Desert Plains Fountain Grass

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A fluffy explosion of texture! The Desert Plains Pennisetum (Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Desert Plains') is a hardy and graceful, Fountain Grass that makes a dazzling focal point in a sunny landscape! Desert Plains is a seedling of Cassian Fountain Grass but has an improved habit, better flowering performance, and richer fall color.

Desert Plains forms a stunning upright vase-shaped clump. This warm-season Fountain grasses' fine-textured leaves make a transition from green to deep red tips. Then Desert Plains bursts into bloom with its large, showy, 5-inch long, mauve-colored bottlebrush plumes in early fall! about 2 weeks later than Cassian. By then, the red-tipped blades transform into shades of orange and bronze in the fall.

Hardy throughout USDA growing zones 5 to 9 and grows into a rounded spiked mound 3-4 feet in height and width. Highly adaptable and xeric once established, Desert Plains lives up to its name with sheer adaptability!

Planting and Application:

Create fantastic accents and fountains of green and tan grassy plumes throughout the garden! Desert Plains adds lightness and a wonderfully contrasting fluffy spikiness to the landscape! Use this to your advantage for an eye-catching focal point or anchor to punctuate a garden bed! Accent a Rock Garden, or create a naturalized prairie planting by planting with other grasses and wildflowers! Or go modern with these grasses planted in strategically straight rows!

Plant as the thriller in a large planter or container for a fantastic specimen planting! Add some casters and enjoy wheeling your new shade or pinpoint privacy planting anywhere you need it in seating areas and on terraces, balconies, and even on either side of the entrance to your front porch steps in upscale urns, or dressed down in half whiskey barrels!

  • Spiked Arching Green Foliage Features Red Tips
  • Vase Shaped Slightly Cascading Plant
  • 5-Inch Mauve Plumes in Autumn
  • Bronze Foliage for Winter Interest
  • Easy Care & Deer Resistant
  • Specimens, En Masse & Groupings, Borders & Container Plants

#ProPlantTips for Care:

It is easy to grow and needs at least 6 hours of direct sun per day. Once this ornamental grass is established, it takes on the heat, humidity, and punishing sun effortlessly. It’s drought-resistant, easy to grow, and deer resistant. Prune in early spring to clean the mound before it gets growing. Have patience with warm-season grasses because they're slower to get started but grow vigorously once temperatures rise.

  • Full Sun
  • Grows in Well-Drained Drier Soil
  • Average to Low Moisture Needs Once Established
  • Prune Early Spring
  • Very Low-Maintenance & Easy Care
  • Warm-Season Grass

Fluffy and spiked contrast, the incredible and adaptable Desert Plains Fountain Grass will be your garden's newest favorite accent! Order easy-care plants and perennials and enjoy having them delivered to your doorstep by!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

Click Here to learn more

Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
5 Now
6 Now
7 Now
8 Now
9 Now
10 Now
11 Now

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Desert Plains Fountain Grass Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-9
Growing Zones 5-9
More Information
Botanical Name Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Desert Plains'
Type Perennial
Mature Height 3 - 4 feet
Mature Spread 3 - 4 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
Soil Well-Drained
Moisture Widely Adaptable
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Mauve
Foliage Color Green
Pollinator Friendly No
Pruning Time Early Spring