If they don't survive, I figure it was worth the risk for such a small financial investment.
But most of the time, in the spring, I'll notice something, that isn't a weed, is growing and I'll have to jog my memory to remember what it actually is. Once I am able to recall said plant, I get all excited and consider the purchase a "win".
In the Fall of 2010, I bought three tiny Panicum 'Northwind' ornamental grasses from Santa Rosa Gardens at a deep discount. I planted them and put them through their "test". In year one, they didn't do much but they looked healthy enough for me to know that they were going to be a keeper.
Fast forward to Spring of 2012 and these puppies kicked some major tail. They emerged in mid spring once the temps warmed up (hence they are "warm season" grasses) and I immediately fell in love.
As promised, they are extremely upright and I love the blue/green color of the leaves:
By mid July, they began to show signs of blooming:
Within days, the blooms turned a pinkish shade and absolutely covered the grasses:
When in full bloom, they lent an awesome "airiness" to the their surroundings:
By mid Fall, the leaves began to turn yellow but the gentle blooms still persisted:
Good times, eh?
This grass typically reaches a height of about 5' (6' in bloom) with a spread of about 2'. From what I've read, it survives as cold as zone 4 and as warm as zone 9.
They held up OK after our recent storms and will hopefully do the same as we move into Winter.
Why not give 'em a try? And let me know about your successes and failures.