Plant of the Month

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El Toro Muhly Grass
Muhlenbergia emersleyi ‘El Toro’

  • Plant Form: Ornamental Grass
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 1-3 ft. tall and wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun
  • Bloom Time: Summer (July – Aug), Fall (Sept – Nov
  • Native to: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to -10°F
If you are looking for a dramatic grass, El Toro Muhly Grass fulfills that role with lots of other benefits, including being fast-growing, tolerant of drought, heat, and cold, while also being deer and rabbit resistant.

El Toro Muhly Grass offers up masses of airy, rosy-purple flower spikes in summer to mid-fall, which dry to a tan color in winter. Plant on the east or west side of your yard to collaborate with the morning or evening sun to help provide the dramatic backlighting that accentuates this plant’s seasonal color. This fast-growing, heat-tolerant, cold-tolerant, drought-tolerant ornamental grass is an easy-care, low-water-use plant that is also rabbit and deer-resistant (what more could you want?). El Toro Muhly can also tolerate full sun, reflected heat, and part shade, as well as almost any soils, including clay. Use this well-behaved, clumping native grass instead of the invasive Fountain Grass.  Prune vigorously in spring to remove spent flower spikes and dormant foliage, but avoid cutting back during the hot summer months. Use this southwestern native as an accent or border, in mass plantings for drama, or on slopes for erosion control or bank stabilization.

Check out our “Garden Tasks” for November