Fountain Grass
Q.

Fountain Grass

Zone Flint Michigan | sstiff added on September 7, 2016 | Answered

Our conifers failed in a raised bed southern facing planting. It is shaded in the afternoon by trees in our front yard. We are considering planting fountain grass in their place. I am wondering if they will survive. We live in mid-Michigan. I am also concerned with the snow crushing the plants as it did to the conifers. We usually loosely wrapped them with burlap to keep them from splitting down the middle from the weight of the snow.

A.
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Alisma
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 7, 2016

It might be helpful to have your soil tested before planting to learn whether there are any serious limitations or nutrient deficiencies that need correction. Here is some information on site selection and care of fountain grass:

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/foliage/fountain-grass/tips-for-care-of-fountain-grass.htm

The article mentions that fountain grass prefers full sun. If the site is shaded for more than half the day, you might want to choose one of the shade-tolerant ornamental grasses discussed here (of course, make sure it is also winter-hardy in your location's climate):

http://extension.illinois.edu/beyond/directory_grasses.cfm

Follow the advice in this article for pruning:

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/foliage/fountain-grass/fountain-grass-pruning.htm

The grass will die back during the winter, so the snow shouldn't be a problem.

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