Little Bunny Fountain GrassPennisetum alopecuroides ‘Little Bunny’
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The Little Bunny Miniature Fountain Grass is the smallest of the fountain grass varieties, growing no more than 18 inches tall and wide. It forms a dense clump of slender arching green leaves, topped by an abundance of fluffy flower stalks that do look just like rabbit’s tails. This easy grass is perfect for accents in small beds, adding to a rock garden, planting as an edging, or for growing in containers and planter boxes, mixed with flowers.
In full sun is the best spot for the Little Bunny Miniature Fountain Grass, which will also take just a little partial shade. It grows vigorously in any well-drained soil, including poor and sandy soils. Generally free of pests or diseases and ignored by deer, this is an easy plant to grow. A simple haircut to a couple of inches tall in late fall or early spring is all it needs to keep it growing perfectly.
Ornamental grasses are always popular, and there are many to choose from. Fountain grass is one of the best – non-invasive, handsome and so quick to send up its ‘rabbit tail’ flower spikes it can be grown as an annual in zones 3 and 4, or as a perennial everywhere else. But it will soon grow to be 3 feet tall and wide, and often we want that exactly look, but smaller. Perhaps for a pocket in a rock garden, along the edge of a small bed, or in a planter with other flowers. Wherever you need it, up hops the answer – the Little Bunny Miniature fountain Grass. This cute lil’ critter grows no more than 18 inches tall, and often a little less, fitting in anywhere. The slender leaves form a perfect fountain, and out of it pops a succession of flower spikes, topped with a cute little white cluster that does indeed look just like a rabbit’s tail. For anywhere in sun and well-drained soil it’s perfect, and this is one little bunny that won’t be digging holes in your beds, just making them look a whole lot better.
The Little Bunny Miniature Fountain Grass is a clump-forming, non-invasive perennial grass that rapidly forms a tuft of leaves between 12 and 18 inches tall. This arches up and over like water from a fountain, covering an area up to 18 inches across. Each leaf is like a slender straw, ¼ inch thick, tapering to a soft point. It is mid-green to dark-green, but looks very slightly silvery because of microscopic hairs on the surface of the leaf. Many leaves rise from a dense clump, which expands a little with age, but never spreads or becomes invasive in any way at all. It sprouts quickly in spring, and soon looks lovely. Around mid-summer you will see the ‘rabbit tails’ beginning to develop. These rise on slim stems to the very tips of the leaves, and at first they are pinkish, like a fuzzy bottle-brush a few inches long. Gradually they turn to a pale silvery straw color, becoming white-beige by fall and into winter. Often seed-eating birds will flock to it, taking seeds from the heads. The leaves and flowers hold through the cold months, both turning very pale straw colors. Heavy snow and storms may flatten them, but otherwise they normally stay up until spring.
This charming little grass is perfect for all those small pockets that we find around the garden. Places between shrubs, pockets of soil between rocks, the corners of beds along a path – all these are perfect spots to fill with this little guy. Grow it in clumps or rows to edge a small bed, or plant it for extra interest among conifers in a gravel bed. Tuck it at the base of a big boulder in a Zen garden. Every garden has a suitable home for a ‘pet plant’ like this one. It is also perfect in planters and boxes, mixed with upright plants and flowers to make stunning arrangements. It will not reliably overwinter in a box or pot below zone 7.
The Little Bunny Miniature Fountain Grass is perennial in zones 5 to 9, hardy down to 25 degrees. Winter survival can be poor in wet soil. It can be grown as an annual plant, flowering well, in colder zones.
Full sun is best for this small grass, but it will take an hour or two of shade each day. Too much shade will make it weak and floppy. It grows well in any well-drained soil, including sandy soils. It won’t grow well in wet soil, but it will thrive even in poor soils, so it grows easily in just about every sunny garden.
This is one bunny you won’t need to feed a daily carrot – it’s very tough and reliable, needing no special attention or care. An annual trim is all it takes to grow it perfectly. This could be in fall or spring, depending on whether you want the winter effect or not. Just remember to cut down early in spring, well before new leaves start to grow, or you will cut off their tips, spoiling the look.
Chinese fountain grass, Pennisetum alopecuroides, grows naturally through much of Asia and down into Australia. The wild grass grows about 3 feet tall, but there are several smaller forms available. The smallest is ‘Little Bunny’. We don’t know where or when this grass was developed, but it was probably a selection from seedlings, perhaps grown over several generations, always selecting the smallest plants.
This versatile little guy is a great addition to any garden, adding interest and variety to beds and planters. Order now, because it’s a top-seller, and never stays long before hopping off to greener pastures, like your garden.