Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’

This could change your life. You snicker. We’re talking houseplants, after all, not Occupy Wall Street. But doesn’t it really all start at home? And aren’t you sick to death of the same old, same old houseplants. Well, here’s liberation. Here’s where you get garden nostalgia brought inside in the middle of the winter. Folks in Florida — you can stop reading right here.

Why not entertain your favorite outdoor gang inside when you need their company most? Not everything translates, but some plants make the leap indoors without a whimper. For example, how about blue fescue? I thought this was my own little lightbulb. I thought it was my personal secret weapon against the winter blahs. But then James Baggett — innovative gardener par excellence and all-around cobweb-buster — was boasting the other day that he had the world’s best idea for a houseplant. You guessed it. He was hosting ‘Elijah Blue’ in his home also.

Okay, so it doesn’t do much. Don’t expect cartwheels. Frisbee-sized flowers are not in your future. But then, what’s the fescue’s role outside? Swank, sharp tufts of electric blue color to give you a small dose of feel good. And when do we crave feel good desperately, I ask you? Now.

What does it need? Not much. East or west window does it. If you had south, it would be ecstatic. I don’t bother fertilizing it over the winter, but I do give my fescue a deep pot because its drinking habit is along the lines of all other ornamental grasses. Besides thirst, it’s a no-brainer, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

For this post, I interviewed my Furry Associate on the subject. Einstein had some strong opinions (what else is new?). He has embraced this plant since kittenhood. In a house filled with plants, the purrrfessor has limited access. If he wants to avoid histrionics (that’s my department), he steers clear of most of the greenery. We’ve had words about his begonia-mauling fest. The deal is that the cat grass, the acorus, and the fescue are his territory. No questions asked. So he gets into the fescue. Literally. (ouch) As a result, the Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ usually looks like the hairdresser from hell has been at work. But who doesn’t love a tussled houseplant? As long as it’s not an orchid…
And it’s Einstein to the Fescue!

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