Princess Molly Pennisetum

Pennisetum 'Princess Molly'

Family: Fountain Grass

Type: Ornamental grass

Other Common Name: Purple Fountain Grass 'Princess Molly'

Pennisetum ‘Princess Molly’ is a captivating ornamental grass known for its vibrant foliage and graceful texture. Its slender, burgundy leaves add a unique color and dimension to any garden.

This perennial is admired for its low-maintenance nature and adaptability to various garden conditions. It’s perfect for adding interest and movement to garden landscapes.

Thriving in full sun, ‘Princess Molly’ grows quickly, reaching its full size each season. Its compact size makes it an ideal choice for smaller spaces and containers.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 8a-11b

Deer Resistant: Yes

Pet Friendly: Yes

Moisture Preference: Dry to average

Sun Needs: Full sun

Drought Tolerance (Xeriscape): Yes


Growth Rate: Medium

Average Height (feet): 3

Average Spread (feet): 2

Average Life Span (years): 3

Form: Upright


Flower Color: Purple

Bloom Season: From summer to fall

Foliage Color: Purple

Foliage Shape: Linear

Landscaping Your Yard With Pennisetum ‘Princess Molly’

Incorporating Pennisetum ‘Princess Molly’ into your yard brings a touch of elegance and drama. Its richly colored foliage provides a stunning contrast to green plants.

This ornamental grass is ideal for borders, focal points, or as a backdrop for flowering plants. Its versatility in design is unmatched.

Plant ‘Princess Molly’ in clusters for a bold statement or intersperse it with other plants for a textured look. Its adaptability allows it to fit seamlessly into various landscape designs.

Suitable Garden Styles

Contemporary Garden

In a contemporary garden, 'Princess Molly' adds a splash of color and texture. Its modern appeal and clean lines complement the sleek, minimalist style of such gardens.

Rock Garden

'Princess Molly' is a perfect fit for rock gardens. Its vibrant foliage contrasts beautifully with the natural stone, adding a softness and color to the rugged landscape.

Urban Garden

For urban gardens, this ornamental grass offers a touch of nature in small spaces. Its size and adaptability make it ideal for balcony gardens and compact urban landscapes.

Pennisetum ‘Princess Molly’ Landscaping Ideas

Use ‘Princess Molly’ as a ground cover in sunny areas. Its spreading habit covers ground effectively while adding color.

Mix it with perennial flowers for a dynamic, multi-textural display. The contrast between its foliage and flowering plants is visually striking.

In container gardens, ‘Princess Molly’ makes a dramatic statement. Its upright form and rich color are perfect for adding height and interest to container arrangements.

Seasonal Interest


In spring, 'Princess Molly' begins to show new growth. Fresh burgundy leaves emerge, signaling the start of a new season and adding a burst of color to the garden.


During summer, this grass is at its peak. Full and lush, its leaves sway gracefully in the breeze, creating a dynamic and lively garden feature.


In fall, 'Princess Molly' maintains its color but may deepen in hue. The cooler temperatures bring out a richer intensity in its leaves, complementing the autumnal garden palette.


In winter, 'Princess Molly' may go dormant, especially in colder climates. Its foliage might fade or brown, but it still provides structure and interest in the winter garden. In milder regions, it retains some of its color.

Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Pennisetum ‘Princess Molly’ thrives in sunny locations with good air circulation. Ideal spots include open garden beds, alongside pathways, or in spacious containers on well-lit patios.


This ornamental grass prefers full sun, requiring at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Adequate sun exposure is vital for the development of its rich burgundy foliage.


'Princess Molly' is adaptable to a variety of soil types but performs best in well-drained soil. It tolerates both slightly acidic and alkaline conditions, making it versatile for different garden settings.


Space these plants about 18-24 inches apart. This spacing ensures adequate air circulation and room for growth, preventing overcrowding and promoting healthy development.

When to Plant

The best time to plant ‘Princess Molly’ is in the spring, after the risk of frost has passed. This timing allows the plant to establish itself before the hotter summer months.

How to Plant

Dig a hole twice the width and the same depth as the root ball. Place the plant in the hole, fill with soil, and water thoroughly. This ensures a strong start for the plant.

Plant Care Tips


Water regularly, especially during dry spells. However, it’s important to avoid overwatering as ‘Princess Molly’ does not tolerate waterlogged soil.


Fertilize lightly in the spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to support growth. Excessive fertilization is not necessary.


Cut back the foliage in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. This helps maintain its shape and promotes healthier, more vibrant growth.

By Season


Spring Care

In spring, as new growth appears, start regular watering and apply fertilizer. This is also the ideal time for pruning to encourage fresh, vibrant foliage.

Summer Care

During summer, ensure consistent watering, especially in periods of extreme heat. 'Princess Molly' is relatively drought-tolerant once established, but regular moisture promotes optimal growth.

Fall Care

In fall, reduce watering as the plant begins to go dormant. No additional fertilizing is needed during this season.

Winter Care

In winter, 'Princess Molly' requires minimal care. In colder climates, it may die back and can be left as-is to provide winter interest or trimmed back in preparation for spring.


How Tall Does Pennisetum 'Princess Molly' Grow?

Typically, ‘Princess Molly’ reaches about 18-24 inches in height and width, making it a compact choice for various garden spaces.

Is It Deer Resistant?

Yes, Pennisetum ‘Princess Molly’ is generally deer-resistant, making it a great choice for gardens in areas with a high deer population.

Can It Be Grown in Containers?

Absolutely, ‘Princess Molly’ is well-suited for container gardening due to its compact size and striking foliage, making it a versatile option for patios and balconies.

Products That Feature This Plant

A Timeless Splash

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