Texture plants play an integral role in creating a beautiful, well-balanced garden. Combining complementary and contrasting landscape elements and plants creates a harmonious and memorable garden. Have you ever considered adding a feathery touch to your garden?
Nature offers a wild and wonderful selection of plants that you can use to add a touch of texture to your garden landscape. From dramatic, 10-foot-tall Pampas grass to wispy ornamental grasses, and vibrant Celosia blooms, there are an array of interesting, feather-like plants perfect for your yard.
Our list features the top 8 plants with feather-like plumes or flowers. They are all easy to care for and effortlessly transform your garden into a beautiful landscape with rich texture. Better yet, these soft, fluffy plants attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your yard.
1. Pampas Grass
Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is the ultimate architectural plant for adding texture to your home landscape. The tall, thin stalks shoot upward and boast unmistakable feathery plumes in white, silver, or pink hues. The plumes are bold, dramatic, and absolutely beautiful!
These majestic plants are easy to grow, requiring lots of sunlight and well-draining soil. You can admire the feathery flowers gracefully dancing in the wind from summer through fall with minimal care.
The ornamental grass grows to an impressive 10 feet high and 6 feet wide. However, the dwarf variety (Cortaderia selloana ‘Pumila’) is better suited to pots and smaller garden areas. This compact grass variety grows 5 feet tall and boasts pale yellow to ivory plumes.
2. Celosia Plumosa
Celosia is an exotic plant with showy flowers in vibrant red, magenta, pink, orange, and yellow shades. Of the three common varieties, celosia plumosa has the closest resemblance to feathers. It boasts soft, feathery flowers from midsummer to early fall.
Celosia’s decorative flowers are used to add a unique touch to summer gardens or indoor areas. They grow between 12 and 36 inches, making a fantastic focal point and attraction for pollinators in your garden.
These fluffy plants are frost-tender and require an abundance of heat and water. They grow as perennials in USDA zones 10 and 11 but are otherwise annual growers. We recommend bringing your celosia indoors before the first frost.
3. Mexican Feather Grass
Mexican feather grass (Stipa Tenuissima) is an ornamental grass that brims with grace and beauty. It offers a display of thin, bright green stems and foliage that boast clusters of silky hairs, giving the plant a feather-like appearance. The most gentle breeze can send the delicate, feather-like flowers into full motion.
You can incorporate Mexican feather grass into almost any landscape area. It is a fast grower, reaching 12 to 24 inches tall. We love using ornamental grass to add a soft, light texture to bare spaces.
Although practical and aesthetic, Mexican feather grass is a fast grower and drought-tolerant. It has a bad rep for being invasive in some regions and requiring a hefty amount of landscape maintenance when removing unwanted growing seedlings.
4. Partridge Feather (Tanacetum)
Partridge feather is the perfect plant if you’re looking for an attractive ground cover or ways to spruce up your rock garden. The feathers, or rather the leaves, resemble actual Partridge feathers. The foliage is the plant’s greatest appeal!
The Partridge feather plant has mounds of frilly leaves in a greyish-white to blue cast that last year-round. In late spring, the Partridge feather showcases clusters of yellow button-like blooms right above the fray. These flowers are excellent for attracting butterflies and other pollinators.
This evergreen perennial only grows 3 to 5 inches tall, but the plant spreads up to 24 inches wide. It is highly drought-resistant and thrives in direct sunlight and well-draining rock soil with USDA zones 4 to 9.
5. Maiden Grass
Maiden grass (Miscanthus Sinensis), otherwise known as Chinese silver grass, is a flowering ornamental grass with gracefully arching blades and feathery plumes. The flower heads range from pale silver to buff and burgundy to copper.
The flower heads appear in late summer and transform into silvery-white plumes in early fall. The silver-green blades also turn into a beautiful golden bronze after the first frost.
Maiden grass is a popular addition to gardens and landscaping thanks to its attractive plumage and low-maintenance needs. They mature to 8 feet tall and are ideal for adding medium texture to perennial beds and shrub borders. These plants grow best in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. They are drought-resistant and tolerate most soil types.
6. Peacock Plant
The Peacock plant (Calathea Makoyana) is a theatrical master like its namesake. It boasts wide, glossy bi-colored leaves in eye-catching patterns that resemble feathers.
The leaves rise during the day and curl shut at night. This unusual pattern has won the plant another unique nickname – the Prayer plant. The foliage patterns vary in shades of white, cream, green, pink, and gray.
Calatheas are beautiful plants but picky with particular care requirements, making them a real challenge for novice plant owners. The peacock plant requires filtered light and plenty of moisture and humidity. Many people prefer to keep them as indoor plants as it’s easier to mimic their native habitat.
Related: 6 Plants That Look Like Prayer Plants
7. Feather Reed Grass
Feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) is an attractive ornamental grass derived from a hybrid between Calamagrostis Arundinacea and Calamagrostis Epigejos. The plant boasts pinkish-purple flower spikes that resemble feathers.
Feather reed grass grows up to 3 feet long. Unlike most ornamental grasses that flop after blooming, feather reed grass stays upright year-round. The pinkish-purple flower spikes gradually mature into golden seeds that last well into the winter but slowly scatter off the stalk.
The grass has a moderate growth rate. You can plant it in the spring or fall. It is best suited for USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. However, it is highly adaptable to wet or dry conditions and full to partial sun.
8. Asparagus Fern
The asparagus fern (Asparagus setaceus) isn’t a fern at all. It is a warm-weather perennial loosely related to the common edible asparagus plant. It boasts attractive, bright green feathery-textured leaves.
The asparagus fern is perfect for adding light texture to mixed flower beds or indoor and patio pots. Typically planted in the spring, the asparagus fern is a fast grower, reaching up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide.
Although beautiful, the asparagus fern has some essential cautions. When planted outdoors, it can spread rapidly in warm, humid climates to the point of severe invasiveness.