Highly valued as both a crop plant and ornamental, pearl millet is easy to cultivate, tough, and its seeds are attractive to birds. The colorful cultivar, 'Purple Baron', has green blades when the plant is young but these quickly age to deep burgundy-purple. It is a superb ornamental grass for hot, sunny areas in need of bold lines and color.
Perennial in zones above 8, but in cooler climates can be grown as annual or in pots, which can be moved to inside to overwinter.
Millet is a broad bladed grass with an upright habit. Each plant is solitary and looks a bit like a small corn plant. The flower panicles are dense and upright and appear when summer temperatures are hot. Upright clusters of little, round millet seeds follow. This is the same millet that you buy for parakeet treats at pet stores and wild birds like it just as well.
This tough and easy to cultivate grass is widely adapted drought and extreme heat. Be sure to provide it with full sun and average soil with a neutral to alkaline pH and excellent drainage. Millet looks best when planted in groups or dotted among other colorful ornamentals for sun. Perennials with soft, rounded habits are complimented by its sharp, vertical lines. Try it next to plants with bright green or even chartreuse foliage, such as the sweet potato vine, for a sizzling combination. The seed heads are wonderful cut, fresh or dried.
Information source: http://learn2grow.com/plants/pennisetum-glaucum-purple-baron/
Genus - Pennisetum
Species - glaucum
Variety - Purple Baron
Common name - Ornamental Millet
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 5 - 11
Height - 0,60 - 0,90 m
Spread - 0,30 - 0,60 m
Plant type - Annual, Perennial
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Neutral, alkaline
Soil type - Clay, loam, well drained
Water requirements - Average, drought tolerant
Landscape uses - Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Mixed Border
Bloom season - May - August
Leaf / Flower color - Tan, Brown / Burgundy, Chocolate
1. Sow from February to May in trays of moist compost.
2. Sow thinly and cover with a fine layer of compost. Cover with glass, polythene or propagator lid.
3. Keep at +15-20C. Seedlings appear in 14-28 days.
4. Remove cover when seedlings appear. When large enough transplant to individual pots. Stand outside for a few days late in May (avoid frosts). Transplant 90 cm apart in final position in June.
In warmer climates zonescan be sown till July directly into the soil.
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