Panicum

Panicum virgatum Squaw

Panicum virgatum Squaw

Panicum

Switch grass

  • Position: full sun
  • Soil: well-drained soil
  • Flowering period: August to October
  • Height: 1-1,7m
  • Foliage: deciduous
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

Panicum, also known as Switch grass, originates from North America and is a perennial, deciduous grass. This ornamental grass has a stiff upright habit. Foliage colour varies from deep green, blue-grey to purple-red.

Varieties

Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’

There are many good varieties with blue-grey foliage colour. Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’ has attractive, small blue-grey foliage with light brown airy panicles to 50cm long.

Panicum virgatum ‘Squaw’

Panicum virgatum ‘Squaw’ is grown for its attractive, linear, green leaves and airy pink-brown flower spikes. The green foliage will turn red at the tips in autumn. Expect a height of 1,25m.


Panicum virgatum ‘Squaw                       Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’

Panicum virgatum ‘North Wind’

Another to try is Panicum virgatum ‘North Wind’, producing linear, blue-green leaves. With a height of 1,8m, North Wind adds a fantastic height to a border.

The panicles are pink-green at first, gradually turning to pale brown. This variety retains its upright form throughout the winter.

Pruning

How do you prune Panicum virgatum ( Switch grass). Cut it down to about 10-20cm above ground level in spring, after the cold weather is over.

How to grow

Panicum virgatum grows best in an open sunny position, in well-drained soil. New fresh growth emerges in late spring.

When to plant Panicum virgatum. In cold areas best planted in late spring. Elsewhere you can plant it from late spring to early autumn.

Dividing

When and how to divide Panicum ( Switch grass). Divide in late spring when the soil is starting to warm up. Split the grass in half with a spade while in the ground and then lift the two parts.

Replant the divided parts and water thoroughly

Plant combination

Panicum will look good with a range of partners such as Sedum, Achillea, Pennisetum, Lythrum.

Lythrum Dropmore Purple
Lythrum ‘Dropmore Purple’

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