Dwarf Fountain Grass die-off

Asked July 7, 2017, 10:07 AM EDT

As reflected in the attached pic taken on June 6, I'm having a problem with my Dwarf Fountain Grass (Pennisetum a. Hameln). The plants were air-shipped from the nursery in 1" tubes. The plants are now into their third year. In the first and second years, they showed great growth and color. However 4 of the 16 plants along my driveway are now showing partial die-off. The others are thriving. They are all planted in the same type of soil, with ample rain and full sun. I had to replace one plant which had died completely. When I examined the roots of the dead plant, they seemed normal. Can you suggest what is happening here......... and a fix? Thank You,

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

Your photo was out of focus. Here is some information.
This grass likes a moist, well drained soil in full sun. It can be slow to make a comeback in the spring or not at all if it is not happy in the site. We referenced an ornamental grass book and here is some additional information on this variety.
It has been a poor performer in hot southern climates and likes moisture in dry climates. The plants also require cold winters to perform well.
All you can do is make sure the soil drains well and make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and away from the base of the plants.
mh