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Switchgrass


Panicum spp.

Switchgrass

Come rain or come shine, this is one gorgeous grass. After a shower, the delicate clouds of switchgrass seed heads are spangled with raindrops that glisten in the sun. In dry weather, these mostly upright grasses are beautiful in slanting sun, which highlights their green, purplish, or bluish leaves.

In late summer, lightly branched panicles of spikelets (flowers) appear above the foliage, presenting an airy picture. In fall, the foliage often takes on dramatic red, yellow, or gold tones, then it turns buff in winter. Some self-seed freely. Provide average, well-drained soil in sun or very light shade for best results.

Light:
Sun
Zones:
5-9
Plant Type:
Perennial
Plant Height:
2-5 feet tall
Plant Width:
9-42 inches wide
Bloom Time:
Blooms late summer and into fall, depending on variety
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders,Slopes,Groundcover
Special Features:
Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Fall Color,Winter Interest,Cut Flowers,Dried Flowers,Attracts Birds,Drought Tolerant,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow
Top Varieties

Panicum virgatum 'Cloud Nine' has clumps of metallic-blue foliage topped with clouds of spikelets that turn reddish-brown in fall. 'Cloud Nine' may reach 6 feet tall. Zones 5-9
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Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah' is one of the reddest switchgrasses. Its strong color shows itself by early to midsummer and becomes more intense as the season progresses. It may reach 3 feet tall. Zones 5-9
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Plant It With
Black-eyed Susan

The dark-centered golden daisies of black-eyed Susan create an informal meadow look for several weeks when planted in sun with switchgrass.

Aster

In sunny beds and borders, 'Purple Dome' aster bursts into flower in early fall and shows off dramatically against the fall colors of switchgrass.

Crocosmia

In summer, 'Lucifer' crocosmia displays gaudy sprays of brilliant scarlet-orange flowers that play off well against cooling switchgrass.

Propagation
Seed
Division