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A closer look at the care of the purple fountain grass

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Purple Fountain Grass

I love the purple fountain grass because of its rich color along with its feathery display which I think makes this ornamental grass one of the more highly prized and favorites. This perennial beauty is not cold hardy and is best suited for zone 9. What I also love about the purple fountain grass is that it is so simple to care for.

There is a business establishment that I often pass which has several of these growing in a bed that looks like a rock garden. These grass are just going for themselves looking so healthy and beautiful. I am often amazed as I pass that area sometimes taking a look at them and admiring their beauty.

At our international airport for the unveiling of the statue of one of our former prime minister who is now deceased many years ago, he was being honored for the hard work and the many contributions that he made. We were given the awesome task of beautifying that area and man did we give it our best.

One of the plants that were used was the purple fountain grass which really highlighted that area. When it was all done the entire area was transformed as visitors from near and far were blown away by this garden design. The entire event was a success, this was a day that went down in history if I can use that word, this grand occasion will never be forgotten. With that said, we will be discussing below how to grow and care for the purple fountain grass.

Planting location

When seeking to install the purple fountain grass, install in an area that gets full sunlight. The height to which these plants can reach is 3-5 ft with a spread of 2-4 ft in diameter.

Soil Type

The ornamental grass can survive in just any soil type though, the purple fountain grass prefers well-drained soils with an acidic-neutral ph.

Watering Methods

The purple fountain grass can be watered twice a week. Once the grass establishes discontinue watering because these garden beauties are considered to be drought tolerant. In extreme condition of heat and drought, you may want to water until your grass shows signs that it is not water stressed.

Fertilizing Methods

I have seen the purple fountain grass growing healthy and thriving without the use of fertilizers but to help your fountain grass along the way give it a boost by applying a slow-release fertilizer during the spring or growing season. Before applying fertilizers read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.

Garden insect pests of the purple fountain grass

As far as I know, this ornamental beauty has no major insect pests which cause you to breathe easy.

Disease of the purple fountain grass

No need to worry about any disease so you can breathe easy also. Just be careful and not over water, remember this plant will become drought tolerant once mature so giving it constant water can cause root rot. Only under extreme drought if your red fountain grass show signs of stress can get a drink of water.

Ideas on where to install them

Here are just a few ideas of where to install these garden beauties.

  • These grasses look great planted along a fish pond
  • Can be used as a colorful backdrop in a garden bed
  • Use them along a border
  • looks great planted along a building
  • What about installing them along a wall
  • Planting them along a fence is a great idea
  • A garden walking pathway makes the perfect spot
  • Can be planted on either side of a driveway giving sufficient space from the driveway as they gracefully fall
  • Install these grasses in containers and the containers can be placed on your porch or patio

Container grown fountain grass

Because this grass type doesn’t do well during the winter months growing them in containers is a great way to winter protect them because you can always move them to a more productive area during this time of the year.

When installing these grasses in containers ensure that the containers have drain holes to allow water to drain. The soil type can be a well-drained soil and fertilize as discussed earlier. Place the container in an area that gets full sunlight. I would not add a different species or plant type to the seem container as the fountain grass because not along is the fountain grass drought tolerant but because of the spread can outgrow other garden plants chocking them. Trust me I have seen this happen before.

Pruning Procedures

These grass also need annual pruning to maintain its beauty. Before bringing your purple fountain grass indoors for the fall season give it a good trimming 0r these grasses can be pruned in the late winter. It is best to use a hand pruner or hedge shears that is sharp for that nice clean look.

This annual pruning will encourage your purple fountain grass to produce nice healthy growth, come next spring. I have seen fountain grass that was not pruned and the end result was a grass that was overgrown and far from healthy looking and attractive. So don’t be afraid to give those babies a hair cut if I can use that word.

Additional information

1. The purple fountain grass is not invasive.

2. Is deer resistant.

3. The purple fountain grass is somewhat invasive.

4. The plumes of the fountain grass can be used as freshly cut flowers.

5. Can be grown as an annual or a perennial.

6. The ornamental beauties can attract wildlife.

The final word

The purple fountain grass is a garden beauty that I really love, this is one of my favorite ornamental grass. In my opinion, these grasses are a  show stopper. If you are in the market for an ornamental grass that can work wonders then I believe that this grass will have you smiling from ear to ear. Give them a try and watch as they go to work for you.

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