11 Best Karl Foerster Grass Companion Plants 

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By Arthur Mbanefo

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Please avoid falling for the narrative that you can grow anything next to each other, provided the soil is fertile, and they get sufficient sunlight.

Not all plants grow well together because of their different demands and characteristics.

Imagine tagging Impatiens that crave moisture alongside a butterfly weed that thrives in dry soil and requires more sun.

This is a lousy pairing that can doom a garden bed to failure. And some plants are overly competitive due to their aggressive and invasive nature. They will fight fiercely with other crops for resources and territory.

So you have a couple of dramatic ornamental grass like the Karl Foerster; you want to tag them with plants they can work with. Either with ones that complement their features or make up for the ones they need to catch up.

Here are a few Karl Foerster grass companion plants that will live in harmony for the rest of their days.

Karl Foerster Grass Companion Plants

Karl Foerster grass can form a good partnership with similar clutter ornamental grasses. 

But we have also experimented with a few vegetables, flowers, and legumes that go along well with it.

1. Rudbeckia

Karl Foerster and Rudbeckia can live happily ever after.

They make an excellent companion since they grow in similar conditions.

And their radiant yellow petals with black cone-shaped centered discs add a touch of elegance to the Karl Foerster.

Both are perennial plants that blossom beautifully in fall.

This showy plant will also attract good pollinators like bees and butterflies, benefiting your garden.

Karl Foerster grass thrives in water-retention soil with plenty of sunlight, as does Rudbeckia.

Thus, growing these plants next to each other will be fine.

You can also have them as perennials or an annual plant. But having both is a potent mix to your garden’s curb appeal.

2. Maiden Grass Miscanthus

Aside from being a suitable pair to the Karl Foerster, the Maiden grass Miscanthus is stupidly low in maintenance.

It doesn’t require much to see these grass bloom. On top of that, they are pest, rabbit, deer, and disease resistant and can tolerate drought, pollution, heat, and salt.

They are easy to grow and versatile if you know what you are doing. You will appreciate them in borders, mixed beds, or mass plantings. 

I love the unique partnership it has with the Karls. They both produce flowers with identical colors. But you can quickly tell them apart with the feathery flower during winter.

3. Maiden Grass Gracillimus

Maiden Grass isn’t the most flash in the room, but I have seen it work hand-in-hand with the Karl Foerster, and they look beautiful together.

Most green thumbs invest heavily in these grass to naturalize their garden areas and help with erosion control.

However, this clump-forming grass has a cascading habit with narrow, arching foliage that makes it noticeable.

The silvery midrib and turn a golden-bronze makes a massive statement in the fall. And since flowering is similar to the Foerster’s golden tan during autumn, pairing both will make a nice contrast.

But during summer, it gives striking feathery, pinkish-tinged flower plumes above the foliage. Thus, making it an excellent addition to your garden.

4. Karley Rose Fountain Grass

Karley Rose has been crowned the queen of Fountain Grasses.

She is most famous for prestige rose-purple plumes that are highly decorative in any space.

Karl Foerster grass and the Karley Rose look cute in total. But whenever Karley reaches peak height in midsummer, she blooms more elegantly —diverting and gaining all the attention.

She also holds longer sprays of blooms that last throughout the season.

Aside from that, Karley Rose is versatile in both full sun and partial shade. This makes her ideal for perennial gardens, wildflower meadows, and landscaping.

And when paired with the Kar Foerster, they give this dramatic effect that adds diversity to your garden.

5. Blonde Ambition

 The Blonde ambition is also one of those karl foerster grass companion plants that drought horizontal blonde flowers.

Not as flashy as Karley Rose but the max height (32 inches) and cascading flowering is also captivating.

It thrives anywhere the reed feather grass can. This cold-hardy beauty isn’t picky with soils. They need more maintenance in homes and commercial landscapes.

6. Spinach

 Scare your veggies could die prematurely with Karl Foerster?

Think again with your spinach!

Spinach is another qualified candidate for the Karl Foerster grass companion plants.

They won’t necessarily add any beautification per se. But utilizing your space, you can throw in a couple of this water-loving vegetables around Kar Foerster’s zone.

Both plants can coexist without dragging on resources.

7. Peas

Another member of the legumes family that cooperates well with the Kar Foerster is Peas. However, be mindful of the clustering nature of this grass.

You don’t pin them everywhere. They are grown in rows or on patches. And then the spaces in between are where peas can rest.

They complement each other’s needs, as peas replenish the soil’s nitrogen which Foerster also benefits from.

Besides, both plants are watered the same way. So there is no competition whatsoever.

8. Hairy Vetch

Growing hairy Vetch comes with a lot of benefits. They are helpful as hay, green manure, forage, silage, and cover crops. No wonder it is an attractive option for many gardeners.

On top of that, Hairy Vetch converts your space into a paradise of colors.

They form an excellent bond with Karl Foerster even though they are not grass.

However, they are part of the legume family; as you can see, they produce seed pods similar to beans or peas.

But you can not ignore the beauty of this small tubular flower. Their stunning purple color and the cluttered green foliage create a striking look that brightens up your yard during the spring.

Meanwhile, in late summer and fall, the golden flowers of the Foerster steal the stage.

9. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums and Karl Foerster go well together.

The chrysanthemums blossom in many colors during the fall and grow about three feet tall.

They have about 40 species of this flowering plant but are best when potted to a kar Foerster.

The clustering mums will complement the cluster grasses and add abundant colors within the same space.

In addition, you can have them as both annuals and perennials like the Karl Foerster. The choice is yours.

But the ideal is neither of these plants will be combative dragging for resources.

The Mums love sitting alongside the reed grass.

10. Liatris

Also called the blazing star or gayfeather, Liatris is adored for its uniquely patterned and lilac-colored flowers.

And depending on the species, nutrition, and flowers, Liatris can grow up to 60 inches. They are not the fanciest, but the unusual flowering from the top down makes them one-of-a-kind.

The flowers are also wispy, giving the fuzzy, feathery appeal.

They collaborate well with Karl Foerster since their flower color matches. On top of that, both plants thrive in similar soil.

But you will enjoy the lilac during the summer and the golden color of your reed grass in autumn.

These two color themes are different, but it is a way to keep your yard lit.

11. Elijah Blue Fescue

This intimidating porcupine-like tufts plants with needle-shaped blades make a striking appearance when paired with Karl Foerster.

The visual interest in this grass has made it one of the most prized ornamental on the market.

Standing eight to twelve inches tall and wide, the buff-colored bluish-gray flower above the foliage isn’t hard to notice.

They also come in different colors, which enables homeowners to rotate their choices for a pleasing design.

And since Elijah Blue Fescue is an ornamental grass like Foerster, you won’t get any complaints putting them in the same space.

They will both thrive through the winter but bloom differently —thus making a nice contrast.


There are more to this list, but these are some of the most popular Karl Foerster grass companion plants.

Although most gardeners prefer to have their Karl Foerster grass alone on the lawn or along their fence.

But if you have them scattered around your garden and want to use those spaces, any plants could settle in nicely.

You should also have it at the back of your mind that a Foerster prefers fertile, moist, and sunny spots. However, they can become adept to other conditions.