Fountain Grass (Pennesetum alopecuroides)
Fountain Grass is a small- to medium-sized perennial ornamental grass that matures at about 3.5' tall by 3.5' wide, with cultivars that are smaller in stature.
This grass displays arching medium green foliage forming a mound by mid-Summer, with light green spikes of bottlebrush-like inflorescences (flowers) emerging in early September. As Autumn progresses the metamorphosis continues with the plumes maturing to pink-purple-green and flowing in the breezes, then turning to tan, along with the foliage.
A favorite among landscape designers, Fountain Grass is often used as a specimen or focal point, in raised planters, foundations, borders, or mass plantings, and near bodies of water. One to three plants are effective in small gardens as an accent, and in larger areas, mass plantings are stunning as well as adding structure to the winter garden and seed for birds.
Fountain Grass prefers full sun in evenly moist, well-drained soils, but will adapt to poor soils with occasional drought. Tolerates wind and salt spray and is considered deer resistant.
Maintenance consists of annual March pruning of the dead foliage to just above the ground to allow new growth to appear.
A show-stopper when in full bloom in late Summer alongside Black-eyed Susan and Sedum, Fountain Grass is a must for the Fall Garden.