Perfect for pots or the front of a border, ‘Burgundy Bunny’ miniature fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) brings cute color to any setting. This small ornamental grass showcases light red hue in summer, followed by blazing reds in fall. The small seedheads appear in late summer and linger until harsh winter weather blasts them apart. This grass works well in rock gardens or low water-use landscapes. Plants grow 12 to 16 inches tall and up to 16 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9.
Fountain grass comes in a variety of sizes, as well as leaf and seedhead colors. It gets its name from the fact that the flowers and seedheads erupt from the arching mound of leaves like water from a fountain. This duet of fountain grass features (left) Prairie Winds ‘Desert Plains’ fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) and (right) purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’). ‘Desert Plains’ is hardy in Zones 5-9 and grows roughly 4 feet tall and wide. The bottlebrush flowers start dusky purple and fade to tan. Purple fountain grass is an annual in most regions (Hardy in Zones 9-11), growing up to 3 feet tall and wide. Cut it down after frost once leaves turn brown.
Want a little drama in your yard? Make room for Vertigo purple fountain grass (Pennisetum purpureum ‘Tift 8’). This gorgeous grass adds bold color with its deep purple—almost black—leaves. Stems stand strong, and leaf ends drape gracefully. Use it solo as an accent plant, or arrange it in mass as a dark hedge. Vertigo commands attention in the garden or containers as it grows 4 to 8 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 8-11. In areas with cold winters, treat Vertigo as an annual.
Ornamental grasses can be perennial or annual, depending on where you garden. Tall ‘Morning Light’ maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’) is a perennial in Zones 5-9. It forms a fountain-like clump 4 to 5 feet tall and up to 3 feet wide. The fuzzy heads of purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) appear in summer atop plants that grow up to 3 feet tall and wide. This grass is tropical, hardy in Zones 9-11. In colder regions, treat it as an annual.
Exterior sconces join the interior light shining through the windows to cast a warm glow over the outside of the home. A marble walkway leads from the house to the open patio with a fountain featured in the center. Ornamental grass and palm trees surround the marble creating an inviting, tropical landscape design.
A border of ornamental grasses and purple flowers line the edge of a driveway that twists itself through the front yard. Olive trees, lavender and a variety of grasses add Italian flair to this landscape design.
A beautiful lawn makes planting beds sparkle. This bed features a blend of shrubs, perennials and annuals, including Sweet Caroline Bewitched Green with Envy sweet potato vine and Hippo Red and Hippo Rose hypoestes. The planting also includes several ornamental grasses: ‘Fireworks’ variegated fountain grass, ‘Sky Rocket’ purple fountain grass, and Vertigo elephant grass.