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The Plant Guide

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Fountain grass

Pennisetum alopecuroides

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This species produces 2- to 5-foot-tall mounds of narrow green foliage and bottle brush-like silvery-pink to purple flowers, both of which mature to shades of brown. It is the parent of numerous cultivars with notable flowers that range from purple to gray/black. It and some of its cultivars self-sow plentifully in warm climates. It is marginally hardy in Zone 5.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsGood cut or dried flower.

CareGrow in light, average, well-drained soil in full sun. Cut back previous year's foliage by early spring.

PropagationDivide in late spring or early autumn. Sow seed in early spring at 55° to 65°F.

ProblemsRust, eye spot, leaf spots.

  • Genus : Pennisetum
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Tolerance : Deer Tolerant, Frost Tolerant
  • Bloom Time : Fall, Summer
  • Growth Rate : Fast, Moderate
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Plant Type : Grasses
  • Uses : Ground Covers
  • Moisture : Medium to Wet
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Pink
  • Characteristics : Self Seeds, Showy Foliage, Showy Seed Heads
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
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