The Beautiful Flower That Looks Best Next To Fountain Grass In The Garden

The Beautiful Flower That Looks Best Next To Fountain Grass In The Garden

Fountain grass is not a specific plant but a whole genus of ornamental grasses. You can easily identify it by its fluffy feather-shaped flowers that bloom in late summer. To enhance the growth and appearance of fountain grass, companion plants are often grown with it. These plants can either help the original plant grow better or simply complement it aesthetically while requiring similar care and conditions.

When it comes to fountain grasses, including the purple-colored varieties, petunias are the perfect companion plants. These delicate and vibrant flowers come in complementary or coordinating colors and add height contrast to your fountain grass. If you’re feeling bored with your ornamental grass, consider adding petunias to your garden or landscaping. They can provide the added visual interest that grasses often lack.

How to plant fountain grass and petunias together

Pink and purple petunias

Andrii Salomatin/Shutterstock

One of the aspects of petunias that make them work well as a companion plant for fountain grass is their short height, especially in the case of miniature petunia varieties. This allows them to perfectly accent tall ornamental grasses. One popular configuration is planting a grouping of fountain grass and surrounding it with a circle of petunias. The final product resembles a fountain, with the tall grass shooting up from the middle of the short flowers. It is also common to see a row of petunias in front of a row of fountain grass.

There are certain types of petunia — such as the wave variety — that are capable of spreading rapidly within one growing season to act as ground cover. This allows you to plant your fountain grass toward the back or sides of a bed and then let the petunias you plant fill in the rest of the bed over the course of weeks. Both plants do well when planted in late spring, after the risk of frost has passed.

How to care for fountain grass and petunias

Fountain grass and petunias growing

Molly Shannon/Shutterstock

Another reason that petunias pair so well with fountain grass is the fact that the two plants require very similar care, allowing them to thrive in the same bed or garden. Both petunias and fountain grass require full sun exposure — preferably for six or more hours per day. Petunias require soil that is constantly moist. You may need to water them twice a day during the hottest, sunniest days of summer. Fountain grass can thrive in soil that is moist, as long as it is well-draining.

The main difference in the care of fountain grass and petunias comes in the form of pruning. Fountain grass only needs to be trimmed once each year when it begins to produce new growth after the cool seasons have ended. Petunias will require occasional pruning throughout their growing season, especially when the plants start to appear leggy. Together, these two plants can provide the contrast your landscaping needs while living in perfect harmony behind the scenes.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.