Purple Love Grass – Eragrostis spectabilis
Purple love grass is a gorgeous, low-maintenance plant that loves hot, dry weather. Though it isn’t large, this plant may be cultivated in groups to provide excellent ground coverage in regions that get a lot of sun, but not much rainfall. As the name suggests, purple love grass produces vibrant purple florets during the late summer and early fall, adding a delicate, yet profuse burst of color to their ordinary green.
This is a plant that’s perfect for dry, sandy soils, and grows best in zones 5-9. It doesn’t need much in the way of water, but thrives in sunlight. When planting, take care that your placement doesn’t receive too much shade. Purple love grass generally reaches a mature height of just 1-2 feet, which it will do in the span of just one spring and summer.
To care for your purple love grass, you really needn’t do much. Make sure you plant in loamy or sandy soil, in an area that is well-drained and receives as much sun as possible. You don’t have to worry about watering, unless your garden receives little to no rainfall over the spring and summer months. Even then, a little goes a long way! Because it’s so easy to care for, and spreads easily through its own seed scattering, within a few years of planting you will be rewarded with a lush violet cloud of delicate seed heads, some of which can add up to six inches of height!
Because this plant can withstand drought, it’s perfect for rock gardens or those in dry, arid climates. In fact, it’s quite popular as a defense against sandy soil erosion. Many landscapers also use purple love grass as borders for flower beds or pathways, to cover large ground areas and to add softness to desert rock gardens.