Blue fescue Festuca glauca Vill.

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
blue fescue


Festuca glauca, commonly known as blue fescue, is a perennial grass known for its striking appearance. The plant sports fine, hair-like leaves that possess a distinct blue or silvery-gray hue, giving this ornamental grass an almost metallic sheen. The foliage tends to form dense, rounded mounds or tufts, which offer a textural contrast to other plants in the garden. During the warmer months, the blue fescue may produce flowering stalks that extend above the foliage. These stems carry small, light green to purplish spikelets that add a subtle visual interest to the plant profile, although it's most often appreciated for the unique color and form of its leaves. The plant remains relatively low-growing, creating a cushion-like presence within a landscape. The blue fescue is valued for its drought tolerance once established, making it a popular choice for xeriscaping and gardens with a focus on water conservation. Its striking color is best maintained with some exposure to sunlight, although it can also survive in partly shaded environments. Overall, the blue fescue presents itself as a durable and adaptable ornamental grass, offering a splash of cool-toned color and a fine-textured aesthetic that blends well with a wide variety of gardening styles and other plant species.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Blue Fescue, Gray Fescue, Blue Mountain Grass, Grey Fescue

    • Common names

      Festuca cinerea Vill., Festuca ovina var. glauca (Vill.) Fiori, Festuca ovina subsp. glauca (Vill.) Hack. ex W.D.J.Koch, Festuca glauca f. glauca.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Festuca glauca, more commonly known as blue fescue, is generally considered non-toxic to humans. There are no significant toxic effects reported from ingesting this plant. It is commonly used in landscaping and is not known to cause poisoning in humans.

    • To pets

      Blue fescue is not known to be toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. If ingested, it is unlikely to cause any serious symptoms of poisoning in pets. As with any plant material, the ingestion of large amounts may cause mild gastrointestinal upset due to the irritation of the digestive tract, but it is not considered poisonous.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Drought Resistant: Festuca glauca, also known as blue fescue, can survive in dry environments, making it ideal for water-wise gardens.
    • Low Maintenance: Blue fescue requires minimal upkeep, making it suitable for gardeners seeking easy-to-care-for plants.
    • Erosion Control: Its dense growth habit helps to stabilize soil, making it useful for controlling erosion on slopes.
    • Ornamental Appeal: With its distinctive blue-grey foliage and graceful texture, blue fescue adds visual interest to a variety of landscape designs.
    • Tolerance of Poor Soil: Blue fescue can thrive in less fertile soils where other plants may struggle.
    • Cold Hardy: It is able to withstand cold temperatures, making it a versatile choice for different climates.
    • Wildlife Habitat: The grass can provide shelter and nesting materials for birds and insects in the garden.
    • Non-Invasive: Unlike some ornamental grasses, blue fescue is not known to be invasive, so it won't outcompete other plants in the garden.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Festuca glauca, commonly known as blue fescue, is used in dried flower arrangements for its striking bluish-grey foliage that retains color well when dried.
    • Blue fescue can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, yielding soft greenish-blue hues that are subtle yet distinctive.
    • In landscaping, blue fescue is utilized for erosion control on slopes and banks due to its dense mat-forming growth habit that anchors soil effectively.
    • The plant is sometimes integrated into green roofing systems to provide insulation, as it can tolerate drought and requires minimal maintenance once established.
    • Blue fescue is useful as a lawn alternative in xeriscaping, providing a low-water-requirement ground cover that keeps a garden looking lush with minimal irrigation.
    • Craft enthusiasts use blue fescue to create natural wreaths and other decorative items, exploiting the plant's aesthetic texture and color.
    • In culinary arts, while not widely known, the young shoots of blue fescue can be used as a garnish for their interesting visual appeal, though they are not commonly eaten.
    • Gardeners often use blue fescue as a natural pest deterrent; its dense growth can prevent weeds from establishing themselves in garden beds.
    • Blue fescue is sometimes used in companion planting as a border crop to highlight and contrast the colors of flowering plants within a garden bed.
    • Photographers and artists may use blue fescue in natural landscape composition to provide a visually appealing texture or as a serene backdrop for close-up nature photography.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Blue Fescue is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Blue Fescue is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Festuca glauca, commonly known as blue fescue, often represents resilience as it is a grass that can thrive in poor soil conditions and withstand drought.
    • Independence: Blue fescue's ability to grow in challenging environments also symbolizes independence and the ability to stand strong alone.
    • Minimalism: With its fine texture and blue-green color, blue fescue is often associated with simplicity and minimalistic beauty, suggesting a preference for the uncomplicated.

Every 2-3 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Blue fescue requires moderate watering, and it's best to water it once every week with about 1 gallon of water per plant. It’s essential to avoid overwatering, as this plant prefers drier conditions. Deep, infrequent watering helps to establish a strong root system. Make sure the soil is dry between watering sessions, and reduce the amount during the winter months when the plant's water needs decrease.

  • sunLight

    Blue fescue thrives in full sun, so it is ideal to position it in a spot where it can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. It can tolerate partial shade but performs best and retains its striking blue foliage color when planted in a location with ample sunshine.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Blue fescue fares well in a temperature range between 40°F to 80°F and can survive minimum temperatures down to 0°F. The ideal temperature for this plant is between 60°F and 70°F. Extreme heat can cause the plant some stress, so it's best if temperatures do not exceed the 80°F mark regularly.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning blue fescue is necessary to remove dead foliage and to maintain its attractive shape. Cut back the foliage to about 2-3 inches from the ground in early spring, before new growth begins. This annual pruning will rejuvenate the plant and encourage full, fresh foliage.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Blue fescue prefers well-draining soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. A mix of garden soil, sand, and peat or a commercial potting mix amended with fine gravel can provide ideal conditions.

  • plantRepotting

    Blue fescue is a relatively slow-growing grass, so repotting every 2-3 years should suffice to maintain its health and accommodate its growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Blue fescue tolerates a wide range of humidity levels and does not require high humidity, making it adaptable to typical outdoor conditions.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light and good air circulation for indoor blue fescue.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to partial shade with well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Festuca glauca, commonly known as Blue fescue, begins its life as a seed which germinates to produce a small seedling, thriving best in well-drained soils with full sun to partial shade exposure. The seedling grows into a clump-forming tufted perennial grass, developing narrow, wiry, blue-green leaves that form a dense, mounded habit. During its vegetative stage, Blue fescue focuses on producing a robust root system and foliage, with leaves reaching up to 12 inches in height. In the reproductive stage, which occurs in early to mid-summer, the plant sends up flowering stalks taller than the leaf blades, displaying greenish-brown to purplish inflorescences that eventually turn to a straw color. After pollination and seed set, the plant may produce viable seeds that disperse to encourage new growth or may be collected for propagation. Blue fescue is a perennial plant and thus will enter a period of dormancy during the colder months, only to begin a new growth cycle with the arrival of warmer spring temperatures.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • Festuca glauca, commonly known as blue fescue, is often propagated by seed or division. The most popular method to propagate blue fescue is through division, which is best done in the spring. To propagate blue fescue via division, carefully lift the clump from the ground with a spade and gently separate it into smaller sections, ensuring that each new piece has a portion of the root system intact. These sections are then replanted at the same level they were growing at previously, into well-draining soil, and watered thoroughly to encourage root development. Dividing blue fescue not only helps to propagate new plants but also revitalizes older clumps that may have become woody or less vigorous in their center.