Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’

Nassella tenuissima 'Ponytails'

Family: Feather Grass

Type: Ornamental grass

Other Common Name: Texas Needle Grass, Stipa tenuissima

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Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’, scientifically known as Nassella tenuissima ‘Ponytails’, is a graceful, ornamental grass known for its delicate and airy texture. This variety is celebrated for its fine, hair-like foliage that creates a soft, flowing appearance.

The plant’s movement in the breeze adds a dynamic and whimsical quality to any garden. Its slender, arching stems and feathery plumes give it an ethereal look, making it a favorite among gardeners and landscapers alike.

Thriving in full sun and well-draining soil, Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’ is hardy in zones 7-10. It’s drought-tolerant once established, making it a sustainable choice for water-wise gardens.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 5b-7a

Pet Friendly: Yes

Moisture Preference: Dry to average

Sun Needs: Full sun to partial shade

Drought Tolerance (Xeriscape): Yes


Growth Rate: Medium

Average Height (feet): 2

Average Spread (feet): 2

Average Life Span (years): 20

Form: Upright spreading


Flower Color: Yellow

Bloom Season: In mid summer

Foliage Color: Green

Leaf Fall Color: Yellow

Foliage Shape: Threadlike

Landscaping Your Yard With Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’

Incorporating Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’ into your garden design adds texture, movement, and a touch of elegance. Its fine foliage sways gracefully in the wind, creating a serene and captivating display.

This grass is perfect for creating soft borders, adding height to flower beds, and enhancing rock gardens. It can also be used as a focal point in a minimalist garden design, where its delicate form can be fully appreciated.

Despite its delicate appearance, Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’ is a robust and low-maintenance plant. It’s an excellent choice for gardeners seeking an ornamental grass that is both beautiful and easy to care for.


Suitable Garden Styles

Modern Garden

In modern gardens, Mexican Feather Grass 'Ponytails' adds a touch of softness and natural beauty, contrasting well with contemporary landscaping elements.

Rock Garden

For rock gardens, this grass provides a delicate contrast to the hard surfaces of stones and boulders.

Xeriscape Garden

In xeriscape gardens, its drought tolerance makes it an ideal choice, adding texture and movement without requiring much water.

Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’ Landscaping Ideas

Use it to line walkways or driveways. Its flowing nature creates a sense of movement and guides the eye along the path.

Plant in groups for a dramatic effect. Mass plantings accentuate its fine texture and create a sea of waving foliage.

Combine with other drought-tolerant plants. It pairs beautifully with succulents and other low-water plants for a sustainable garden design.

Seasonal Interest


In spring, Mexican Feather Grass 'Ponytails' begins to grow, with fresh green shoots emerging from the base.


During summer, it reaches its full height, with the feathery plumes swaying in the breeze, adding a lively element to the garden.


In the fall, the foliage may turn golden, providing a warm and autumnal aspect to the landscape.


In winter, Mexican Feather Grass 'Ponytails' may remain standing, offering structure and interest even in dormancy, especially in milder climates.

Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’ should be planted in areas with full sun exposure to maximize its growth and feathery display. It’s ideal for open landscapes, sunny borders, or rocky garden areas.


This grass thrives in full sun, needing at least six hours of direct sunlight each day for optimal health and growth.


Mexican Feather Grass 'Ponytails' prefers well-draining soil and is tolerant of a range of soil types, including poor, rocky soils.


Space plants about 18 to 24 inches apart. This allows each plant enough room to develop its full, airy plumes without overcrowding.

When to Plant

The best time to plant Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’ is in the spring, after the threat of frost has passed, or in early fall.

How to Plant

Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball. Position the plant in the hole, fill it with soil, and water thoroughly. Ensure it’s planted at the same depth it was in the container.

Plant Care Tips


Water regularly after planting until it’s established. Once established, Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’ is drought-tolerant, requiring minimal watering.


Fertilization is not typically necessary. If desired, apply a light amount of general-purpose fertilizer in the spring.


Prune back the foliage in late winter or early spring before new growth begins, to tidy the plant and encourage fresh growth.

By Season


Spring Care

Remove any dead foliage and apply a thin layer of mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.

Summer Care

Water sparingly during prolonged dry spells. The grass is drought-resistant and usually thrives with minimal care.

Fall Care

Reduce watering as the plant prepares for dormancy. No additional care is typically necessary.

Winter Care

Leave the dried foliage for winter interest and habitat for wildlife. Prune back in late winter.


Is Mexican Feather Grass 'Ponytails' Invasive?

In some areas, it can be invasive. Check local guidelines and consider responsible gardening practices.

Can It Be Grown in Containers?

Yes, Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’ can be grown in containers, adding texture and movement to patio settings.

How Long Does It Live?

With proper care, Mexican Feather Grass ‘Ponytails’ can live several years, contributing long-term beauty to the garden.

Products That Feature This Plant

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