S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Fountain Grass / Tender Fountain Grass / Pennisetum setaceum
in the Jacksonville | St. Augustine area Landscape
Fountain Grass Origins:
– These boldly colored ornamental grasses belong to the Pennisetum setaceum classification that originate in the tropical African areas, southwestern Asia and the Arabian Peninsula.
Fountain Grass Preferred Exposure:
– Fountain Grass will prefer a full sun location in the North Florida |
Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape.
Fountain Grass Foliage:
– Thin foliage is a light green and has a delicate texture.
– Herbaceous ornamental grass plant in the North Florida landscape. When
planted farther south into St. Augustine area these plants MAY remain reliably evergreen in the winter season.
Fountain Grass Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Fountain Ornamental Grass Pennisetum setaceum will tolerate a wide
range of soil components providing the soil is well drained.
– Salt tolerance is unknown, have it successfully growing at seaside, let us
Fountain Grass Size Variance:
– Pennisetum setaceum can be expected to reach 3-4 ft in height and 2 ft
Fountain Grass Growth Habit:
– Evergreen, upright, clumping habit of White Fountain Grass forms an attractive dense mound of fine textured foliage that tends to droop over toward the top third portion of the plant, much resembling a fountain, giving it its common name.
Fountain Grass Growth Rate:
– Fountain Grass is a fairly fast grower, expect them to reach their full size the first season after planting and regrow quickly the following season from the ground.
White Fountain Grass Bloom:
– Fountain Grass has rather showy slightly pinkish or deep rose colored bloom that appears in summer held above the foliage in the sunlight, plants bloom from late summer to the first frost. Inflorescence may reach 12 inches in length and can be used in cut flower arrangements.
White cultivar sometimes available as Pennisetum setaceum ‘Alba’ with lighter colored blooms.
White Fountain Grass Water Requirements:
– Low water needs make Fountain Grass ideal for Xeroscapes plantings as they are relatively drought tolerant once established into the landscape.
– Fountain Grass plants will require supplemental irrigation after being planted in the ground from the S & J Nursery container but will survive on their own with little help after establishing itself into the landscape.
Butterfly or Bird Attracting:
– Fountain Grass is not touted as a butterfly or bird attracting plant. .
Best Uses For White Fountain Grass in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area garden:
– They are an ideal landscape plant for low maintenance, low water, low trim landscaping.
– Plant in masses around a bird bath, palm, or other accent for a little added color and texture in the garden.
– Fountain Grass makes a great stand alone potted accent plant for patios and pools.
– Not recommended for planting near naturalized areas or wooded lots, plants tend to reseed themselves nearby the original planting and can be problematic except when kept in residential
Care of Fountain Grass in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape:
– When planted in the more Northern portion of our North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area, Pennisetum setaceum will require trimming the foliage off at ground level each spring when fertilizing for best results.
– Water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from a nursery container.
– Fertilize each spring with a handful of garden compost or a mixture of Milorganite and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food or 10-10-10.