect for adding texture and color contrast. It’s particularly effective in xeriscape gardens due to its drought tolerance.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 3a-9a

Pet Friendly: Yes

Moisture Preference: Dry to average

Sun Needs: Full sun


Growth Rate: Medium

Average Height (feet): 3

Average Spread (feet): 2

Average Life Span (years): 10

Form: Mounded


Foliage Color: Blue

Foliage Shape: Grassy

Landscaping Your Yard With Blue Oat Grass

Incorporating Blue Oat Grass into your landscape adds a touch of elegance and structure. Its upright growth and unique color make it a focal point in any garden setting.

This grass is ideal for use in borders, rock gardens, and as a specimen plant. Its clumping habit makes it a versatile choice for various landscaping designs.

Plant it in groups or as an accent in mixed perennial beds. The blue foliage pairs beautifully with green and purple plants, providing a striking contrast.


Suitable Garden Styles

Modern Garden

Blue Oat Grass fits well in modern garden designs. Its sleek form and blue tones complement the clean lines and minimalist aesthetic of contemporary landscapes.

Rock Garden

In rock gardens, Blue Oat Grass adds a soft textural element. Its blue hue harmonizes with the natural colors of stones and boulders.

Xeriscape Garden

As a drought-tolerant plant, Blue Oat Grass is ideal for xeriscaping. It requires minimal water and care, perfect for sustainable, low-water garden designs.

Blue Oat Grass Landscaping Ideas

Pair with ornamental stones or sculptures. The blue foliage creates a beautiful backdrop that highlights the features of garden art.

Combine with brightly colored flowers. The contrast between the blue grass and vibrant blooms creates a dynamic visual interest.

Use as a border along pathways. Its compact growth habit and striking color make it ideal for defining garden paths and walkways.

Seasonal Interest


In spring, Blue Oat Grass begins to grow back if it has been cut back in the fall. New blue-green blades emerge, refreshing the plant's vibrant color.


During summer, the grass reaches its full height and maintains its striking blue hue. It becomes a standout feature in the garden, with minimal care required.


In the fall, the color of Blue Oat Grass remains consistent. The grass maintains its shape, providing continued interest in the autumn landscape.


In winter, Blue Oat Grass can remain evergreen in milder climates, but may die back in colder regions. Its presence adds interest to the winter garden, contrasting the bareness of other plants.

Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Blue Oat Grass excels in full sun to light shade. It thrives in a sunny spot where it can receive several hours of sunlight each day, which is crucial for maintaining its blue color.


Full sun is ideal for Blue Oat Grass, as it encourages the most vibrant blue coloration of its foliage. Partial shade is also acceptable, but the intensity of the blue color may be reduced.


Well-drained soil is essential for Blue Oat Grass. It can adapt to various soil types, but it prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Good drainage is crucial to prevent root rot.


Space Blue Oat Grass plants about 2 to 3 feet apart. This spacing accommodates their clumping habit and ensures adequate air circulation, which is vital for plant health.

When to Plant

The best time to plant Blue Oat Grass is in the spring or early fall. This timing allows the plant to establish its roots before the extremes of summer heat or winter cold.

How to Plant

Dig a hole as deep and wide as the root ball. Set the plant in the hole, fill it with soil, water well, and apply a layer of mulch to help retain soil moisture.

Plant Care Tips


Water regularly after planting until established. Blue Oat Grass is drought-tolerant once established but performs best with consistent moisture, especially in hotter climates.


Fertilize Blue Oat Grass in the spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Over-fertilizing can lead to excessive growth and compromise the plant’s structure.


Cut back the foliage in late winter or early spring to remove any winter-damaged leaves and encourage fresh growth.

By Season


Spring Care

In spring, clean up any winter debris, apply a light fertilizer, and ensure adequate watering as new growth emerges.

Summer Care

During summer, Blue Oat Grass requires minimal care. Keep the soil moist, especially during prolonged dry periods.

Fall Care

In fall, prepare the plant for winter. Reduce watering as the plant starts to go dormant, and clean up any fallen debris.

Winter Care

Blue Oat Grass is relatively low-maintenance during winter. In colder climates, it may benefit from a protective layer of mulch.


How Big Does Blue Oat Grass Get?

Blue Oat Grass typically grows to about 2 to 3 feet in height and width. Its compact size makes it suitable for both small and large garden spaces.

Is Blue Oat Grass Deer Resistant?

Yes, Blue Oat Grass is generally considered deer-resistant, making it a good choice for gardens in areas with high deer populations.

Can Blue Oat Grass Be Divided?

Yes, it can be divided in early spring every few years to rejuvenate the plant and encourage more vigorous growth.

Products That Feature This Plant

Beauty Delivered
Summer Breeze
Avian Oasis
Shades of Evergreen
Jewel Tones S

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Jewel Tones M

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Jewel Tones L

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Jewel Tones XL

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Pastel Tones XL

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