NOTE: In this article, Purple fountain grass and Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ may be used interchangeably; in fact, Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ is the botanical name for Purple fountain grass.
The purple fountain grass is named for the spikes of nodding purple flowers that gracefully spray out of its mass of long, slender, burgundy-colored leaves. It’s best planted in the spring because it has a fast growth rate. In fall flower gardens, the autumn seed heads of this plant are very attractive. The flowers of this grass are full of seeds. The feathery seed heads can be used to make dried flower arrangements.
Why does my Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ roots have rot?
Root rot on your Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) can be fatal if not treated with care. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you follow our guide to keep your plant alive if the symptoms occur: Root soft and blackened.
Why does my Purple fountain grass have gray mold spots?
Gray mold spots are a type of fungus that is found a lot in flowers, and spreads quite rapidly. If you notice brown (or gray) spots, it is probably this fungus. Don’t ignore these symptoms, as they may end up killing your plant.
The solution is quite logical when you know the cause of the problem. Most of the time, it is due to overwater of the Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’. We advise you to remove the infected parts of the plant, cut off the infected roots and leaves, then repot your plant using sterile potting soil and a clean pot.
Why does my Purple fountain grass have leaf spots?
We provide you with all the information you need to identify and save your plants if they display signs like leaves that suddenly change color or wilt/droop. This sort of sickness is one of the most aggravating for Purple fountain grass owners.
Why are my Purple fountain grass leaves turning yellow?
This is probably the most common problem in the gardening world, yellowing leaves. There are 2 main reasons for this phenomenon, overwatering, or a lack of nutrients.
When it’s overwatering, simply reduce your watering frequency, and if you think it’s a nutrient deficiency, here’s how to check it:
Here are some signs of yellowing caused by the many deficiencies on the Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ in question:
- Yellow patches between leaf veins on elder leaves are the first sign of magnesium shortage. Veins continue to be green while the leaf’s core turns yellow. The leaf’s edges yellow last.
- Yellowing between leaf veins is another sign of iron shortage, but young leaves on plant tops and branch tips are initially affected.
- Sulfur shortage first affects the youngest leaves, turning them entirely yellow.
- Leaf edges turning bright yellow but inside leaf remaining green are signs of potassium insufficiency. The symptoms first appear on older leaves, and the leaf edges quickly become dark.
- Nitrogen deficiency shows up as a general yellowing. Older, inner leaves turn yellow first. As it progresses, yellowing moves outward, eventually reaching young leaves, too.
You only need to act in accordance with the symptoms listed above. You can address a potassium or nitrogen deficiency by buying a particular soil, and a gardening store consultant will be able to advise you on how to do that. Furthermore, you can also limit how frequently you water your plants.
Is my Purple fountain grass sunburned?
It is simple to determine whether your Purple fountain grass (your Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) has sunburn. Your plant will change color in this instance, beginning to turn yellow or white, much like it does on us.
As we saw above, the leaves of your Purple fountain grass can also change color if it receives too much water or insufficient light.
To find out if the yellow leaves have been sunburned, look at the part of the bottom that is tinted closer to the base. The yellow leaf is probably burnt and not something else if this portion stays greener.
Why are my Purple fountain grass leaves turning brown?
A plant’s browning leaves are typically a symptom that it has been sunburned and has been exposed to excessive amounts of direct sunlight. Don’t worry; your plant probably won’t perish as a result, but its growth will be negatively impacted.
Should I leave my Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ in direct sunlight?
No! Don’t leave your Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ (or Purple fountain grass) in the sun if it displays the symptoms mentioned above; that’s why it’s in such a bad situation.
The remedy, as said in the paragraph above, is simple: just move your plant’s Purple fountain grass out of direct sunlight. Your plant should swiftly re-grow with this strategy and appropriate watering.
Why are my Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ leaves drooping or wilting ?
In most cases, this happens when your Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ lacks water. This is especially the case for large plants, naturally they need more water than others.
Whether your Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ plant’s pot appears light, the soil and roots are likely fairly dry and need water, so you can readily tell if it needs to be hydrated.
In order to ensure that the roots of your plant receive the water’s benefits, you must first moisten the soil in the container if it is absolutely dry. One common error is to immediately drown the Purple fountain grass after a dry period in the belief that it requires a lot of water.
This is the case, but giving too much water at once is the best way to finish it off, you should actually water the soil normally, resuming a quiet watering rhythm.
Caring Tips for Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’
Water is essential to the survival of your plant, however, it is important to balance the rate of watering. As we explained above, overwatering could have fatal consequences for your Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’.
Touching the soil will let you know whether your plant needs water or not; if it still feels damp, it’s generally best to wait a few more days.
Always keep temperatures stable
It is also a good idea to keep your Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ at a stable temperature (especially if it is kept indoors!). At GreenShack, we generally recommend staying in the 65 and 85 degrees F range. Of course, do not place your Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ near a source of hot (or cold) air such as A/C units, radiators or the like.
Keep your Purple fountain grass Dust-Free
This one relates to indoor plants. Just like your furniture, dust collects on the leaves of your indoor plants. The issue is that this can block the photosynthesis process from starting, which would cause the plants to gradually lose their color.
This would also make the pests happy, a real descent into hell for your Purple fountain grass.
To remove the dust, gently rub the plant’s leaves with a microfiber cloth. Dust can be removed more easily with a damp cloth, but stay away from corrosive substances like rubbing alcohol!
Keep drainage in mind
If you have a tendency to overwater, you need to keep an eye on your drainage, we advise you to opt for a pot with drainage holes if it is not already the case and a saucer.
You can add volcanic rocks (or any other pebbles with holes) to the bottom of your pot in the interim if your pots don’t already have holes in them. This will help to form a channel so that the water doesn’t pool there for too long (preventing the rot of the roots!).