From the Infertile Collection of fountain grasses from University of Georgia, extensively trialed in multiple zones, Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Etouffee’™ has persistent pink foxtail plumes that rise above gracefully arching bright green foliage from spring to fall. If you have self-sowing issues with other varieties, here’s your solution. ‘Etouffee’ reaches 42 inches tall and is hardy in Zones 5 to 9.
A few cultural suggestions for producing this Pennisetum:
Recommended Finish Size: 1 gallon
Planting: Plant 1 liner per 1 gallon pot.
Finish Time: Plants will finish for spring sales in approximately eight to 10 weeks.
Growing Media: Choose a well-draining commercial media.
Growing Temperature: Provide 70 to 80 F days and 55 to 65 F nights.
Soil pH: Maintain at 5.8 to 6.2.
Soil Electrical Conductivity (EC): Aim for 1 to 1.5 mS/cm using the 2:1 extraction method.
Fertilizing: Provide a constant liquid feed at low levels of 100 to 150 ppm nitrogen.
Moisture Level: Allow plants to dry between ample waterings.
Pest and Disease: Watch for aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, root and crown rot. Follow a monthly broad spectrum fungicide control program. Consider a preventive fungicide drench at liner transplant.
Vernalization Requirements: Not required.
Supplemental Lighting: Provide a minimum of 12 hours photoperiod.
Growth Regulators and Pinching: Generally not needed.
Day Length: ‘Etouffee’ is a long-day plant.
Josiah Raymer is head grower and general manager for Emerald Coast Growers, one of the country’s largest ornamental grass and perennial producers. You can email him at [email protected]