How to Keep Purple Fountain Grass Alive Through the Winter

Purple fountain grass is an ornamental grass known for its cascading leaves and dramatic color. Because these grasses grow as clumps, they stay within the confines of their designated growing areas without the worry of them pushing out other vegetation. Plant the grass as a border or use as an interesting focal point. The grass blooms purple flowers beginning in the late summer and fall. With proper care, you can keep your grass alive during the winter months.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch
  • Stakes
  • Burlap sack
  • Stapler
  • Staples

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Prune any damaged, dead or diseased grass. Because heavy snow can damage fountain grass, it is better to remove any dense foliage to lighten the plant. Use a pair of pruning shears to cut back to the healthy section of the plant.

Limit the amount of water you give it during the winter to harden the plant. Make sure that you give your fountain grass at least one inch of water during the winter.

Spread three to four inches of mulch over the fountain grass. You can use leaves, compost or bark to protect your plant's root system and lock in moisture.

Place stakes that are the height of your plant around your ornamental grass. Tie or staple burlap sacks to the stakes to create a shield from the wind.

Remove the stakes and mulch after the last freeze to prevent root rot. Root rot occurs when the root system get too much water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Transplant your purple fountain grass to containers for additional winter care, especially if your climate has harsh winters.
  • Monitor you plant after heavy snows. Brush off excess snow using your hand; however, be careful not to harm the long blades.


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