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Pennisetum - Fountain grass

Lampenputzergras kaufen If you buy a fountain grass, it will create a charming atmosphere in your garden. This perennial ornamental grass scores highly thanks to its magnificent, nest-like habit.
   
 
No image available Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Compressum'

Chinese fountain grass

From £4.90 *

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'

Dwarf fountain grass

From £4.40 *

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Moudry'

Chinese fountain grass 'Moudry'

From £6.40 *

   
 

More useful information about Pennisetum - Fountain grass

It often forms an almost perfect hemisphere due to the slender, arched, overhanging blades as well as the fluffy flower spikes that appear on long stalks.
 

This filigree plant, which is also called feathered grass, is a real asset in the garden or on the terrace. Whether planted in the sunny perennial flowerbed, in a rock garden, pebble bed or in a decorative planter – fountain grass is an attractive eye-catcher all year round. Even at the end of the garden season, it still provides special colour accents when the spectacular golden yellow autumn colouration appears. And when the flowering period is over and the stalks dry out little by little, the beautiful look remains, even in the cold season. If frost forms on the fine structures, this often creates a dream-like picture!

Although the fountain grass that is suitable for gardens, also called Pennisetum alopecuroides, belongs to the exotic sweet grasses, it convinces with its good winter hardiness. A sunny, warm location should be chosen for this type of grass.

As a Solitary Grass or in a Group – Fountain Grass Sets Wonderful Accents

Take a look at our Lubera® range and discover the design possibilities with ornamental grasses!

Fountain grass can be combined very well with other grasses, flat ground covers or perennials. If the feathery Pennisetum flower spikes appear in late summer, they provide a special highlight in perennial borders or on terraces. They then roll out of their stems like little scrolls. The pretty stems are also suitable for cutting and give autumn floral arrangements a natural character. Depending on the variety, the flower colours are different.

'Hameln' is a mid-high, delicate fountain grass that shows a particularly rich, quite early flowering in July, which develops from a delicate pink to a yellowish and reddish brown colour. This also provides a great impact in a group planting.

'Herbstzauber' flowers reliably and shows its brush-like heads in a distinctive, red shimmer. This plant is also suitable for growing the pots.

• 'Moudry' is a Japanese selection with a black-brown flower colour. The bronze green, shiny, quite broad leaves also achieve a great effect.

'Compressun' is a relatively tall variety – it grows about a metre high and has dense clump and fluffy, reddish brown spikelets, which, however, appear only in a warm location.

Buying Special Fountain Grasses

Lampenputzergras kaufen LuberaIf you want to buy a fountain grass, you should know that it is a “warm season grass”. The budding takes place quite late in the year and its flowering often occurs only in late summer. If the weather conditions in the summer are not optimal, it can also happen that the plant will not bloom.

The fountain grass, which belongs to the family of the grasses/sweet grasses, gets its name from the long, bristly-feathery inflorescences, which look sparkly. The small spikelets are densely packed within it. The species Pennisetum alopecuroides has its natural origins in East Asia to Australia, where it can be seen in meadows naturally in temperate zones. There are over 100 Pennisetum species – in Central Europe, however, usually only Pennisetum alopecuroides is cultivated. Although it is an exotic plant, this feathered grass has proven to be hardy in our location.

Location

If you buy a fountain grass, it prefers a nutrient-rich, fresh soil with good runoff. The location should be as much in the full sun as possible, but the soil should never completely dry out. Only well-established, older specimens keep well in periods of drought for a short while. With root competition, e.g. under woody plants, fountain grass can suffer, so under trees are not ideal locations.

A heavy soil that tends to compact should be loosened up with sand or gravel, since waterlogging can be a problem. If the soil is too light (sandy soil), you can mix in a good potting soil.

Fountain Grass in a Container

Small and medium-sized varieties such as 'Hameln' also thrive very well in a container, provided that it has enough space. For 'Hameln' at least ten litres of soil volume are recommended.  Good water flow should be guaranteed to prevent waterlogging – add, if possible, a lower layer of expanded clay as drainage.

Planting and Care

Fountain grass looks very nice if it is not constricted in growth, so that the beautiful, hemispherical leafy thorax can unfold. For this reason, you should ensure a sufficient distance when planting. The ideal planting time is in the spring.

Make sure your grass gets enough water – careful watering after planting is recommended. Occasionally fertilise your grass with organic manure (horn shavings). It is best to use a liquid fertiliser for a container planting.

If the fountain grass does not flower or the flowers only appear sparse, it may be due to a constricted planting. The remedy here is to divide the plant, which should be carried out every three to four years. Even a hole in the middle of the clump can occur after a few years. In this case, digging and splitting the plant will also rejuvenate it. The sections can then be transplanted arbitrarily. The fountain grass will soon show its full splendour again.

In addition, there are other factors that contribute to a Pennisetum not blooming:

• The summer is rather cool. You have to take it as it is.

• The location is too dry. The plant should always then be watered sufficiently.

• There are not enough nutrients available. If the soil is drained of nutrients, it should be fertilised.

Pruning Fountain Grass

If you buy a fountain grass, you should know that it should be pruned only in the spring because the dry clump of blades protects the so-called heart of the plant even in the winter. Shortly before sprouting – between February and March – the feathered grass should be cut off to about a hand's width above the ground.

Winter Protection

In an unfavourable climate, it is advisable to protect fountain grass from frost and too much moisture. In addition, in the autumn you can place twigs of fir and spruce or leaves around the plant. Mostly a too wet location in the winter is responsible if in the spring the new growth is missing. If necessary, tie up the grass before the winter so that less moisture can penetrate into the plant. A winter protection fleece can also be helpful.

If you buy a fountain grass for a container, this should receive special protection and you should keep it frost-free, but cool as much as possible. Alternatively, wrap the container with bubble wrap or other insulating material. In this case, you can radically cut back the grass as early as autumn and cover the base with brushwood. The potting soil should never completely dry out.

Suitable Planting Partners in the Garden

In an open space or in a large perennial border, fountain grass is especially effective. Perennials such as phlox, autumn-blooming asters and catnip harmonise very well with the ornamental grass. It is also lovely as a rose companion.

 

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