Purple fountain grass
I am extremely new to gardening. . . Last year (2011) I planted a row of purple fountain grass in a large trough (with good drainage) which looked wonderful. I was advised to let the plants die out over the winter and not to trim them back until after the threat of frost (late spring 2012). I was led to believe that new growth should have shown by now regardless of whether or not I had trimmed the 'old' grass. Needless to say, all that I currently see is straw-like remains from last years display. I live on the East Sussex coast in Brighton so I'm not sure if this is relevant to the outcome of the plants life expectancy!
Can someone please advise me on how the grass should be at this time of year, can I expect to see it show again this year and how should I have dealt with the grass from the outset?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Depending on how cold it gets in your area, this could have affected the plants. These are tender perennials and cannot take much in the way of cold. In fact, in colder regions, these plants are treated as annuals or brought indoors for overwintering. I would give it a little more time, and if necessary, cut away any dead growth, which will help encourage new growth. Here is an article to help you determine if it is dead or just on a slow start: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/environmental/how-to-tell-if-a-plant-is-dead-and-how-to-recover-an-almost-dead-plant.htm