Plant of the Month – September


Deer Grass
Muhlenbergia rigens

  • Plant Form: Ornamental Grass
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 2-6 ft. tall and wide
  • Exposure: Full sun, part sun
  • Bloom Time: Fall (September – November)
  • Native to: California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, northern Mexico
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to -10°F

This fast-growing, low-maintenance, California native bunchgrass fits beautifully into so many landscapes, from walkways, road edges and medians to rock gardens and wall toppers, where it gracefully droops over ledges.

Deer Grass is an adaptable, large bunch grass with blue-green foliage that softens desert landscapes wherever it is planted. Fast-growing, it typically reaches mature size in one or two years, with leaves reaching lengths of three feet, and flowering stalks reaching up to five feet. It is one of the most beautiful and easiest to grow of all the native California bunchgrasses. Once mature, it needs no supplemental water, but providing summer water will keep its foliage lush. Cut back in late winter for vigorous spring growth, or leave natural for wildlife cover. Deer Grass gets its common name not from deer preferring its foliage as a browse plant, but because deer like to lay on mounds of the grass. Native Americans prized this plant for the long stems of its inflorescence, which they used in their basketry. Deer Grass is versatile as an accent, grouped as a groundcover, in rock gardens, along walkways and roads, or to droop over walls.


Check out our “Garden Tasks” for September