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Graceful Grasses® Vertigo® Pearl Millet Pennisetum purpureum

  • Exposure
    • Sun
  • Season
    • Spring
    • Summer
  • Mature Size
    • 36 - 48 Inches
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Graceful Grasses® Vertigo® Pearl Millet Pennisetum purpureum

Sun 36 - 48


These COLORS never fade.

Large grass that is a great architectural element in the garden. The spiky foliage has presence.

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Foliage Interest
Heat Tolerant
Deadheading Not Necessary


Height Category: 
Garden Height: 
36 - 48 Inches
24 - 36 Inches
24 - 36 Inches
Flower Shade: 
Foliage Colors: 
Foliage Shade: 
Container Role: 
May Be Aggressive: 
May Be Aggressive

Plant Needs

Light Requirement: 
Maintenance Category: 
Bloom Time: 
Grown for Foliage
Hardiness Zones: 
8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
Water Category: 
Uses Notes: 

This grass will beautify your garden all summer.

Maintenance Notes: 

In almost all areas it will be an annual grass. Once the grass turns brown in the fall you can cut it back to the ground whenever you would like.

Vertigo is a warm-season grass. Where temperatures get colder than 15 degrees F, the plants should be treated as annuals. Once the grass turns brown it can either be removed immediately or removed in the spring. It should not be expected to live through the winter and begin growing again in the spring.

In areas where winter temperatures remain above 15 degrees it should be considered a perennial and the following information should be useful. Warm-season grasses won't start growing until mid to late spring or even early summer. Their major growth and flowering happens when the weather is hot. They will usually turn shades of brown for the winter.

Cut back warm season grasses in fall or by mid to late spring. Warm season grasses turn shades of brown as the weather turns colder. Once your warm season grasses turn brown you can trim them back at almost any time. If you like to tidy your garden in fall or if you live in an area where fire can be problematic trim warm season grasses so they are just a few inches tall.

If you live in an area where fire generally isn't a problem you can leave the dried grasses and seed heads in your garden for winter interest. Snow or ice encrusted ornamental grasses can be quite beautiful.

If you leave the trimming until spring try to make sure to cut them back to the ground (you can leave a couple of inches) by late spring, before new growth begins.

Not all ornamental grasses look good through the winter, trim back those that don't look good in the fall.

Divide warm season grasses anytime spring through mid-summer. All ornamental grasses should be divided when they are actively growing but not while they are flowering. If the plants are dormant when they are transplanted they won't establish a good root system. Warm season grasses generally start growing in late spring or early summer and have their active growth period during the heat of the summer. Warm season grasses will tend to bloom in mid to late summer.

This variety is especially dramatic in clusters, mass plantings, or along slopes. A favorite for fresh or dried arrangements. Pest and disease-free.

Graceful Grasses® Vertigo® Pennisetum purpureum 'Tift 8' PP: 22254 Can. PBRAF

Award Year Award Plant Trial
2012 Top Performer Kansas State University
2012 Hall of Fame Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
2011 Top Performer University of Tennessee
2011 Top Performer Kansas State University
2011 Top Performer University of Wisconsin
2011 Top Performer Colorado State University
2011 Top Performer Powell Gardens
2011 Top Performer Ohio State University Extension - Springfield
2011 Top Performer Michigan State University
2011 Exceptional Michigan State University
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