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Blue fescue grasses are a highly popular choice in both residential gardens and commercial landscapes throughout the Inland Empire. These are small clumping perennial grasses with blue-green foliage that grow in a spherical shape from 12-15 in. high. Many popular cultivars are now available from nurseries and garden centers; all are neat and uniform plants with attractive wheat colored inflorescences that occur in spring through summer.

Blue fescue is perhaps the most popular clumping grass for ornamental gardens in California. It is well adapted to sunny exposures and many types of soil, requires little care and performs best with moderate amounts of moisture throughout the summer. One cultivar, F. g. 'Elija Blue' has a silvery cast to the blue-green foliage and has proven to be reliable and long-lived. Its soft texture and mounding shape makes it highly attractive around pools, in rock gardens and along borders.

Water Needs

The Blue fescue grass and its many cultivars grows best in sunny locations and moderate amounts of supplemental water. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several winter months marked by an asterisk (*) when rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; regular summer water will result in stronger summertime performance and foliage character.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 4

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 17"-24"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Grass
Foliage Character: Semi-deciduous
Habit: Symmetrical, Compact, Clumping
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 12 in. - 15 in.
Width: 12 in. - 15 in.
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Cream
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, All day sun
Function: Rock gardens, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Near pools and water features, Mass planting, Grouped, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Commercial spaces, Civic spaces, Borders, Banks, Small spaces


Prune out old or dead blades as needed through out the year. This is a common choice for gardens inland, but often looks fried in full sun in the summer. There are usually better performing plant choices available (D,S).



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