Keeping Fountain Grass Alive Over Winter
Is it possible to protect purple fountain grass in a planting bed so it survives a Wisconsin winter? If so, what would you suggest?
Red or purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) is hardy in zones 8 to 11 so it will not survive Wisconsin winters. Some gardeners have had success digging and potting up the plants to overwinter indoors. Keep the plants in a cool, not freezing, dark location with slightly moist soil. The goal is to keep the fountain grass dormant, not growing and not shriveling up, throughout the winter. In mid March, move the plants to a warm sunny location to get them started growing. Water as needed and fertilize with a dilute solution of any flowering plant fertilizer, once new growth appears. Harden off and move back outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. Gardeners in warmer regions should plant with caution as it does reseed and may become invasive.