Simply Trees

Purple Fountain Grass

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$88.00

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Once a weekFull sunDeer resistantSummer to fall
  • Vivid Burgundy Foliage: Features deep red to purple leaves that maintain their color throughout the growing season, enhancing garden aesthetics.
  • Showy Flower Plumes: Produces soft, feathery plumes that start pink and fade to a creamy tan, offering multi-season decorative appeal.
  • Fast Growth and Versatility: Quickly reaches full size and adapts well to a variety of settings, from informal garden beds to formal containers.

More Details

Purple Fountain Grass, scientifically known as Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum', is a popular ornamental grass renowned for its striking burgundy leaves and elegant, arching seed plumes. This warm-season grass creates a dramatic visual impact in the garden with its rich color and dynamic movement. The fluffy, rose-colored flower spikes appear in summer and sway gracefully above the foliage, providing texture and interest through the fall. Ideal for adding contrast in borders, as a specimen in container gardens, or used in mass plantings, Purple Fountain Grass is a favorite for its quick growth and vibrant display.

Growth rate: Fast growth rate; typically reaches 3-4 feet in height and 2-3 feet in width.

Please note: Images on our website depict plants and trees at full maturity to showcase their expected grown characteristics. These images are illustrative examples only and do not represent the size of plants or trees upon delivery.

Pruning: No pruning is necessary, but old foliage and plumes should be cut back in late winter or early spring before new growth begins to keep the plant looking tidy.

Fertilization: Apply a general-purpose fertilizer in spring to support robust growth and plume production.

Winter Protection: In zones where it is grown as an annual, plants are typically removed at the end of the season. In warmer areas, minimal care is needed over winter.


Pruning: No pruning is necessary, but old foliage and plumes should be cut back in late winter or early spring before new growth begins to keep the plant looking tidy.

Fertilization: Apply a general-purpose fertilizer in spring to support robust growth and plume production.

Winter Protection: In zones where it is grown as an annual, plants are typically removed at the end of the season. In warmer areas, minimal care is needed over winter.

Water regularly to establish plants and keep them healthy through the growing season. While drought-tolerant once established, optimal appearance is maintained with consistent moisture, especially in hot, dry climates. Flourishes in full sun, needing at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily to develop the richest leaf color and most abundant plumes.

We process and ship your order as quickly as possible, typically within 1-3 business days. You will receive a shipping confirmation with tracking information once your item(s) ship.

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!

In cases of extreme cold or hot weather, we may temporarily delay shipping to ensure the well-being of your plants. Our primary focus is on delivering healthy and thriving plants to you. Rest assured, we'll make every effort to notify you of any delays promptly.

Please allow additional ship times during inclement weather and sale periods. We do not process or ship orders on the weekend or U.S. Holidays. Simply Trees is not responsible for delays due to carriers, local disruptions, or weather.

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At Simply Trees, we're committed to your satisfaction. If your plants arrive considerably damaged or sustained damage beyond the point of recovery, please contact us within five days at sales@simplytrees.store with clear photos for assistance. Our 30-day guarantee covers issues after planting, subject to our terms and conditions. We can't cover plants in the wrong climate or with inadequate care, but we're here to help in other situations. For a detailed understanding of our 30-day guarantee and how we ensure a fair process, click here to learn more.

USDA GROW ZONE:

Zones 9-11

Purple Fountain Grass thrives in the warm climates of USDA Zones 9-11, where it can be grown as a perennial. In cooler zones, it is often treated as an annual, adding instant texture and color to summer gardens. It prefers well-drained soil and is particularly effective in sunny locations where its colors will be most vibrant. This grass does not tolerate cold well and should be protected from frost to prevent damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Purple Fountain Grass typically reaches a mature size of 2 to 4 feet in height and 2 to 3 feet in width. However, under optimal growing conditions, it can sometimes grow slightly larger, reaching heights of up to 5 feet or more.

The plant forms clumps of arching, linear leaves that are typically deep burgundy to purple in color, providing a dramatic contrast to its pinkish-purple flower plumes. The overall size of Purple Fountain Grass makes it well-suited for use as a border plant, accent plant, or mass planting in garden beds and containers.

It's essential to consider the mature size of Purple Fountain Grass when selecting a planting location to ensure it has enough space to grow and thrive without becoming overcrowded. Proper spacing allows for adequate air circulation and helps prevent competition from neighboring plants. Additionally, regular maintenance such as pruning and dividing can help manage the size of Purple Fountain Grass and promote healthy growth in the landscape.

Purple Fountain Grass is known for its relatively fast growth rate, especially during the warm months of the growing season. Under optimal growing conditions, it can grow several inches to a foot or more in height per month.

During the spring and summer months, when temperatures are warm and daylight hours are long, Purple Fountain Grass experiences its most vigorous growth. Adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients contribute to its rapid growth during this time.

However, growth rate can vary depending on factors such as climate, soil quality, and available moisture. In regions with cooler temperatures or limited sunlight, Purple Fountain Grass may exhibit slower growth compared to warmer, sunnier climates.

Overall, Purple Fountain Grass is valued not only for its striking foliage and flower plumes but also for its ability to quickly fill in garden spaces and provide ornamental interest throughout the growing season. Regular pruning and maintenance can help manage its growth and maintain its desired size and shape in the landscape.

The best place to plant Purple Fountain Grass is in a location that receives full sun and has well-drained soil. Here are some key considerations for selecting a planting site:

Sunlight: Purple Fountain Grass thrives in full sun, meaning it requires at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Choose a planting site that receives ample sunlight throughout the day to promote healthy growth and vibrant foliage color.

Soil Drainage: Ensure the soil is well-drained to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot and other issues. Purple Fountain Grass prefers soil that is loose, friable, and well-aerated. If the soil is heavy or compacted, consider amending it with organic matter such as compost to improve drainage.

Space: Provide enough space for Purple Fountain Grass to reach its mature size without overcrowding or competition from nearby plants. Consider its height and spread when selecting a planting site, and allow room for adequate air circulation around the plant.

Landscape Use: Purple Fountain Grass is versatile and can be used in various landscape settings, including borders, mass plantings, containers, and ornamental beds. It adds texture, movement, and color contrast to the landscape and complements a wide range of other plants and garden features.

Climate Considerations: While Purple Fountain Grass is adaptable to a range of climates, it performs best in regions with mild winters and long growing seasons. In colder climates, it may be grown as an annual or overwintered indoors in containers.

Maintenance Access: Consider accessibility for maintenance tasks such as watering, fertilizing, and pruning. Plant Purple Fountain Grass in a location where you can easily reach it for care and maintenance.

By selecting a suitable planting site and providing proper care, you can help ensure the success and longevity of Purple Fountain Grass in your landscape.

Purple Fountain Grass typically requires regular watering, especially during the establishment phase and periods of drought. However, the frequency of watering will depend on several factors, including climate, soil type, and weather conditions. Here are some general guidelines for watering Purple Fountain Grass:

Establishment Phase: Water newly planted Purple Fountain Grass regularly to help it establish a healthy root system. Provide enough water to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water deeply at the base of the plant to encourage deep root growth.

Regular Watering: Once established, Purple Fountain Grass benefits from regular watering, especially during hot and dry periods. Water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance. Allow the top few inches of soil to dry out between watering sessions, and water only when necessary.

Monitor Soil Moisture: Check the soil moisture regularly by inserting your finger into the soil near the base of the plant. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it's time to water. Avoid overwatering, as Purple Fountain Grass is susceptible to root rot if the soil remains consistently waterlogged.

Watering Frequency: In most cases, watering Purple Fountain Grass every 1-2 weeks should be sufficient, depending on weather conditions and soil moisture levels. Adjust the frequency of watering based on factors such as rainfall, temperature, and humidity.

Mulching: Applying a layer of organic mulch around the base of Purple Fountain Grass can help retain soil moisture, reduce evaporation, and suppress weed growth. Mulching also helps regulate soil temperature, which is beneficial for the plant's overall health.

By providing consistent and appropriate watering, you can help ensure the health and vitality of Purple Fountain Grass in your landscape. Observing the plant's response to watering and adjusting your watering practices accordingly will help maintain optimal growth and appearance.

Yes, cutting back Purple Fountain Grass is often recommended as part of its maintenance routine, especially in regions where it experiences frost or colder temperatures during the winter months. Here are some guidelines for cutting back Purple Fountain Grass:

Timing: Wait until late winter or early spring to cut back Purple Fountain Grass. This allows the plant to provide some winter interest while also protecting it from potential damage due to frost or freezing temperatures.

Pruning: Use sharp, clean pruning shears or hedge trimmers to cut back the grass to a height of 2-3 inches above the ground. Remove any dead or damaged foliage, as well as any spent flower plumes.

Safety Precautions: Wear gloves and long sleeves when pruning Purple Fountain Grass to protect your skin from potential irritation caused by its grass blades.

Disposal: Dispose of the trimmed foliage properly, either by composting it or placing it in yard waste bags for disposal.

Optional Division: If desired, Purple Fountain Grass can be divided during the pruning process to rejuvenate older clumps and promote new growth. Use a sharp shovel or spade to divide the plant into smaller sections, ensuring each division has healthy roots and foliage.

Cutting back Purple Fountain Grass helps promote new growth and rejuvenates the plant for the upcoming growing season. Additionally, removing dead or damaged foliage helps improve the plant's overall appearance and health. By following these pruning guidelines, you can maintain healthy and vibrant Purple Fountain Grass in your landscape.

Purple Fountain Grass is typically grown as a perennial in regions with mild winters, where it can survive year-round and regrow from its base each spring. In such climates, where temperatures rarely dip below freezing, Purple Fountain Grass can persist as a long-lived perennial, forming clumps of ornamental foliage and producing new growth each year.

However, in regions with colder winters, Purple Fountain Grass is often grown as an annual or tender perennial due to its sensitivity to frost and freezing temperatures. In these climates, the plant may die back during the winter months and require replanting or overwintering indoors to survive.

To ensure Purple Fountain Grass grows back each year in regions with mild winters, provide proper care, including regular watering, fertilization, and pruning as needed. Additionally, consider mulching around the base of the plant to insulate the roots and protect them during colder weather. By providing the right conditions and protection, Purple Fountain Grass can return reliably each spring to grace the landscape with its vibrant foliage and striking flower plumes.

Purple Fountain Grass is typically grown as an annual or tender perennial in regions with cold winters. While it is hardy in USDA zones 9-11, where temperatures rarely drop below freezing, it may struggle to survive frost and freezing temperatures in colder climates.

In regions with mild winters, Purple Fountain Grass may overwinter outdoors without protection, especially if temperatures remain above freezing. However, in colder climates, it is often treated as an annual or grown in containers that can be brought indoors during the winter months.

To help Purple Fountain Grass survive winter in marginal climates or during occasional cold snaps, consider the following measures:

Mulching: Apply a thick layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant to insulate the roots and protect them from freezing temperatures.

Protection: Cover the plant with a frost cloth or blanket when frost or freezing temperatures are forecasted, especially during early and late winter.

Container Gardening: If growing Purple Fountain Grass in containers, bring the containers indoors or into a protected area, such as a garage or greenhouse, before the first frost. Provide adequate light and water during the winter months.

Overwintering: In colder climates, consider digging up Purple Fountain Grass before the first frost and overwintering it indoors. Trim back the foliage and place the plant in a cool, well-lit area until spring, then reintroduce it to the garden after the danger of frost has passed.

While Purple Fountain Grass can add dramatic ornamental interest to gardens and landscapes during the growing season, it's essential to consider its winter hardiness and take appropriate measures to protect it in colder climates or grow it as an annual where necessary.

Yes, Purple Fountain Grass is considered invasive in some regions, particularly in areas with warm climates. Originally native to Africa and the Middle East, Purple Fountain Grass has been widely cultivated as an ornamental plant for its attractive foliage and striking flower plumes.

However, it has escaped cultivation and become established in various ecosystems, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. Purple Fountain Grass can spread rapidly through seed dispersal, forming dense stands and outcompeting native vegetation. Its ability to thrive in disturbed habitats, such as roadsides, fields, and coastal areas, further contributes to its invasive potential.

As a result of its invasive nature, Purple Fountain Grass is listed as a noxious weed or invasive species in several states and countries. It poses a threat to biodiversity, alters natural ecosystems, and increases the risk of wildfires in fire-prone areas due to its highly flammable foliage.

To mitigate the spread of Purple Fountain Grass and prevent its negative impacts on native ecosystems, it's essential to avoid planting it in regions where it is considered invasive. Additionally, gardeners and land managers should consider using non-invasive alternatives with similar ornamental qualities. If Purple Fountain Grass is already present in a landscape, efforts should be made to control its spread through manual removal, herbicide application, and restoration of native vegetation.

Purple Fountain Grass typically blooms from late spring to early fall, depending on the climate and growing conditions. The exact duration of the blooming period can vary based on factors such as temperature, sunlight exposure, and soil moisture.

In warmer climates with longer growing seasons, Purple Fountain Grass may begin blooming in late spring or early summer and continue to produce flowers into the fall months. However, in cooler climates or regions with distinct seasons, the blooming period may be shorter, starting later in the spring and ending in early fall before the onset of frost.

The fluffy, purplish-pink flower spikes of Purple Fountain Grass add ornamental interest to the landscape throughout the blooming period, attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. Deadheading spent flowers can help prolong the blooming period and encourage continuous flowering.

Overall, Purple Fountain Grass is valued not only for its attractive foliage but also for its graceful and long-lasting blooms, which contribute to its popularity in gardens, borders, and ornamental landscapes.

Several factors could contribute to Purple Fountain Grass dying. Here are some common reasons and potential solutions:

Watering Issues: Overwatering or underwatering can stress Purple Fountain Grass. Ensure the plant is receiving adequate moisture without being waterlogged. Allow the soil to dry slightly between watering sessions to prevent root rot. Adjust watering frequency based on weather conditions and soil moisture levels.

Soil Conditions: Poor soil drainage or soil that is too compacted can hinder the plant's root development and lead to decline. Amend heavy clay soils with organic matter to improve drainage. Mulching around the base of the plant can also help maintain soil moisture and temperature.

Light Requirements: Purple Fountain Grass thrives in full sun. If it's planted in a location with insufficient sunlight, it may become weak and prone to diseases. Ensure the plant receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Pests and Diseases: Check for signs of pests such as aphids, mealybugs, or spider mites, which can infest Purple Fountain Grass and weaken it. Treat infestations promptly with appropriate insecticides or insecticidal soap. Diseases such as fungal infections or root rot can also cause decline. Improve air circulation around the plant and avoid overhead watering to reduce the risk of fungal diseases.

Nutrient Deficiency: Purple Fountain Grass may suffer if it lacks essential nutrients. Apply a balanced fertilizer formulated for ornamental grasses according to the manufacturer's instructions, typically in spring or early summer. Ensure the fertilizer includes micronutrients such as iron and magnesium.

Environmental Stress: Extreme temperatures, drought, or frost can stress Purple Fountain Grass and cause it to decline. Provide protection during periods of extreme weather, especially during winter in colder climates.

Age and Maintenance: Purple Fountain Grass is typically a short-lived perennial, and older plants may decline naturally over time. Consider replanting with younger specimens if the plant is past its prime. Regular maintenance, such as pruning to remove dead or damaged foliage, can also promote healthy growth.

By addressing these potential issues and providing proper care, you can help revive and maintain your Purple Fountain Grass. If the plant continues to decline despite your efforts, consider consulting with a local horticulturist or garden center for further assistance.

Our Process

We have perfected packaging and shipping plants & trees! That is why we DO NOT use any third-party fulfillment like most other online retailers. Your trees go straight from our farm to your door, safely packaged by our team of seasoned professionals. Our process ensures your plants leave our facility and arrive to your door in the best condition possible!