Today our plant of the week is the Evergold sedge, Carex oshimensis 'Evergold.' We use this plant extensively in our fall & winter planter designs because the striking foliage holds up well in the cold weather. It is also used in perennial shade gardens, where grasses typically can't grow because there isn't enough light. Sedges are more tolerant of low light and wet soil conditions than grasses are, and can add nice texture and, in the case of Evergold and other variegated sedges, a pop of brightness. They are also deer resistant, which is good news for shade gardeners--combine sedges with heuchera (our plant of the week from last Tuesday) and you will have a good start to a deer resistant garden.
In our area, zone 7b/8a, Evergold sedge is typically evergreen, but may be affected by prolonged periods of cold, dry, windy weather, which may cause it to develop brown tips. Make sure to keep plants watered in the winter to help prevent this. Because Carex oshimensis 'Evergold' is somewhat slow-growing, it typically should not be cut back in the winter, especially if being used in a winter container garden. If there is severe browning due to cold weather, wait until springtime and cut back the foliage just as the new growth is starting to emerge.
At first glance, the leaves of Evergold sedge and variegated liriope (Liriope muscari 'Variegata') may look similar, both with creamy stripes along the length of the leaves, a clumping habit, and a similar height of about 12". Liriope is a fast grower, and should be cut back in the late winter/early spring, so make sure you learn these tips so you can tell the difference and cut back only the correct plants!
There are many other variegated sedges, grasses, and other grassy plants like liriope. The more you see and learn, the easier it will be to tell them apart!