Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pennisetum 'Karley Rose'

Asian fountain grass cultivar 'Karley Rose'(Pennisetum orientale) is a four season eye-catcher. It is reliably hardy in USDA zones 5-9. It produces smoky rose colored flower spikes (plumes) in early summer, which persist thru the winter months. Its dark green foliage begins upright in form, 2 1/2 feet tall, achieving 3 feet in height in flower. By mid- summer the grass blades cascade down, true to the name “fountain grass”.

Grow ‘Karley Rose’ in full sun or partial areas with 6 hours sunlight to maintain optimum grass form and plume color. Despite proven drought tolerance, it prefers to grow in compost rich, well-drained soil. It has a wide soil pH preference from acidic to slightly alkaline (6.2 to 7.5).

This clump growing grass is quick to establish and prospers for many years. Annual maintenance is minimal. In late fall or late winter cut back the old foliage to 3-4 inches and feed with a high nitrogen lawn grade fertilizer. Fountain grass has no serious disease or insect problems and is deer resistant and salt tolerant.

The handsome foliage and attractive flower spikes of ‘Karley Rose’ provide excellent texture and seasonal color. Use as an accent specimen or group together in mass plantings.

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