How to plant and cultivate a pennisetum?

How to plant and cultivate a pennisetum?

The characteristics of pennisetum

  • Type: grass
  • Height: 20 to 150 cm
  • Flowers colors: white, cream pink, purple, brown
  • Desired exposure: sunny
  • Type of soil: calcareous soil sandy soil humus
  • Foliage: obsolete
  • sanitizer : no
  • Varieties: Pennisetum alopecuroides, Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Japonicum', Pennisetum incomptum, Pennisetum setaceum, Pennisetum villosum…

Origins and peculiarities of pennisetum

Native to Asia, Australia and Africa, the pennisetum family includes more than 80 species of perennial or annual grasses. Due to its origin, this type of grass flourishes easily in tropical regions with a warm climate. But it also has the advantage of being extremely cold resistant. This makes pennisetum a very easy plant to grow and maintain. We love its cushions decorated with floral spikes that decorate the garden all year round. Because if flowering takes place from June to October (depending on the variety), the ears remain very aesthetic when the flowers disappear in winter. Anyway, the pennisetum dresses both contemporary, Zen or marine style gardens as well as country gardens with a bucolic spirit.

Planting pennisetum

Although resistant, pennisetum should not be planted during periods of hot weather or frost. Thus, the ideal time to install it in the garden is spring or autumn. In all cases, you must imperatively water it regularly after having planted it. This will facilitate the rooting of the plant.

As for the place of planting, the pennisetum has the advantage of being satisfied with all types of soil. Install it in a bed, a rock garden, in pots or even in a gravel garden! The whole is to ensure a sunny location or partial shade. Provide a wide but shallow hole (width: twice the size of the pot diameter, depth: the root ball should not be covered by more than 2cm). Deposit compost before installing and water without compacting the soil. If you are planting several, remember to allow a space of 50 cm between each planting.

Maintenance of the pennisetum

Once your plantations are well rooted and installed, there is very little to do to maintain them. Resistant to drought, pennisetum still needs to be watered in hot weather or during prolonged dry weather. In winter, do not hesitate to install mulch around the stump for soil crops. In spring, remember to fold back the tufts of dry leaves to allow the plants to regenerate. If you have chosen container crops, do not hesitate to bring them a little fertilizer at the beginning of the summer period to promote their flowering.

Watering the pennisetum

As said before, pennisetum easily withstands high temperatures. That said, you should absolutely water them during dry periods. And this, especially if you grow them in pots!

Diseases of the pennisetum

Very resistant, pennisetum is not (or very rarely) prone to grass diseases. However, it can be prey to certain rodents such as field mice. If you are confronted with the presence of these animals, it is enough simply to raise them to protect them (in the event of culture in pot) or to move away them using natural solutions (one thinks for example of the use repellents such as purge or hyacinths to be installed near pennisetum plantations).