If you want ornamental grass for your balcony, fountain grass is a great choice. It grows in small bushy clumps and comes in a range of colors. Unlike other ornamental grasses, it doesn’t grow too big, either.
Check out our guide below for everything you’ll need to know before growing fountain grass on your balcony.
Fountain Grass Requirements
You can grow fountain grass in USDA Hardiness Zones 6-9, but it’s worth noting that it’ll die back in areas below Zone 8. While not a massive issue, it means you can’t rely on it for year-round coverage.
Standard fountain grass grows up to 3ft. tall when planted in the ground. For growing in pots, as you’ll likely do on a balcony, opt for a dwarf variety. One example is Hameln (P. alopecuroides), which grows up to 1ft. tall.
The most common stem and flower color is tan, but you can also get purple, pink or red. Choose the right color to match the rest of your décor; a luxury that isn’t too common with plants!
Important Things to Know
Sunlight: Full sun or partial shade
Grow in pots: Yes – 16” in diameter or larger
Grow indoors: Yes, but don’t. Fountain grass sheds seeds!
Soil type: Well-draining
When to plant: Winter or spring
Growing Fountain Grass
Fountain grass doesn’t take much work to grow on a balcony. You’ll need:
As with other ornamental grasses, it’s in your best interest to grow fountain grass from an established plant. You can get these in most hardware stores and they don’t cost much.
- Mix your soil and perlite before adding an inch or two to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove the fountain grass from its pot and get rid of as much excess soil from the roots as you can.
- Place into the pot and hold the foliage out of the way while you fill it up. Press down gently on the soil every now and then.
- Put the pot in a sunny spot and leave for a few days before watering thoroughly.
Maintenance and Care
Fertilize once a month during the growing season with an all-purpose fertilizer. It’s drought-tolerant, so you should only need to water it once a month at most.
Pruning consists of cutting back the foliage in spring if desired, but it’s not necessary. You can easily divide fountain grass by taking it out of the pot and cutting the plant in half, right through the roots, with a spade.
There isn’t a massive market for artificial fountain grass. If you want something decorative, pampas grass is a more readily available choice. Plus, you can dye it any color you want!
Final Thoughts on Fountain Grass
The benefit of fountain grass is that it forms smaller clumpy plants, whereas other ornamental grasses get tall and wide. As such, it’s perfect for adding interest to a balcony garden, so happy growing!