Feather Grass - Pennisetum

Where does Pennisetum come from?
Pennisetum is a decorative grass that comes from moderate to warm regions. Its compact growth and rich flowering habit make this variety a favourite that also suits smaller gardens. The grass gets its name from its impressive blooms that extend above the plant when it flowers. Its name refers to its feather-like floral extensions.
Pennisetum varieties included in the Perfect Garden range are:
– Summer Samba
– Hameln
– Fireworks
– Sky Rocket
How do I care for my Pennisetum?
You can plant your Pennisetum from the end of March until October, in open ground or in a planter/pot. Planting during periods of frost or drought is not recommended. The months of April, May or June are suitable for moving the plant. It is best to give the plant extra organic fertilizer and water at that time. You can add fertilizer with organic substances when it is established 2 to 3 times a year. Give it some extra water in dry periods and protect the grass during periods of severe frost.

When does the Pennisetum flower?
Flowering periods vary for different varieties. On average, tits blooms appear between July and October. The blooms stay beautiful for months and change colour from green/white to gold/yellow in the autumn. Especially the Pennisetum Hameln plant flowers are very full and long.

What is the best location for a Pennisetum?
The best place to plant a Pennisetum is somewhere it can reach its maximum flowering potential. The more sun, the more flowers it will produce. This plant will also do well in semi-shade. Do make sure that the soil is not too wet.

How can I prune my ornamental grass best?
It is best to cut back this ornamental grass at the end of March, down to about 10-20 cm above the ground. This gives new runners plenty of room to grow. The height of this grass ranges between 70 and 120 centimetres. Only the ’Hameln’ is a more compact variant, which grows up to 80 cm in height.
Can the Pennisetum be used as cut flower?
You can cut off the plumes of the Pennisetum and use them as cut flowers, but they do not last very long in water. If you dry the plumes you can enjoy them over a longer period. These days, they more commonly form part of dried floral arrangements!

Can this ornamental grass variety be grown on balconies?
The Pennisetum can be planted in a large planter or pot. Ensure that this plant gets plenty of water and is not affected by heat or harsh sun. A well maintained Pennisetum makes a very suitable ornamental grass plant for balconies!

  • Winter hardiness:
    Reasonable, Extra protection during prolonged periods of frost is recommended.

  • Soil type: 
    Well-draining soil

  • Moisture levels:
    Slightly damp

  • Location:
    Full sun

  • Height:
    60 tot 120 cm

  • Evergreen or deciduous:

  • Pruning:
    Cut back down to 10-20 cm above the ground in March/April

  • Fertilizer:
    2 times per year

  • Flower:
    Ornate long-lasting blooms

  • Flowering period:
    July – October

  • Trivia:
    In Dutch this plant’s nick-name ’lamp cleaner grass’ comes from its traditional use as cleaning brush for the glass part of oil lamps.

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