what to do with purple fountain grass?

rubrum(z4 in NE WI)October 15, 2005

I have a gorgeous plant outside, purple fountain grass, that is all of 5'7" (I know cuz it's taller than me). I'm worried about what to do with it tho...

it is only hardy to zone 9, I'm in zone 3!!! What can I do to try to winter it for next year? My idea was to dig it up, cut off everything from about 6" from the base and put it in the basement... does my plant have a chance, or do you have another idea for me?

Thank you!

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mine was in a pot last year with mums. I decided to try to save it, although it only cost $18 (Canadian) and we had enjoyed it a good long time. I brought it into the unheated front hall which remains about 55F but with the door constantly being opened by folks coming and going. Well it remained alive, looked pretty awful in late winter, but after removing all the dead strands, grew into a fantastic plant. It is gorgeous now, so I am once again debating: Is the soil good enough to make it last through another winter indoors without ammending? I'll probably give it a try. What's to lose?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 11:07PM
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Here in San Antonio, TX, it will more often than not freeze outside.
They county ag. agent said to cut the top off and move it inside the garage. That it will go dormant like any grass and will grow back to it's normal height in the spring. Water it enough to keep it alive.
I have not tried this, but will be doing that this year.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 10:03AM
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bobbi_jean(z5 Indiana)

I'm in zone 5 and am wondering what to do about my purple fountain grass too. I think your idea of digging it up, chopping off the top and storing it somewhere for the winter is good. That's what I'm doing with my elephant ears (I think that's what it's called...) Come to think of it, I wonder if I should do that with my lavender too? Last years lavender is still looking brittle and ragged from the winter. What do you think?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 2:41PM
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johnva(Z7 TN)

Well I let mine die back, then sometime in mid winter I fold it all in on itself and set it on fire. In about a minute it is burnt to the ground. In the spring it sprouts into another lovely stand of grass.

I do have pics and it doesn't hurt it at all to burn it to the ground in winter.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 8:44PM
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johnva(Z7 TN)

Here are the pics. Sorry the only pic I have of one afterward is ribbon grass but they all got the same treatment and they all came back awesomely!


    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 9:03PM
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