Fountain Grass (Pennisetum spp.)

Fountain Grass Plant Features

Fountain grass, with its graceful arching leaves, makes an amazing landscape or container plant that blends well with almost any annual or perennial flowers. Fountain grass can grow 2 to 3 feet tall, forming lovely plumes of pretty flowers in the late summer. It's a super-easy plant to grow in any sunny spot. There are many varieties of fountain grass available; the hardiest ones will grow in cold-winter areas of zone 4. The more tropical varieties, which tend to have purple foliage, are only hardy in Zones 9-10, but are typically grown as annuals in the North. 

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Fountain Grass Growing Instructions

Plant fountain grass in a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sun a day. Fountain grass is not fussy about soil type, but if you are growing in in containers use a commercial potting soil mix. Water whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. If you are growing fountain grass as a perennial, feed it with some slow-release granular fertilizer in the early spring. In the North, toss the tender varieties in the compost pile after the first freeze blackens the foliage.

Fountain grass is not recommended for human or animal consumption.
  • Water

    Medium water needs

  • Light

    Outside: Sun

  • Colors


  • Special Features

    Colorful foliage

    Super-easy to grow

Complement your Fountain Grass

The tall graceful bloom stalks of Angelonia and the vertical foliage of Fountain Grass make a pretty pairing.

Asparagus Fern
Create a stunning all-foliage urn or planter with Fountain Grass in back and Asparagus Fern in front.

The bright colors of Calibrachoa mingle well against a background of Fountain Grass.

Our favorite varieties

Hameln Fountain Grass

Hameln Fountain Grass

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'

One of the most compact fountain grass varieties ‘Hameln’ offers clumps of finely textured foliage followed by a crown of fuzzy, blonde flower spikes in late summer. Growing 2 feet tall, ‘Hameln’ is a great choice for the front of the border or containers.

Karley Rose Fountain Grass

Karley Rose Fountain Grass

Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose'

‘Karley Rose’ fountain grass always attracts plenty of attention with its decorative rose-purple flower stalks held high above its bright green foliage. This amazing ornamental grass grows 2 to 3 feet tall and works well in the landscape and large containers.

Little Bunny Fountain Grass

Little Bunny Fountain Grass

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Little Bunny'

When it comes to ornamental grasses, good things can come in small packages. ‘Little Bunny’ fountain grass grows just 12 inches tall, but it packs a big punch in along a walkway, in a container, or rock garden. It’s a super cute, easy-care plant treasured for its fuzzy, buff-colored flowers that appear in late summer and fall.

Burgundy Bunny Fountain Grass

Burgundy Bunny Fountain Grass

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Burgundy Bunny'

Burgundy Bunny fountain grass is a fabulous alternative for Northern gardeners who want a perennial purple fountain grass. Its leaves are blushed with red in summer, and turn rich red-purple in autumn. Burgundy Bunny fountain grass grows 16 inches tall and wide. Zones 5-9

Cassian's Choice Fountain Grass

Cassian's Choice Fountain Grass

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Cassian's Choice'

A dwarf fountain grass ideal for garden beds and borders, Cassian's Choice has a graceful, arching texture and delightful fuzzy seedheads. It grows 30 inches tall and wide. Zones 5-9