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Fountain Grass

Q.Why are the hitchhiker seeds that come off of fountain grass a hazard? Propagate where you don’t want it?

Zone 45208 | Chuckiejones added on September 18, 2019 | Answered

I noticed the seeds “hitchhike”. Any soft material that comes by grabs a bunch of the seeds of the mature tops and they ride to wherever. Do they also blow all over the place and start growing in your lawn?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 19, 2019

Yes, this is how they are meant to propagate. By any means necessary. They will start up anywhere that they can as long as the environment allows for it.

If they area is mowed frequently, or managed by hand, then you can control most instances before they are old enough to reproduce.

This article will offer more information on weed prevention: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/vegetable-weed-control.htm

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Answered on September 19, 2019

There are several species that are called fountain grass. The African grass, Pennisetum setaceum in considered invasive, particularly in the western US. Pennisetum alopecuroides or Chinese fountain grass is listed as invasive in some mid Atlantic areas. In total, there are 6 Pennisetums listed as invasive. However, I'm not convinced we are talking about the same plant genus. Pennisetums produces a huge number of seeds that spread via wind. They do not have burs or awns for hitch hiking. A number of other plants do , however. Some are native plants, some invasive. Perhaps you can start a new post with a photo of the plant in question. A web search for plants invasive in Ohio may turn up the information you are seeking.

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