Will Purple Fountain Grass Come Back Each Year?

Purple Fountain Grass is a lovely ornamental plant that many people are growing in their gardens today. This plant is loved by many, making the wait to see if the plant will return after a cold winter a challenging one for some. But will Purple Fountain Grass return every year? 

Purple Fountain Grass is a tender perennial plant that will die back during the winter but can return and grow back during the spring. This will depend on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone you live in, as some winters are too harsh for this plant, and it will not grow back, requiring a replant. 

What USDA Plant Hardiness Zones can this plant thrive to the point where it grows back after winter? What is the growth cycle of the Purple Fountain Grass plant? How long will you need to wait for this plant to grow back every year? Let us find out!

Will Purple Fountain Grass Grow Back Every Year?

Beautiful Purple fountain grass
Beautiful Purple fountain grass

Purple Fountain Grass or Pennisetum setaceum’ Rubrum’ is a beautiful ornamental grass-like plant growing in popularity among gardeners and houseplant enthusiasts alike. This plant has burgundy or purple-colored foliage that sprouts fuzzy and soft blooms that will produce purplish seedheads. 

This plant is an excellent addition to anyone’s plant collection as it offers a perfect pop of color to wherever you keep it. Purple Fountain Grass is considered a perennial plant, but it is more on the tender perennial side. 

Perennial plants are cold-hardy plants, meaning they tend to survive and recover well from being left in harsh winter conditions. But Purple Fountain Grass is a tender perennial, which means that the plant is cold hardy in certain climates that do not go pasted a certain temperature in the winter. 

Purple Fountain Grass will not survive in freezing winters where there is a freeze. This plant is only hardy to the winter conditions in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9, but it can sometimes regrow in Hardiness Zones 7 and 8 if it is given adequate weather protection

If you stay in Zone 9, then your Purple Fountain Grass will most likely grow back after the winter months, and if you live in Zones 7 and 8 and protect the plant, then it will have a high chance of growing back. If you stay outside these Hardiness Zones, your Purple Fountain Grass will probably die in the winter and not grow back unless you can move the plant into a warmer environment. 

This is if you are growing your Purple Fountain Grass outdoors, but if you grow the plant indoors and you keep it healthy, then you should not have an issue with it during the winter.  

The Growth Cycles Of Purple Fountain Grass

Diagram showing each of the four seasons affecting plants as a clockface
Diagram showing each of the four seasons affecting plants as a clockface

Purple Fountain Grass is a lovely ornamental plant that is generally grown for show. It can withstand a range of living conditions as long as the conditions are relatively warm, but what exactly are the growth cycles you can expect with this plant? 

The length of time you will have your Purple Fountain Grass will depend on which part of its lifecycle you got the plant at. If you planted the grass from seed yourself and looked after the plant correctly, it could last you a long while. 

But if you do not know the full condition of the plant when you brought it as a mature plant, then you may only have it for a season. 

From seed, the Purple Fountain Grass will take 21 days to germinate, which is when you can transplant the plant into a bigger container if necessary. The Purple Fountain Grass can then take between two and three months to mature. 

It is best to plant your Purple Fountain Grass in the early spring as spring and summer are the seasons where this plant actively grows. The plant will begin to flower in the late summer months, and the fuzzy blooms will rise above the plant’s leaves by one or two feet. 

As these plants are perennials, they will die back during the winter, and if you live in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7, 8, and 9, then the plant should grow back on its own as the temperature begins to rise. By mid-spring, you should see your Purple Fountain Grass beginning to grow back. 

If you live outside of these Plant Hardiness Zones, you may need to replant your Purple Fountain Grass as it is unlikely to grow back unless you offer the plant adequate protection from the cold. 

Does Purple Fountain Grass Grow Back Fast?

Once Purple Fountain Grass has died back to its roots for the winter, it can take some time for the plant to reappear, depending on the weather conditions in your garden. This plant will only start to reappear in your garden when the temperatures start to warm up.

If you had a hard freeze during the winter, it is highly unlikely that your Purple Fountain Grass will recover as this plant is not hardy enough to survive that kind of cold. But if you live in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7, 8, and 9, then your plant may begin to grow back in the early to mid-spring

The rate at which your Purple Fountain Grass will grow back will be determined by the care you gave the plant in the last season and how healthy and fertile the plant’s soil is. If the plant was unhealthy before it died back for the winter, it might have difficulty re-establishing itself in your garden. 

If the plant’s soil is not healthy and lacks nutrients, then the plant may have trouble growing back as there are not enough nutrients to sustain its regrowth

Purple Fountain Grass is considered a fast-growing plant, so if by mid-spring your plant has not sprouted again, you will need to come to terms with the possibility that your Purple Fountain Grass may not ever return. In which case, you will need to replant your Purple Fountain Plant if you want the plant in your garden for the next season. 

How To Care For Purple Fountain Grass

Lots of purple fountain grass
Lots of purple fountain grass

Purple Fountain Grass can be a beautiful ornamental plant if you care for it correctly, so let us have a look at the care requirements of this plant so that you can keep it in top condition, which will also help the plant grow back better and faster after it died back for the winter months. 

This plant can reach up to six feet tall when it is in bloom, so you need to ensure it has the space to grow. This plant is also a fast-growing plant, meaning it will need good quality soil filled with nutrients. 

Even though Purple Fountain Grass is a relatively low-maintenance plant, you will still need to provide it with some care to remain healthy and grow properly. 

  • Never fertilize this plant during the hottest part of mid-summer. But watering your plant regularly during this time. Do not let the plant sit in excess water; this can cause root rot
  • Although purple fountain grass is drought-tolerant, it does need water during dry spells and hot weather. Ensure the soil is moist around the plant during hot weather
  • This plant grows best in a well-draining soil mix with peat moss, perlite, or sandy soil mixed in
  • This plant prefers full sunlight, but it can grow in partial shade if needed
  • Purple Fountain Grass can spread rapidly by creeping rhizomes and seeds, making it easy to propagate if you want to
  • Pruning this plant isn’t necessary but will benefit the plant to remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches from it
  • If you’ve noticed sprouts around the base of older leaves, it is best to remove them as they could cause the older leaves on the plant to seed faster than expected
  • This plant is deer-resistant and can tolerate many common pests

Purple Fountain Grass is a plant that will not take a lot of time to care for; just ensure it has good-quality, well-draining soil and that you water it when the soil dries out completely. 

How To Keep Purple Fountain Grass Alive Over Winter

A patio and backyard at winter
A patio and backyard at winter

If you live in the Hardiness Zones 9, you do not need to worry about your Purple Fountain Grass in winter, but if you live elsewhere, there are a few things you can do to help your plant survive this cold season. 

If you can, place a greenhouse over your Purple Fountain Grass during the winter to help protect it from the frost and cold winds. If you cannot do this, you can dig out your Purple Fountain Grass and pot it to overwinter indoors

To do this, carefully dig around the plant’s roots and lift the plant from the ground. Place the plant in a pot that has fertile, nutrient-filled, well-draining soil in it. Then keep the plant indoors in a warm room for the winter and replant it when the temperatures start to rise in early spring. 


Purple Fountain Grass is a lovely ornamental plant that can be grown indoors and outdoors, and it adds beautiful color to your home or garden. This is why many people eagerly await their plants to return in the spring after the long winter. But sadly, not all plants will make a comeback. This will depend on a few factors, but you can do things to help increase the odds of your Purple Fountain Grass returning.

About Charlie D Paige

Charlie is a massive DIY fan, with dozens of DIY projects under his belt - ranging from tiling to electrics, and concrete pads to walls. Charlie loves tinkering, seeing how things works, the outdoors and playing with power tools... so is it any wonder that he's completed so many DIY jobs over the years?

Charlie loves spreading his hard-won DIY experience with the world via this blog.