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Foxtrot Fountain Grass

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Foxtrot'

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Foxtrot Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Foxtrot') at Pender Pines Garden Center

Foxtrot Fountain Grass in fall

Foxtrot Fountain Grass in fall

(Photo courtesy of Jason Eldredge)

Height:  5 feet

Spacing:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4b


Fine textured bright green foliage changes to a golden tan in fall; blooms are large smokey-pink bottlebrush plumes in summer, that persist until winter; beautiful as an accent or massed together; not prone to self-seeding

Ornamental Features

Foxtrot Fountain Grass has masses of beautiful plumes of pink flowers with purple overtones rising above the foliage from mid to late summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The tan seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from early fall to mid winter. Its grassy leaves are green in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns gorgeous shades of yellow, tan and gold in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Foxtrot Fountain Grass is an herbaceous perennial grass with a shapely form and gracefully arching stems. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Foxtrot Fountain Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Foxtrot Fountain Grass will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 4 feet apart. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Foxtrot Fountain Grass is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Rock  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Fruit  Fall Color  Texture  Plant Form  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features