How To Harvest Purple Fountain Grass Seeds Like A Pro!

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Purple fountain grass is an excellent addition to any garden. The variety of color, shape, and size of the plants make them a perfect addition to any flower bed or landscape border.  The purple leaves and long colorful flower spikes make it an eye-catching plant that you can arrange with other ornamental plants for stunning visual interest. They are easy to care for with the seed harvest, and propagation so simple and rewarding!

You can harvest purple fountain grass seed simply by allowing the seed heads to dry on the plant then using your fingers or cotton swabs to collect the seeds. Other harvesting methods include:

  • The cutting method
  • The plucking method
  • The drying method

The cost-effective and efficient harvesting strategy can help gardeners create beautiful outdoor spaces, even when confined by tight budgets. But, before you begin collecting purple fountain grass seeds, there are a few considerations to examine.

What To Consider Before Harvesting Purple Fountain Seeds

Closeup view of purple fountain grass plumes
Closeup view of purple fountain grass plumes
  • Bloom Time– Purple fountain grass seed will begin to turn brown and harvestable when the seed heads are dry. The warm-season grasses won’t start growing until mid to late spring or even early summer. Their significant growth and flowering happen when the weather is hot. They tend to go dormant in the fall and winter. So, be sure not to start your harvesting too early or risk losing all of your hard work!
  • Seed Harvestability– The seed heads should start turning brown and ready for harvest when you notice pollen release. It is an indication that they are mature, so it’s time for harvest! Harvesting at this stage means that your purple fountain grass will germinate well in the fall season.
  • Seed Cleaning– Once the seeds have dried out completely, you’ll want to remove any debris leftover from harvestings, such as plant parts and chaff. For this step, you can rub the seeds between your hands to remove any unwanted material. You can also use the winnowing method, which involves pouring the seed and debris from one container into another in a light breeze or with a small fan. Chaff blows away while heavier seeds fall to the bottom of their container.
  • Seed Storage– After harvesting your purple fountain grass, it’s best to store them in a cool, dry place for future use. If you plan on planting the seeds within one year of harvesting, place the jar with your seed collection in a place that is dark and not too hot. Purple fountain grass seeds do well when stored in a cool, dry place to prevent early germination, mold growth, and other related problems.

How To Harvest Purple Fountain Grass

Beautiful Purple fountain grass
Beautiful Purple fountain grass

Harvesting methods will vary depending on the purple fountain grass you are growing and the quantity you need. The different types of harvesting methods include; cutting, plucking, and drying.

  • Cutting Method– Cutting is the method most people use when harvesting their seeds because it’s fast and easy to do. Depending on how much you want in your collection jar, you can cut your grass down all at once or take them out in stages. You can remove the seed heads by cutting or clipping them. To get the seeds out of the head, you must pry open the pod to separate the seeds from the pod. After this, you can screen to separate seeds from remnants. The cutting method is beneficial for taller ornamental grasses.
  • Plucking Method– You can remove the seed heads by plucking or handpicking them. It’s good to remember that it will take more time and effort, but this method produces a cleaner harvest with less trash mixed in with your seeds. It works best if you are collecting only small amounts of seeds.
  • Drying Method– The drying method is best for larger quantities of seed where you need to get your harvest. With this method, the fountain grasses are left intact during their dry down period and cut when they’re completely dry so that harvesting can be done quickly without breaking or crushing the plant material.

Grass growers harvest different types of grasses in different ways. If the grass is rare or inaccessible, like purple fountain grass, the best method of seed harvest may be hand harvesting. By running a hand from the base of the inflorescence upwards, you can cut off seed heads or peel them from the inflorescence.

You can use conventional machinery for grass seeds with a high degree of seed retention like Astrebla and Elymus. You can harvestNative grasses using the brush method. The brush harvester has proven to be the most effective harvesting approach for a wide variety of grass species. It is a non-destructive grass harvesting technique that allows for multiple harvests.

Simple Way of Harvesting Purple Fountain Grass Seeds

It would be best if you had patience when harvesting ornamental grass seeds. Before removing the grass plume or seed head, you should allow the seeds forming along it to fully mature. When it’s time to plant, this will assist you in getting the most significant results possible.

As soon as the seed matures, it’s essential to remove the seed heads from the plant because seeds may fall to the ground or be devoured by birds and insects if left too long. After removing the seed heads, allow one to two days for them to dry. Allowing seeds to dry more is crucial to avoid mold or other problems that may arise during storage.

Plant residue, known as chaff, can get mixed in with the seeds during the harvesting process. Growers can gently blow these plant parts away with a modest fan or outside on a breezy day to eliminate them. Keep the seeds dry and in a dark place until it’s time to plant them.

Propagating Purple Fountain Grass

You can propagate purple fountain grass through divisions or seeds. The plants may readily self-seed in the garden, but root division is a faster and more reliable propagation method. You should divide while the grass is in its growing season in the spring through the summer.

Below are some steps for propagating by division:

  1. If the plant is going dormant, dig it up.
  2. Remove the soil from around the plant.
  3. With a clean, sharp tool, cut it into two or more sections that contain healthy roots and leaves.
  4. Remove any rotten or dead plant matter and roots
  5. Separate a piece of root with at least one shoot attached and replant it in some new potting soil.
  6. Carefully water your newly divided purple fountain grasses, making sure to keep them moist until they have established roots that can draw up moisture on their own. If you want seeds from purple fountain grass, you can get them by simply allowing the plants to go dormant and collect their seeds naturally.

When you compare propagating purple fountain grass to other types of grass, you realize that fountain grass propagation is cost-effective and requires less effort. Various types of grass, such as turf grass, will reproduce themselves and spread through stolons or rhizomes.

Another type of grass propagation is by way of sod and vegetative parts. Some grasses like Hybrid Burmudagrass don’t produce seed, and sod is the best propagation method. Sod is the most expensive type of propagation, and grass growers mostly use it in emergencies or smaller areas.


Purple fountain grass is usually carefree in the yard as long as it’s in a sunny and warm place. It can be used as a single specimen or in a grouping to create a stunning presentation. You can also use it to utilize borders on occasion. The ease of harvesting purple fountain grass seed makes it an excellent option for adding to your landscape or garden beds.

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About Charlie D Paige

Charlie is a massive DIY fan, with dozens of DIY projects under his belt - ranging from tiling to electrics, and concrete pads to walls. Charlie loves tinkering, seeing how things works, the outdoors and playing with power tools... so is it any wonder that he's completed so many DIY jobs over the years?

Charlie loves spreading his hard-won DIY experience with the world via this blog.