An update on the grasses

It's been a week since I potted the divisions of Pennisetum 'Vertigo' and Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' (purple fountain grass) and put them under the lights of my growing table.


You may remember that I said that this year I took a compromise approach to overwintering these: I didn't take the divisions immediately (in late November for instance), but I didn't wait months (until early February like I did last year). Taking the divisions too early leaves me with plants that are just crammed into their pots and dying to get outside by spring, while taking them too late left me with dead divisions. This year things are looking good though.

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Most of the purple fountain grass (PFG for short) divisions are producing new leaves:


And there are some new shoots being produced at the base of the plant:


I estimate that I have at least four viable divisions here, although all nine of them may be fine -- it's hard to tell on some of them right now.

The 'Vertigo' on the other hand...


...well, it's obvious that this is a very vigorous plant!

Just a week ago it looked like this:


and now there are at least six shoots:


I'm going to have trouble finding room for these plants in a month or two, as they're already quite large:


The single-stem divisions are a bit slower, but they're awake too:



I check the divisions every day until they show obvious signs of new growth, and then I check them a couple times a day to see how fast they're growing -- this is one of my favorite early-winter indoor gardening tasks, as it's exciting!


I'll probably experiment with taking more 'Vertigo' divisions throughout the winter, as I have plenty of the plant left. If that huge rootball can just sit neglected in the garage (it's in a garbage can) all winter and still produce viable divisions, it makes my overwintering that much easier next year.

Experimentation in overwintering is one of my main off-season gardening activities, and it's so enjoyable!

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