Cloud Grass (Agrostis Palustris ‘Pennlinks’)

Plant: Table of Contents

Plant Scientist’s Guide: Cloud Grass (Agrostis palustris ‘Pennlinks’)

As a plant scientist, I am excited to dive into the world of cloud grass, scientifically known as Agrostis palustris ‘Pennlinks.’ This ornamental grass is a beautiful and versatile addition to landscapes, gardens, and horticultural settings. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore every aspect of cloud grass, from its characteristics and uses to its cultivation, care, and maintenance.

What is Cloud Grass (Agrostis palustris ‘Pennlinks’)?

Cloud grass, or Agrostis palustris ‘Pennlinks’, is a species of grass that belongs to the Poaceae family. It is known for its fine, delicate texture and upright growth habit, making it an attractive choice for a variety of landscaping purposes. The ‘Pennlinks’ variety of Agrostis palustris is particularly prized for its ornamental value and adaptability to different growing conditions.

Key Takeaways – Cloud Grass (Agrostis palustris ‘Pennlinks’)

Before we delve into the specifics of cloud grass care, let’s summarize the key takeaways for this beautiful ornamental grass:

  • Cloud grass, scientifically known as Agrostis palustris ‘Pennlinks’, is a fine-textured ornamental grass.
  • It is prized for its delicate appearance and upright growth habit, making it suitable for landscaping and horticultural uses.
  • The ‘Pennlinks’ variety of Agrostis palustris offers unique characteristics that make it a desirable choice for gardens and landscapes.
  • Cloud grass can be used for groundcover, borders, erosion control, and in wildlife and rain gardens.
  • Proper care, including watering, sunlight, fertilizer, soil, pruning, propagation, and container gardening, is essential for the successful cultivation of cloud grass.

Now, let’s explore each of these aspects in detail to gain a comprehensive understanding of cloud grass care and maintenance.



Cloud grass, or Agrostis palustris ‘Pennlinks’, offers a range of uses in landscaping and horticultural settings. Some of the key uses of cloud grass include:
– Groundcover: Cloud grass can be used to create a lush, fine-textured groundcover in various outdoor spaces. Its low-growing and spreading nature makes it ideal for covering large areas with a uniform green carpet.
– Borders: The delicate appearance of cloud grass makes it a popular choice for border plantings. Whether used to edge garden beds or define pathways, this ornamental grass adds an elegant touch to the landscape.
– Erosion Control: Due to its fibrous root system and spreading growth habit, cloud grass is effective in controlling soil erosion on slopes and embankments. Its ability to form dense mats helps stabilize the soil and prevent runoff.
– Wildlife and Rain Gardens: Cloud grass is well-suited for wildlife gardens and rain gardens, where its dense growth provides habitat and shelter for various small creatures. Additionally, its tolerance for wet conditions makes it an excellent choice for rain garden plantings.


Cloud grass, like many ornamental grasses, thrives in consistently moist soil. While it can tolerate periods of dryness once established, regular watering is essential, especially during the establishment phase. Adequate moisture helps promote healthy growth and a lush appearance. However, it is important to avoid waterlogged conditions, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot and other issues.


In terms of sunlight requirements, cloud grass performs best in partial to full sun. It can tolerate light shade, but to achieve robust growth and a dense, upright habit, providing ample sunlight is recommended. In shady locations, the grass may stretch and become leggy, diminishing its ornamental appeal.


Cloud grass generally does not have high fertilizer requirements. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in spring can help support healthy growth and vibrant green foliage. It is essential to follow the recommended application rates to avoid over-fertilization, which can lead to excessive vegetative growth at the expense of the plant’s overall appearance.


Cloud grass thrives in well-draining, loamy soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Amending the soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, can improve its texture and fertility. Good soil preparation before planting is crucial for ensuring the long-term health and vigor of cloud grass.


Pruning is generally minimal for cloud grass. In late winter or early spring, the previous year’s growth can be trimmed back to encourage fresh, new growth for the upcoming season. Remove any dead or damaged foliage to maintain a tidy appearance. Additionally, to rejuvenate the plant and prevent self-seeding, dividing mature clumps every few years can help maintain its vigor.


Cloud grass can be propagated through division, which involves separating mature clumps into smaller sections and replanting them in suitable locations. Spring is an ideal time for dividing cloud grass, as the plant is actively growing, and the weather is conducive to establishment. Propagation from seed is also possible, but it may not produce true-to-type plants, as varietal characteristics are often best preserved through division.

Container Popularity

Cloud grass is well-suited for container gardening, where its fine texture and graceful form can be showcased on patios, balconies, and other outdoor living spaces. When grown in containers, it is important to ensure adequate drainage and provide regular watering and fertilization to support healthy growth. Consider using cloud grass as a standalone specimen or in combination with other complementary plants to create visually appealing container arrangements.

Container Maintenance

In container settings, cloud grass may require more frequent watering, especially during hot and dry periods. Carefully monitor the moisture levels in the potting mix and adjust the watering frequency as needed to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Additionally, regular fertilization during the growing season can help sustain the plant’s nutrient requirements.

Common Diseases

Cloud grass is generally resistant to major diseases when grown in suitable cultural conditions. However, it may be susceptible to fungal issues such as rust or leaf spot in prolonged periods of high humidity or excessive moisture. Adequate air circulation and avoiding overhead watering can help minimize the risk of these diseases. In the event of disease symptoms, prompt identification and appropriate treatment may be necessary to prevent the spread of the infection.

Disease Diagnosis

Diagnosing diseases in cloud grass involves careful observation of visible symptoms such as discolored or spotted foliage, stunted growth, or abnormal texture. In some cases, it may be necessary to consult with a plant pathologist or extension service to accurately identify the specific disease affecting the grass. Proper diagnosis is essential for implementing effective control measures and preventing further damage to the plant.

Common Pests

Cloud grass is relatively resistant to pest infestations, but it may occasionally encounter issues with grasshoppers, aphids, or spider mites. Regular monitoring of the plant for any signs of pest activity, such as chewed foliage or stippled leaves, can help detect potential problems early. If pests are detected, appropriate integrated pest management strategies can be utilized to address the infestation while minimizing the impact on beneficial organisms and the environment.

Botanist’s Tips

As a plant scientist, I have a few tips to share for successfully growing and caring for cloud grass:

  1. Maintain Adequate Moisture: While cloud grass can tolerate drought once established, consistent moisture is key to promoting healthy growth and a lush appearance. Monitor soil moisture levels and adjust watering as needed, especially during dry periods.

  2. Provide Ample Sunlight: Position cloud grass in locations that receive at least partial sun to support strong, upright growth. Avoid planting in heavily shaded areas, as this may lead to weakened, spindly growth.

  3. Practice Proper Division: When propagating cloud grass through division, ensure that each divided section has a good root system and healthy foliage. This helps maximize the chances of successful establishment and vigorous growth.

  4. Monitor for Pests and Diseases: Regularly inspect the foliage of cloud grass for any signs of pest activity or disease symptoms. Early detection allows for timely intervention and treatment to protect the plant’s health.

Fun Facts

  • Cloud grass is often used in landscaping to create a soft, wispy appearance, adding a sense of movement and elegance to outdoor spaces.
  • The delicate seed heads of cloud grass can be an attractive feature in dried floral arrangements, providing a whimsical, airy look to bouquets and décor.
  • In horticultural settings, the fine texture and graceful movement of cloud grass make it a popular choice for adding visual interest and contrast to various planting schemes.

Links to External Resources

For additional information on cloud grass (Agrostis palustris ‘Pennlinks’) and related topics, consider exploring the following external resources:
1. Royal Horticultural Society – Grasses
2. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources – Ornamental Grasses
3. Missouri Botanical Garden – Agrostis palustris
4. The Morton Arboretum – Ornamental Grasses for the Home Landscape

In conclusion, cloud grass (Agrostis palustris ‘Pennlinks’) is a captivating ornamental grass with diverse uses and a graceful, delicate appearance. By understanding its cultural needs, propagation methods, and common pests and diseases, gardeners and horticultural enthusiasts can cultivate and enjoy the beauty of cloud grass in various outdoor settings. Whether used for groundcover, border plantings, or container arrangements, cloud grass adds a touch of elegance and movement to landscapes and gardens, making it a valuable addition to the plant palette.

As a plant scientist, I encourage enthusiasts to explore the unique characteristics and horticultural potential of cloud grass, and to continue learning about its cultivation and uses in their respective gardening endeavors.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.