How to Plant Purple Fountain Grass From Seed

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Purple fountain grass, botanically known as pennisetum setaceum rubrum is an ornamental grass native to sub-tropical areas of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It acts as a perennial in warmer climates and is also grown as an annual by seed in cooler climates. Once established, it will self sow its seeds in such warm climates as southern California. It has an arching fountain and is mature at approximately 4-feet tall and 4-feet wide. Purple fountain grass is a vigorous grower that prefers full to moderate sun and well drained, non-clay soil but will grow in partial shade conditions as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Fountain grass seeds
  • Starter pots
  • Soil
  • Hand trowel
  • Water
  • Sunny planting location

Acquire Your Seeds

  • Buy enough purple fountain grass seeds to allow a several seeds per square inch of planting area or seedling pot. The seeds are very small and can be purchased in bulk for under $10.

  • Prepare seedling pots with soil and plant several purple fountain grass seeds per pot about 1-inch deep. Water in well, keeping evenly moist but not wet. The seedlings should be transplanted into the ground or a larger decorative pot when they reach 3 to 4 inches in height, keeping the plants at least 10-inches apart.

  • Sow seeds directly into ground soil after the last frost has passed. Scatter seeds to achieve a coverage of several seeds per square inch, and cover with soil to maintain the preexisting planting line. Water in well, but do not keep wet.

  • Thin young plants as needed in the coming months to attain the planting effect you are seeking.

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