Care of Purple Fountain Grass

Care of Purple Fountain Grass

Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 11:43 am

The care of Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Setaceum ‘Rubrum’) will do well in and around the American Southwest.  It does well in USDA zones 8 – 10 and needs to be cut down each year in cooler climates.  It produces nice spiky arching plumes and purple/bronze colored thin leaf blades thus its common name.

Perennial or Annual? It is a perennial in places where temperatures rarely fall below 20° Fahrenheit.  And considered an annual in colder type weather.

How big does purple Fountain grass grow?

They will grow about five ft. tall and about the same width.   In cooler regions, they need to be cut down to the ground and covered with mulch, especially in the higher elevations of the Southwest. They pop out in late spring or early summer. I have seen many landscapers and gardeners pull these plants out in mid-spring thinking they have died.

Plant this ornamental grass in good loamy garden or potting soil.  Do not fertilize during the mid-summer months, only in spring and fall.  It is best to use a good all-purpose fertilizer during early spring or fall.

Purple Fountain Grass – Designed by

Where to place these plants?

They love the full direct sun, but they can tolerate some shade.  You can also place them in a decorative container and make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate the root system.  Also, be sure to water it more often if it is in a pot.  Remember the pot/container retains heat no matter what it is made of.

Care of Purple Fountain Grass

Row or purple fountain grass

Plant 3-4 or more in a row for a great landscape scene.

Care of Purple Fountain Grass
Purple Fountain Grass – Designed by

This grass is considered a drought-tolerant plant and can be planted along with other desert-type plants.  However, it is best to water daily after initial planting.  Cut back during the fall season. It takes about three years for it to become a less watering grass.  Once established 2-3 times per week of watering is good throughout its lifetime.

Problems with purple fountain Grass

Slugs and snails love this plant.  Treat with Sluggo ™ at the first sign of these pests.  Slugs will normally eat away at the center of each grass blade.  Fungus rust will also infect the purple fountain grass the cause is too much water or overhead watering by the lawn sprinklers.  Spray with Neem oil to remove fungus rust.  It’s important to check on your plants regularly doing so and you will have a yard or landscape that will be the envy of friends, relatives, and neighbors.

More types of grasses for the southwest.

Shop for trees with great fall colors at

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