The Complete Guide for Avalanche Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Avalanche’) Care


The Avalanche Feather Reed Grass, otherwise known as the Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ is a pretty well known ornamental grass plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and fast growth, this ornamental grass will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its variegated colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, taking care of your Avalanche Feather Reed Grass is not too difficult – as long as you follow our guidelines in this Avalanche Feather Reed Grass Care Guide. Now let’s get started.

The fundamental caring guidelines for every Avalanche Feather Reed Grass can be summed up into the following:

  • Water: The Avalanche Feather Reed Grass wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.
  • Light: Keep your Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ in an environment where it can receive full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.

Avalanche Feather Reed Grass plants

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass belongs to the Poaceae family, and the genus Calamagrostis, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ (kal-a-ma-GROS-tis ah-KYOO-tih-flor-ah).

As with other Calamagrostis’s, the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass is a herbaceous plant, which means it will die back to the ground every year. 

Growing Region

The Avalanche Feather Reed Grass is a plant native to the Europe to Russian Far East.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Avalanche Feather Reed Grass is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 9 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b and the ideal climate zone is between 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

Growth and Size

Growth

In terms of size and growth, the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass is a relatively fast grower, which makes things tricky for any plant enthusiast.

Size

But what exactly does this mean for your Avalanche Feather Reed Grass? How large a pot should you consider, how tall, how wide can it get? Let’s jump in…

The Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ can grow up to 4′ – 5′ (120cm – 150cm) in 4′ – 5′ (120cm – 150cm) and 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm). 

These dimensions make the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass a relatively medium ornamental grass compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful narrow shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 24″ (60cm) free so the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass can spread to its best extent.

Water

In terms of watering, the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass is a fairly complicated plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a not so straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ wants regular watering to enhance fruit production but as a landscape plant, too much water will be a problem.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

Avalanche Feather Reed Grass spikes

Watering

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Avalanche Feather Reed Grass in soil with moist but well-draining to well draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has occasionally dry, occasionally wet, good drainage, moist, and very dry properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass prefers to have soil with occasionally dry, occasionally wet, good drainage, moist, and very dry properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass requires soil with clay, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass requires full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this ornamental grass will do well as long as you keep it in partial to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being a herbaceous plant, the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass will die back to the ground every year. 

But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (early, mid, late), the summer (early, mid, late), and during the fall.

Flowers

You can expect your Avalanche Feather Reed Grass to flower around the spring, summer, fall and in the winter months from April to June (spring), from July to September (summer), from October to December (fall) and from January to March (winter).

The Avalanche Feather Reed Grass produces some beautiful green, or green, cream/tangold/yellow, and purple/lavender flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass have a beautiful variegated color during most of the year.

You can expect the leaves from your Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ to be around (> 6 inches) in size.

Avalanche Feather Reed Grass flowers

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Avalanche Feather Reed Grass is well known for being able to attract birds, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for wet soil, drought and animals like rabbit and deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ will be fine.

Garden

Now, let’s talk garden and how your Avalanche Feather Reed Grass will look best in it.

Most Calamagrostis X Acutiflora ‘Avalanche’ owners agree that this ornamental grass will look great in most mediterranean and rustic gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of modern garden, city and courtyard, informal and cottage, and in prairie and meadow styles. 

In particular, the Avalanche Feather Reed Grass’s best location within your garden is in beds and borders, banks and slopes, and in patio and containers, others use it for landscaping in a urban garden, specimen, mass planting, green roof, erosion control, cutting garden, border, or a wildlife garden.

Companion Plants

Avalanche Feather Reed Grass’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Physocarpus, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Potentilla will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Avalanche Feather Reed Grass to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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