Meet the lovely Napier grass hybrid: Pennisetum ‘Regal Princess’ | hyb. ‘Tift 17’ PP12464
The Pennisetum ‘Regal Princess,’ a hybrid ornamental Napier Grass, is a versatile and vibrant plant that can add a touch of majesty to any landscape. Its deep purple blades and robust growth make it a standout in any garden setting. It’s a tender perennial, treated as an annual in moderate or cooler growing zones.
This vigorous grower darkens from light to burgundy-purple throughout the summer. Hybridized by Dr. Wayne Hanna, Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences at the University of Georgia, this is a salt-resistant and deer-resistant ornamental grass.
Here’s everything you need to know about this unique plant.
Where to Plant the Pennisetum ‘Regal Princess’
The Pennisetum ‘Regal Princess’ is a remarkably adaptable plant, making it a versatile addition to any garden. Its striking appearance and robust growth suit various garden settings and designs.
Woodland Borders and Mass Plantings
The ‘Regal Princess’ can be planted along woodland borders, where its deep purple foliage can provide a stunning contrast to the greenery of the woods. Its moderate growth habit also makes it suitable for mass plantings, where it can create a sea of purple, adding a touch of regality to your garden.
Foundation Plantings and Landscape Beds
As a foundation plant, the ‘Regal Princess’ can provide a vibrant backdrop for other plants in your landscape beds or islands. Its unique color and texture can add depth and interest to your plantings, making your garden more visually appealing.
Containers and Planters
The ‘Regal Princess’ is also a lovely option for containers or planters. Its compact size and attractive foliage make it an ideal plant for patios, balconies, or other small spaces. Growing it in a container allows you to move it around as needed, giving you more flexibility in your garden design.
Outdoor Living Areas
The ‘Regal Princess’ can be a beautiful background in shrub borders, decks, swimming pools, and other outdoor living areas. Its vibrant color can enhance the aesthetic appeal of these spaces, making them more inviting and enjoyable.
Accent or Focal Point
If you’re looking for a plant that can draw attention, the ‘Regal Princess’ can be used as an accent or a focal point in your garden. Its deep purple foliage can stand out among other plants, drawing the eye and adding a touch of drama to your garden.
‘Regal Princess’ is also an excellent fit for specialty gardens. If you’re into rock or xeriscape gardens, its drought tolerance and unique appearance can make it a standout. In theme gardens, cottage gardens, or perennial gardens, the ‘Regal Princess’ can add color and texture, enhancing the overall design of these gardens.
Pennisetum ‘Regal Princess’ is a flexible and versatile plant that can fit into various garden settings and designs. Whether you’re looking for a plant for your woodland border, a vibrant addition to your container garden, or a standout in your specialty garden, the ‘Regal Princess’ can be an excellent choice.
Sunlight and Soil Requirements
Ornamental grass ‘Regal Princess’ loves the sun and heat. It thrives best in full sun or at least four to five hours of afternoon sun. As for the soil, it requires well-draining soil and appreciates slow-release fertilizer to support its growth.
Planting and Care Instructions for Pennisetum ‘Regal Princess’
- Choose the right location: Pennisetum ‘Regal Princess’ thrives in full sun or at least 4-5 hours of afternoon sun. Choose a location in your garden that receives ample sunlight.
- Prepare the soil: This plant requires well-draining soil. If your soil is heavy clay or tends to retain water, consider amending it with organic matter to improve drainage.
- Dig a hole: The hole should be twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball of your plant.
- Place the plant: Remove the plant from its container and gently loosen the roots if they are compacted. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface.
- Backfill the hole: Fill in the hole with the original soil, firming it gently around the base of the plant.
- Water thoroughly: After planting, water the plant thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate any air pockets.
- Watering: Regularly water the ‘Regal Princess,’ especially during dry spells. However, avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot. The soil should be moist but not waterlogged.
- Fertilizing: The ‘Regal Princess’ appreciates slow-release fertilizer. Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer in early spring to support its growth throughout the season.
- Pruning: This plant doesn’t require much pruning. However, you can cut back the foliage in late winter or early spring before new growth starts to keep the plant tidy and encourage fresh growth.
- Winter care: If you’re located in a region with harsh winters, treat the ‘Regal Princess’ as an annual. It may not survive the cold winter and must be replanted in the spring.
- Pest and disease management: The ‘Regal Princess’ has enhanced disease resistance. However, watch for common pests and diseases that can affect ornamental grasses and treat them promptly if they appear.
Remember, the key to a healthy ‘Regal Princess’ is a balance of the right conditions: plenty of sun, well-draining soil, and regular but not excessive watering. With these care tips, your ‘Regal Princess’ will be a vibrant and majestic addition to your garden.
Foliage and Flowers Produced by Pennisetum ‘Regal Princess’
The ‘Regal Princess’ is deciduous, with blades that grow ever-deeper purple, unlike many that fade in the summer heat. This feature makes it a unique and eye-catching addition to any garden.
As for flowers, the ‘Regal Princess’ only blooms in frost-free winters and is sterile. Despite this, its vibrant foliage more than makes up for its lack of flowers.
The Takeaway: Pennisetum ‘Regal Princess’ Is a Hybrid Ornamental Grass for Warm Growing Zones
The Pennisetum ‘Regal Princess’ has a rich burgundy to purple color and enhanced disease resistance. This makes it a beautiful addition to your garden and will resist salt water damage and deer.
In conclusion, the Pennisetum ‘Regal Princess’ is a majestic and versatile plant that can add a touch of elegance and color to any garden. Its love for the sun, unique purple foliage, and robust growth make it a must-have for any gardening enthusiast.
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