• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Pennisetum setaceum

African fountain grass

AGM plants

AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

  • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
  • Available to buy
  • Of good constitution
  • Essentially stable in form & colour
  • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases
  • Other common names African fountain grass
    fountain grass

    purple fountain grass
    ruby grass

    see more
  • Synonyms Pennisetum rueppellii

  • Family Poaceae

  • Genus Pennisetum can be annual or perennial, evergreen or deciduous grasses, clump-forming or spreading in habit, with linear leaves and narrow flowering panicles with conspicuous bristles

  • Details P. setaceum is a tufted grass usually grown as an annual, forming a mound of narrow, upright leaves, with slender feathery pinkish flower panicles

  • Plant range Africa Asia

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Tufted

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H6

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Chalk

    Loam

  • Chalk

    Sand

  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilLoam, Sand

  • pHNeutral, Acid, Alkaline

Size

  • Ultimate height 0.5-1 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 1-2 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in light, moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Protect with a dry mulch in winter

Propagation Propagate by seed sown at 13-18ºC in early spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Cut Flowers City & Courtyard Gardens Coastal Cottage & Informal Garden Prairie Planting

How to care

Pruning Cut back after flowering

Pests Generally pest free

Diseases Generally disease free

Advertise here

Did you find the information you were looking for?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now