Looking for a truly short fountain grass

summerstar(Z7VA)April 8, 2012

Do you know of a truly short fountain grass? I'm looking for one 18-24 inches, not counting the plumes, that won't take up so much room in one of my perennial beds. I tried Little Bunny, but its plume stems stuck up like a spike hair cut and didn't have the graceful fountain-like grass I'm looking for.

Some advertise their "dwarf" fountain grasses as 1.5 to 2 feet tall like Cassian. I have it and it's definitely taller. I don't want it to overwhelm my perennials, but I'd sure like the nice soft look of a fountain grass mixed in. Maybe you know of one. Thanks for your help.

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donn_(7b-8a)

'Little Honey' and 'Piglet' are the two smallest Pennisetums, but they're very much like 'Little Bunny' in habit. The problem with the dwarf Fountain Grasses is the shorter foliage just doesn't have the length and weight needed to form a true fountain shape.

Look at some of the fine-bladed Carex varieties, Hakonechloa and the smaller Miscanthus cultivars. Young Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose' is also a possibility. It will exceed 2' in height when mature, but when immature forms a nice fountain, and has just about the most plentiful and beautiful blooms of any Fountain Grass. You can keep any Pennisetum small by planting it in small pots, and then sinking the pots in the garden. Every year, pull the pot and root-prune the plant.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 8:17AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I find 'Piglet' to be bigger and more graceful than 'Little Bunny' and 'Little Honey'

'Karley Rose' grew 4' x 4' for me in it's second season...my biggest of the Pennisetums

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 3:50PM
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summerstar(Z7VA)

Thanks for your advice about Piglet. I read elsewhere that Piglet is the best short grass. I guess I'll have to send away for it. Maybe next year. It's sooooo nice to be able to mix a small fountain grass with perennials! Thanks for writing. I guess I'll have find a picture of Piglet unless you have one of your plant.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 5:26PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Mine has not leafed out yet but I'll look for a picture from last year. I bought it from Santa Rosa Gardens

Here is a link that might be useful: Piglet

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 6:08PM
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theresa2(z5)

I would like to suggest prairie dropseed. It's a gorgeous North American native plant. It is very formal looking for a native plant. The best part is it's blooms witch are very airy in appearance, but which emits a nice sweet interesting scent. People will stop in their tracks wondering where that scent is coming from. I recently saw a whole hillside of prairie dropseed at the Chicago Botanical Garden, very elegant and pretty. It is native to only one county in Virginia so do your research to make sure that it will work for you.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:45AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

My Piglet has been outstanding in it's second year. I keep putting off pictures because the area where it is has stubborn weeds. I'll have to force myself to just take some.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 12:36PM
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spiderjoe

I'm suprised no one mentioned Hameln. Hameln is one of the most popular dwarf Fountain Grass.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 9:19AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

My Hamelin has been beautiful but I had to spend a day pulling sprouts out of my lawn. Must have self sown last fall. I cut the seed heads early this fall and will move the plant to the back yard next spring.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 10:30PM
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