Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum)

Purple Fountain Grass Plant Features

Purple fountain grass is a bold, dramatic plant used in landscape beds and borders, front yard and backyard gardens, and in containers. Wonderfully versatile, this sun-loving plant thrives just about everywhere you want to grow it (including hot, dry spots) and looks good with just about everything you want to plant it with! 

Purple fountain grass earns its name from the dark, purple-red color of its arching leaves. It also has fuzzy-looking purple flowerheads in autumn. Purple fountain grass is a perennial in Zones 9 and 10, but is frequently grown as an annual in cold-winter Zones. 

Purple Fountain Grass Growing Instructions

Grow purple fountain grass in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. It grows best when it gets about an inch of water a week (either from rain or the water hose). In containers, especially small pots, it may need waterinig every day. 

Purple fountain grass does not typically need to be fertilized, especially when grown as an annual. However, you can fertilize this sun-loving plant with any general-purpose fertilizer if you wish.

In cold-winter areas, purple fountain grass does not need pruning. In areas where it is perennial, cut it back to the ground in early spring. 
  • Water

    Medium water needs

  • Light

    Outside: Sun

  • Colors


  • Special Features

    Colorful foliage

    Deer/rabbit resistant

    Super-easy to grow

Our favorite varieties



Pennisetum setaceum 'Sky Rocket'

Sky Rocket annual fountain grass many not have the purple coloring of its cousins, but the textural green leaf blades are streaked in white for a fun, festive look in container gardens. Sky Rocket grows 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Zones 9-10 as a perennial, but it's enjoyed as an annual in all other Zones.