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Pennisetum is a very popular ornamental grass that forms extremely attractive false spikes in late summer and autumn. It sets interesting accents in the garden and can be perfectly integrated into the individual bed design due to the different growth heights of the individual varieties. Variants that do not grow quite as vigorously are even suitable for cultivation in pots on the balcony or terrace.

How tall pennisetum grows depends on the variety

Versatile lamp cleaner grass

The genus Pennisetum comprises around 80 species, including the millet native to Africa and the mighty elephant grass, which grows to heights of up to five meters and more.

The varieties cultivated in the garden do not aim quite so high. Depending on the species, these are between 30 and 180 centimeters tall.

Low Pennisetum grasses

The small dwarf varieties such as "Little Bunny" or "Little Honey" reach a height of only 30 centimeters with the flowers above the foliage. They do extremely well in the flower bed between other perennials and due to their low stature they also fit into the foreground. The small species also do very well in the rock garden or as intermediate planting in larger balcony boxes. (€109.00)

Medium sized pennisetum

With these, the leaf horst looks like a small bush, as the leaves form a beautiful hemisphere. They reach a height of 80 to 90 centimeters. These varieties are popular pot plants because they create a certain beach feeling on the balcony or terrace.

These Pennisetum species grow wider than taller over time. They may then take up space for other plants, but can easily be dug up and divided.

Known varieties are:

  • Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Cassian'
  • Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'
  • Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Moudry'
  • Pennisetum alopecuroides orientale

If you combine these grasses with other leafy plants, the different leaf shapes and colors create an interesting effect. Alternatively, they go well with fall bloomers like cushion asters or anemones.

Imposing lamp cleaner grasses

These reach a growth height of up to 150 centimeters. You should give these Pennisetum species plenty of space, one specimen per square meter is sufficient.

The ornamental grasses with their overhanging leaves are not only extremely attractive during the summer months. In winter, covered with hoarfrost, they set beautiful accents and enrich the garden when almost nothing else is blooming.

Known varieties are:

  • Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Japonicum'
  • Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Compressum'
  • Pennisetum alopecuroides var. viridescens
  • Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose'

tips

The height of the inflorescences is almost always given in the information on the height of growth, which you will find on the plant labels. Depending on the species, the leaf clump is on average 20 centimeters lower.

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