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ornamental grass

Fountain Grass

Pennisetum alopecuroides

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Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) at Parkland Garden Centre

Fountain Grass

Fountain Grass

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  4 feet

Flower Height:  5 feet

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  5

Other Names:  Chinese Pennisetum, Foxtail Fountain Grass

Description:

Fine textured bright green foliage changes to a golden tan in fall; blooms are large dark reddish-brown bottlebrush plumes that persist until winter; beautiful as an accent or massed in borders or rock garden

Ornamental Features

Fountain Grass has masses of beautiful racemes of dark red flowers with brown overtones rising above the foliage in late summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The brown seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance in mid fall. Its grassy leaves are green in colour. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous coppery-bronze in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Fountain Grass is an herbaceous perennial grass with a shapely form and gracefully arching stems. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Fountain Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Fountain Grass will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity extending to 5 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Fountain Grass is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

This plant is not reliably hardy in our region, and certain restrictions may apply; contact the store for more information.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Rock  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Fall Color  Texture  Plant Form  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features
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