Cayenne Sterile Fountain Grass

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  • Partial Sun to Full Sun (At Least 5 Hours of Direct Sunlight)
  • Mature Height 30 - 36 Inches
  • Mature Spread 30 - 36 Inches
  • Growing Zones 5 - 9

Ornamental grasses are outstanding design elements in a garden. Their foliage makes an excellent contrast with broadleaf plants and to the garden like no other plant. Unfortunately, many ornamental grass types have reputations as heavy self-seeders and are a bit more invasive than most gardeners want to deal with. Cayenne Fountain Grass is a sterile ornamental grass that only spreads from underground stolons, which are easy to keep under control. Pennisetum alopecuroides Cayenne™ has the longest blooming period of any Pennisetum and does not develop viable seeds. The mahogany-brown spikes grow 3-4 feet out from compact basal leaves and stay attractive throughout the winter.  

Cayenne™ Fountain Grass blends into established wildlife gardens or works well as a zone 2 rain garden plant. Fountain Grass is a moderately fast grower that combines well with other perennials such as Rudbeckias, Salvias, Dahlias, and Anise Hyssop. Ornamental grasses are deer and rabbit resistant while being exceptionally gardener friendly. Maintenance is only required in early spring.

Cayenne™ Fountain Grass Care

Plant ornamental grasses in a full sun site with well-draining soil throughout the year. Grasses are easily killed over the winter in cold, wet soil that does not drain. Pennisetum has a high tolerance for drought conditions after being established and will grow well in poor soil. Water newly planted grasses once a week with 1 inch of water. As plants mature, they need less supplemental watering. During exceptionally dry or hot summers, Cayenne™ Fountain Grass will require extra watering once a week. 

Pennisetum is an evergreen grass that needs to be cut back before the new growth starts in early spring. Cut the whole plant back to within 6 inches of the ground. Flower spikes can be cut during the growing season and make a lovely addition to floral arrangements. Dividing Pennisetum is best done in the early spring after the plants have been cut back. Plant the divisions as soon as possible to keep the roots from drying out.

Cayenne™ Fountain Grass Spacing

Cayenne™ Fountain Grass stays a compact 3 x 3-foot size that makes it easy to plant in existing gardens or use in a smaller garden or patio container. Plant Fountain Grasses 30 inches apart on center to fill in an area quickly. Container-grown plants need at least a 12-inch diameter pot.

Cayenne Sterile Fountain Grass Information

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 - 9
Plant Type: Ornamental Grass
Light Exposure: Partial Sun to Full Sun (At Least 5 Hours of Direct Sunlight)
Mature Height: 30 - 36 Inches
Mature Spread: 30 - 36 Inches
Spacing: 30 - 36 Inches
Habit: Upright
Flower Color(s): Brown
Flower Description: Brown Fading To Dark Brown
Bloom Period: Mid To Late Summer Through Fall
Foliage Type: Herbaceous
Foliage Color(s): Red
Foliage Description:
Seasonal Interest: Spring Flowering, Summer Flowering, Fall Flowering, Fall Interest, 4 Season Interest
Watering: Low
Resists: Deer
Tolerates: Drought, Salt
Attracts: Birds
Container Role:
Uses: Borders, Mass Planting
Features: Attracts Pollinators, Cut Flowers, Foliage Interest, Low Maintenance
Brand: WF, HPFY
Common Name: Cayenne Sterile Fountain Grass
Other Name(s):
Scientific Name: Pennisetum alopecuroides Cayenne™

Container Sizes

Please Note: The pictures below are to give a general representation of the different container sizes. The actual size/ages of plants are estimates and will vary based on; type of plant, time of year, last pruning & many other factors.

4.5 Pot

4.5" Pot
 Also Know As:
   4.5" Container

 Plant Age:
   ~ 6 months
 Plant Size:
   ~ 3"-6"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.5"H x 3.75"W
   1.42 quarts

Quart Pot

Quart Pot
 Also Know As:

 Plant Age:
   ~ 1 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 4"-8"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.75"H x 4.5"W
   1.50 quarts

2.5 Quart

2.5 Quart
 Also Know As:
   2.5 Quart Pot

 Plant Age:
   ~ 1.5 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 8"-12"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 6.5"H x 6.5"W
   2.20-2.30 quarts

#1 Pot

#1 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #1 Container
    1 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 2 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 10"-14"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 7"H x 7.75"W
   2.26-3.73 quarts

#2 Pot

#2 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #2 Container
    2 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 2-3 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-18"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 9.5"H x 9.5"W
   1.19-1.76 gallons

#3 Pot

#3 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #3 Container
    3 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 3-4 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-30"
 Pot Size:
   ~9.5"H x 11"W
   2.32-2.76 gallons

For more detailed information, please click here.

Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.

For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.

For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations

Plant Shipping

Time of Order:

Summer Shipping

  • If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.  
    • We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.

It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.