Purple Fountain Grass

mwilk42(7)November 10, 2011

I have decided to try to overwinter my purple fountain grass. I plan to dig it up and keep it in the shop for the winter. There won't be sun, but I think it will be warm enough. Do I cut it back before potting it up? I have a sunroom on the south side of my house, but I am not interested in keeping it in the house all winter.

Any tips you may have, or experience with this will be appreciated.


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It sounds like a good idea to me. You don't have a lot to loose since its not hardy so experiment. I have never done that plant in particular but have potted up other plants like this and been successful. If it makes it, you could divide it in spring. I think if it was me, I would just pot it up as is, but if trimming would make it easier to manage, then trim it maybe half off. Otherwise, just trim it back hard in early spring like you would normally and see if you get any new growth.

I checked online and it looks like you can plant it from seed. Maybe you ought to harvest some and try starting them in spring either direct sowed or in pots. The OG forum can probably give you the best advice.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 1:44PM
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I read that they are hard to get going from seed, and that they may be green instead of purple/red. I will save some seeds to try anyway. I may put one pot in the shop for the winter and take one into the sunroom to see if either method would work. I also read that you could overwinter them, but they needed sunlight, so perhaps the ones in the sunroom might make it. I looked at several articles about it. I might inquire over at the OG forum. I have never posted anything over there. Not all forums are as "friendly" as this one. I don't know that to be true about the OG forum, but there are others I would NEVER post a question to. LOL>

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 8:29PM
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There is an old thread on the GW United Kingdom forum on this subject where some people have tried overwintering it. They said it doesn't go dormant and it needs to be kept above 50 degrees in a window. It dies in the dark. Sounds less than easy to get one through winter unless you have a greenhouse or nice bright southern window.

The OG Forum isn't as friendly or chatty like this forum, more of a cut and dry factual place but you can get good information from Donn who does know grasses and has good advice. Its been kind of dead over there lately.

Really, I think just experiment the best you can, the answer is sort of obvious since its zone 9. You will definitely loose it in the ground so there is nothing to loose in trying.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 8:49PM
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And Mo....you might consider trying "blood grass". I think the name is technically "Revena grass" here in Oklahoma. It's plumes aren't purple, but burgundy red. It looks identical in every other way. It's also hardy to zone 6. I meant to seek it out this year, but um...you know how this year went.

Good luck! I actually had it winter-over once when it was protected from the north and we didn't have a bad winter. Keep us posted?!


    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 11:10PM
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Wait a minute... there are other forums besides this one?! :)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 11:54PM
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Some of those alien forums are dead. I mean, don't hold yer breath to get an answer to a question. Hello, anyone out there???? Justsaymo has me kind of curious about which ones to avoid. I've seen a couple where they talk way over my head (which isn't necessarily saying much) and take stuff real serious in an intellectual kind of way.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 12:13AM
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Thanks all. Will give 3 different ways a try and see if anything works.
P-mac, did not know about "bloodgrass" Will see if I can find some in the spring. Hoping for a better summer. Never had PFG last thru the winter but it is not in a sheltered area. Have a friend in OKC that is able to keep it. IT is in her back yard so the fence, and houses in the neighborhood kind of protect it form the wind.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 9:45PM
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