Alert: Limited Online Availability

Now that summer is here, we have limited our stock for online purchase. Find Monrovia plants at your local garden center. Pre-order for 2023 will be available later this year. ×

Northern Lights Tufted Hair Grass

Deschampsia cespitosa 'Northern Lights'

Highly variegated green and creamy white leaves have a rosy pink blush when emerging in early spring and again as the weather cools. Buff-colored flowers provide additional interest. Excellent for use as a small landscape accent, or plant en masse as a highly textural groundcover.
There are very few rules in gardening, but perhaps the most important one is to work within your zone. Choosing plants that grow and thrive in your particular climate is the very first step toward having a beautiful garden . Learn More

Your climate might be too cold for this plant:


Filtered sun

Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more often.


Due to the seasonal nature of plants, availability at your local garden center is not guaranteed. Give them a call before visiting.

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Botanical Pronunciationdeh-SHAMP-see-uh kess-pi-TOH-suh
LoreThis plant is also known as tussock grass. It was an old Medieval practice to uproot a couple of these grasses known as "tussocks" to bring into cold English churches to provide soft kneelers and insulate the knees from the frozen stone floors.
Average Size at MaturityModerate growing; reaches only 12 in. tall and wide.
Bloom TimeSummer
Design IdeasThis little grass is perfect for diminutive perennials of same stature for a lovely low patchwork of color in beds and borders. Small enough to be a super textural accent in container gardens of mixed foliage and flowers. Naturalistic grasses are perfect for a dry stream bed or in rock gardens poking out between outcroppings. In the modern garden they are excellent for geometric, perfectly spaced grids or in dense lines along pavement edge. Use to create open space in native or habitat gardens needing meadow-like setting that's walkable.
Deciduous/ EvergreenHerbaceous
Flower ColorGreen
Foliage ColorVariegated
Garden StyleRustic
Growth HabitClumping
Growth RateModerate
Landscape UseErosion Control, Green Roof, Mass Planting, Rock Garden, Water Garden, Coastal Exposure, Ground Cover
Light NeedsFiltered sun
Soil NeedsAll-Purpose Plant Food
Special FeatureDramatic Foliage Color, Easy Care, Extreme Cold Hardiness, Fall Color, North American Native Selection, Tolerates Acidic Soil, Tolerates Wet Soils, Bird Friendly
Water NeedsModerate
Watering NeedsWater regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more often.
Companion PlantsBlanket Flower (Gaillardia); Tickseed (Coreopsis); Salvia (Salvia); Lavender (Lavandula); Coneflower (Echinacea)

Thrives in evenly moist, slightly acidic soil. Water deeply, regularly during first growing season to establish an extensive root system. In colder northern regions, apply a thick layer of mulch to protect root zone in winter. Leave foliage in place until early spring, then prune by two-thirds in spring. May be divided in spring or early fall.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 4-9

USDA Cold Hardiness Zone Map

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone:

Your climate may be too cold for this plant