1) Fill each cell of a six-pack planting container with potting soil that contains perlite. Press the soil firmly into each cell so that a slight gap is created between the potting soil and the top of the planting container. 2 Poke a 1/2-inch-deep planting hole in each cell of the planting container using the tip of your finger. Drop two pennisetum seeds in each planting hole. Fill in the holes with potting soil. Gently press the soil to anchor the seeds. 3 Drizzle water onto the soil in each cell of the planting container until it feels moist at a depth of 1 inch. Maintain even moisture in the top inch of soil while the pennisetum seeds germinate. 4 Slip the six-pack planting container into a 1-gallon plastic bag to mimic the warm, moist conditions of a greenhouse. Leave the end of the bag open to allow moisture to escape, which will keep the pennisetum seeds from rotting. 5 Place the planting container indoors near a large, sunny window or outdoors against a sheltered, south-facing wall. Keep the container sheltered from cold temperatures and strong, drying winds. 6 Watch for sprouts approximately 15 to 25 days after sowing. Remove the plastic bag once the pennisetum seeds germinate. Thin the seedlings once they grow to 2 inches in height. Keep the more vigorous of the two seedlings and discard the other.
Pennisetum setaceum, commonly known as crimson fountaingrass, is a C4 perennial bunch grass that is native to open, scrubby habitats in East Africa, tropical Africa, Middle East and SW Asia. It has been introduced to many parts of the world as an ornamental plant, and has become an invasive species in some of them. It is drought-tolerant, grows fast, reaches 3 feet in height, and has many purple, plumose flower spikes.