Fountain grass

bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)September 9, 2011

Mine are loaded with seeds right now that are nice and plump. Any experience with this plant WS? Do you sow in clumps?

How does your fountain grass grow?

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I wait until late in the fall and harvest the ripe seeds. They're slow growing but they will grow via WS. The ones I WS last year grew to about 7" tall this year. I have them in gallon pots that I overwinter in my garage. I harvested seeds from the dwarf form, Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln' in the fall of 2009 & WS them last year. According to my 2010 WS Sprout Chart, I sowed them 2/27, first sprout 4/6, estimated germination rate 65%. The divisions I took from my main plant and set at either end of my granite garden bench are still on the small side but they're covered with plumes.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 12:54PM
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for some reason I'd never thought to collect fountain grass seed. But now I'm thinking I will. Good to know I will have to be patient with their germination, though.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 2:48PM
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genoprizebull(6 Akron NY)

Bakemom- I haven't been on here in awhile and was glad to see you still on WSing forum.You might not remember me but I figured I'd say hi.I dedicated this last season to peppers and giant pumpkins but I really like the WSing stuff so I'm back.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 8:28PM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

I believe Fountain Grass is an annual in my zone. Gardenweed, I am also at the zone 5/6 border. Do you overwinter in the garage year after year or finally plant outdoors and let the annual die out and start over?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 9:37AM
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bookjunky - The purple fountain grass is an annual or at least it isn't hardy below Z7 if I'm not mistaken. The perennial dwarf fountain grass I grow Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln' is hardy to Z4. It retains its shape right through the winter and the birds feed on the seeds. I cut it down to 6-8" in spring but other than that, it's completely care-free. It even survived the 8 ft. of snow we got last winter.

It stays a nice mounded shape at 28" inches tall by that much wide. I've had mine for 6 years and last year some friends came to help me divide it. It has a massive root system that took three of us to cut through. We divided it into about 8 clumps and I replanted one division where the original was growing. It snapped back in no time. The divisions planted at either end of my garden bench are from the original plant.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 11:18AM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

That's good to know. I love ornamental grass and am always looking for a new perennial variety to WS.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 2:17PM
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