Flares Orange to Red in the Fall!
Purpurascens, or purple maiden grass, is a favorite ornamental grass for year-round color. Its tall stalks wave in the breeze, displaying a maroon color in summer that turns orange-red in fall. To top it off, the grass produces feathery, cream colored seed heads that can be cut for dried arrangements.
Perfect Pampas Grass Replacement
This tall sun lover is a perfect choice for gardeners who live in zones too cool for Pampas grass. Plant purple maiden grass in a border. It’s also perfect as a screen and particularly stunning in mass lines or groupings, especially along fences or blank walls. The feathery blooms appear at the top of the foliage in mid- to late fall, attracting birds.
Purple maiden grass also is a fine choice for naturalized areas, adding grassy interest to a wild meadow or near water. Be sure to place at least one Purpurascens grass where you can enjoy it all year long, maybe adding the plant to a large patio container.
Disease and Pest Resistant
The versatile Purpurascens has no real pest or disease issues, and is deer resistant. The foliage occasionally gets rust disease, but the problem usually corrects itself when weather becomes less humid. In some areas, miscanthus mealybug can slow plant growth. The grass can spread easily, but cutting off the flower heads helps keep Purpurascens from reseeding in the lawn.
Caring for Purpurascens
Purpurascens grass can handle some drought, but prefers moist soil. The plant can handle heat and most soil conditions. Make the most of purple maiden grass plumes and color by choosing a sunny location. All the gardener has to do is shear the foliage back in late winter to produce new growth. The grass is easily divided if it grows too wide.