Grow Pretty Purple Fountain Grass for Birds

Updated: Dec. 08, 2022

Purple fountain grass is an ideal choice for winter and fall interest—and it brings in the birds, too! Here's how to grow it in your yard.

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Ornamental grasses are always an excellent selection for winter and fall interest. And if they offer benefits for your favorite feathered friends, even better! Purple fountain grass is one such plant—with its lovely coloring it’s a great choice for your garden, and birds love it, too. Here’s why this grass is an ideal addition to your backyard.

Purple Fountain Grass Care and Growing Tips

In warmer zones, drought-tolerant purple fountain grass keeps its eye-catching maroon color through winter. But in areas where it’s not hardy, leave it standing to lend structure, movement and texture to your landscape.

Psst—learn when you should cut back ornamental grasses.

Warmer climates may grow it as a perennial, but in cooler zones, this grass is considered an annual. It bursts with burgundy flower stalks from July to October. It also tolerates air pollution and grows near black walnut trees. The plant is not native but also rarely reseeds, so it’s safe for most backyards, forming a dense but contained clump.

  • Botanical name: Pennisetum sataceum ‘Rubrum’
  • Zones: 9 to 10
  • Light needs: Full to part sun
  • Size: Up to 4 feet tall and wide

These are the best perennial ornamental grasses to add to your yard.

Purple Fountain Grass Benefits

Pwportulaca FountaingrassCourtesy of Proven Winners/
Plant this pretty fountain grass in containers for vertical drama.

It’s simple to embrace easy gardening with this gorgeous plant, and best of all, the birds will thank you for it. If you leave the flower spikes alone through winter, you’ll soon find that backyard birds enjoy eating the seeds.

Unlike your feathered friends, deer tend to ignore it. That makes it ideal for those looking to add deer-resistant plants to their landscapes.

Where to Buy Purple Fountain Grass

In-season, check for fountain grass at your local plant nursery. For those wanting to order online, Home Depot also offers the plant in 2.5-quart containers.

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Next, check out the top 10 purple flowers to grow in your garden.