Pennisetum (Fountain Grass)
These enchanting grasses all form a neat mound of narrow green foliage but they come into their own as the fluffy and highly ornamental flower heads appear during Summer – bringing more interest and they sway and move in the breeze. These are fantastic and well mannered plants just perfect for softening hard landscaping features in the garden. They all make a good foil for the bright colours of perennial plants and look great in bolder drifts if you are fortunate enough to have space, escpecially when combined with other ornamental grasses. all Pennisetum will make excellent container plants and they are just perfect for tactile gardens with their ‘Bunny Tail’ fuzzy flowers.
Grow Pennisetum in a sunny spot (they will take just a touch of shade), in any well drained soil. They are moderately hard and so leaving the old growth untouched over the Winter will go a long way towards protecting the crown from very cold weather.
Types of Pennisetum Grasses
Pennisetum are deciduous grasses, the old foliage should be left over the Winter as this will protect the crown of the plant from inclement weather conditions and will still provide structure and interest, especially on frosty days. Cut them back close to the ground in February or March before the new foliage emerges. The cut stems and foliage is useful as a natural mulch or may be composted.
How to grow Pennisetum
Position: Full Sun
Foliage: Deciduous grass, foliage turns brown in Winter, fresh new foliage emerges in spring.
Soil and site: Any well drained soil.
Flowering time: late Summer
Growth rate: Moderate/fast
Ultimate height and spread: up to 120cm x 100cm.
Hardiness: Moderately Hardy
Aftercare: Water regularly after planting and through the first season until established. Cut to ground level in Early Spring.