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Almanac Planting Co Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum x advena 'Rubrum')
Almanac Planting Co Purple Fountain Grass
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Purple Fountain Grass

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Pennisetum x advena 'Rubrum'


Uses: Annual Fountain Grass (Perennial in tropical zones) 

Benefits: Striking red/purple foliage with burgundy flowers. Medium-fast growth rate. Deer resistant. 

Zones: 9-11 (Annual in cooler zones) 

Sun: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Life Cycle: Perennial in zones 9 - 11. Annual in cooler zones. 

Mature Height: 5'

Mature Width: 4'

Bloom Season: Summer


Pennisetum x advena 'Rubrum'—commonly called both Purple Fountain Grass, and Red Fountain Grass—is one of the most beautiful and popular ornamental grasses available today. 

It's known to maintain its striking reddish-purple color all year long in areas that don't get frost. Exposure to frost; however, will cause the grass to brown and wither. 

Purple Fountain Grass is hardy as a perennial as long as the temperatures don't dip below 20°F for any extended period of time. 

The eye-catching, flowering plumes of this grass resemble bottle brushes, and are known to last from mid-June until frost in most areas. 

An ideal plant for a variety of areas, its vibrant foliage makes it especially well suited for accenting a wide variety of locations. 

It's assumed that Pennisetum x advena 'Rubrum' is likely a hybrid of Pennisetum macrostachyum and Pennisetum setaceum.


Purple Fountain Grass Care

Pennisetum x advena 'Rubrum' is extremely low maintaitence and easy to care for. 

Fertilizations will accelerate growth and keep your plant well fed. We suggest using our slow release fertilizer, or something similiar.

Purple Fountain Grass may be grown in partial sun, although full sun is slightly better. 

Water regularly after planting until established, or in periods of drought. Although this plant is considered drought tolerant, its ideal soil is moist, rich, and well draining. 

It may be cut back it it becomes too large, floppy, or falls over. If growing as a perennial in areas that receive frost, it's suggested to cut back this grass in late fall. Leave at least 2" of foliage when cutting back. 

May be dug out and overwintered in colder zones. 

If growing as a perennial, we suggest propagating your Purple Fountain Grass through division. This is best done in spring, and is accomplished by simply cutting the base of the plant and its roots into sections, and replanting those sections. Failure to divide and transplant every few years may result in situations of root bounding. 


Size of Purple Fountain Grass That You Ship

We ship our Pennisetum x advena 'Rubrum' in a 6" grow pot. The plant will be appropriately sized for its pot. 

Size of Purple Fountain Grass When Fully Grown

Pennisetum x advena 'Rubrum' typically grows to a fully mature height of 5' and a width of 4'. The grass is typically at least a foot less tall when not in bloom. Annuals may only reach heights of 4' and widths of 30". 

Additional Information

Common Names of Pennisetum x advena 'Rubrum'

  • Purple Fountain Grass

  • Red Fountain Grass 

  • Grass Flower 'Rubrum'

Toxicity and Risks of Blue Eyed Grass

All of the information we found suggested that there is no toxicity associated with Pennisetum x advena 'Rubrum'.