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'Princess' Purple Fountain Grass Pennisetum purpureum

  • Hardy Zones
    • 8 - 11
  • Exposure
    • Part Sun to Sun
  • Season
    • Spring
    • Summer
  • Mature Size
    • 24 - 36 Inches
Proven Selections
'Princess' Purple Fountain Grass Pennisetum purpureum
Part Sun to Sun 24 - 36

Features

Unlike other grasses that fade in the summer heat, the purple foliage of 'Princess' grows brighter as temperatures climb

Award Winner
Heat Tolerant
Deadheading Not Necessary
Grass: 
Grass

Characteristics

Duration: 
Annual
Height Category: 
Tall
Garden Height: 
24 - 36 Inches
Spacing: 
24 - 36 Inches
Flower Colors: 
Pink
Flower Shade: 
Pink
Foliage Colors: 
Purple
Foliage Shade: 
Black/Purple
Habit: 
Upright
Container Role: 
Thriller

Plant Needs

Light Requirement: 
Part Sun to Sun
Maintenance Category: 
Easy
Bloom Time: 
Early Summer
Bloom Time: 
Mid Summer
Bloom Time: 
Late Summer
Hardy Temperature: 
15°F
Hardiness Zones: 
8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
Water Category: 
Average
Uses: 
Dried Flower
Uses: 
Grass
Uses: 
Landscape
Uses: 
Container
Uses Notes: 

Use in containers, mixed containers and beds

Maintenance Notes: 

Princess is a warm-season grass. Where temperatures get colder than 15 degrees F, the plants should be treated as annuals. Once the grass turns brown it can either be removed immediately or removed in the spring. It should not be expected to live through the winter and begin growing again in the spring.

In areas where winter temperatures remain above 15 degrees it should be considered a perennial and the following information should be useful. Warm-season grasses won't start growing until mid to late spring or even early summer. Their major growth and flowering happens when the weather is hot. They will usually turn shades of brown for the winter.

Cut back warm season grasses in fall or by mid to late spring. Warm season grasses turn shades of brown as the weather turns colder. Once your warm season grasses turn brown you can trim them back at almost any time. If you like to tidy your garden in fall or if you live in an area where fire can be problematic trim warm season grasses so they are just a few inches tall.

If you live in an area where fire generally isn't a problem you can leave the dried grasses and seed heads in your garden for winter interest. Snow or ice encrusted ornamental grasses can be quite beautiful.

If you leave the trimming until spring try to make sure to cut them back to the ground (you can leave a couple of inches) by late spring, before new growth begins.

Not all ornamental grasses look good through the winter, trim back those that don't look good in the fall.

Divide warm season grasses anytime spring through mid-summer. All ornamental grasses should be divided when they are actively growing but not while they are flowering. If the plants are dormant when they are transplanted they won't establish a good root system. Warm season grasses generally start growing in late spring or early summer and have their active growth period during the heat of the summer. Warm season grasses will tend to bloom in mid to late summer.

Pennisetum purpureum 'Princess'

This is a non flowering variety, which meant the grass actually looked nice all the way to frost! It stays lush and full, with deep purple, shiny foliage that screamed 'look at me!'

'Princess' Pennisetum purpureum PP: 17728
  • The plant is 40" tall. I use it in the center of my half round flower bed as a focal point.
    The spring blubs have finished and the day lilies will soon follow. The stems are very
    sturdy, the leave range 17 to 22 inches long and have a graceful, arched flow to them
    like fountain grass. There is a great burgundy center rib on each leaf and the all over
    darker burgundy tint contrasts well with the standard green foliage and adds a tropical
    feel with the rainbow cannas. It looks like the seed florescence starts out black. This
    is what I saw at the nursery. Mine is not seeded yet since it is only June. It states this
    plant is hardy to 15 degrees. I am in zone 7 in northern South Carolina so if it is a
    mild winter, it may come back. I sure will be looking for it again next year in any case.
    It is one of those "go to" plants and also contrasts well with chartruese hostas and other
    ground covers. I am sure glad I stopped at that garden center. I was searching for
    a grass like it last year and went four different places.

    Above Average Superior performance, among my favorites, would recommend to others.
    Dorothy Olechnowicz
    Simpsonville
    South Carolina
    United States
    1 year ago
  • Above Average Superior performance, among my favorites, would recommend to others.
    a mcnicholas
    buchanan
    Georgia
    United States
    1 year ago
  • A vigorous grower with great color and texture. This plant exceeded my expectations, growing to 36" tall in only 4 weeks. No problems at this point.

    Outstanding My favorite plant, I recommend to others all the time and explain the reasons why I like it so much.
    Amarillo Botanical Gardens
    Amarillo
    Texas
    United States
    1 year ago
  • Planted this in the middle of Las Vegas' summer heat and was surprised that it did so well. It more than tripled in size from the 4" pot in just a few weeks, and is thriving and beautiful in a large planter beside the pool. The purple and green colors are quite robust in spite of triple-digit heat. Will be adding more in different areas around my house and highly recommend this to all.

    Above Average Superior performance, among my favorites, would recommend to others.
    Phillip Riddle
    Las Vegas
    Nevada
    United States
    1 year ago
  • I loved how fast it grew and filled out the garden. My only disappointment was finding out that after buying it marketed as a perennial, it is actually an annual in my zone. The cost was so reasonable, however, that I think I might plant it again.

    Outstanding My favorite plant, I recommend to others all the time and explain the reasons why I like it so much.
    Kathy
    Iowa
    United States
    4 years ago
  • Says only grows to 36". Mine are 8 plus feet and still growing.

    Above Average Superior performance, among my favorites, would recommend to others.
    Angel Ireson
    Colorado
    United States
    4 years ago
Award Year Award Plant Trial
2008 Top Performer University of Georgia
2008 Top Performer University of Georgia
2008 Top Performer University of Georgia
2008 Best of the Best University of Georgia
2008 Best of the Best University of Georgia
2008 Best of the Best University of Georgia
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