What are some good switchgrass varieties for the home landscape?
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a native prairie grass. It is typically found in moist sites, such as along the banks of streams, and grows 3 to 6 feet tall.
Several switchgrass cultivars are excellent plants for the home landscape. ‘Heavy Metal’ is a dense, upright plant with metallic blue foliage. Plants grow 3 to 5 feet tall. ‘Dallas Blues’ grows 5 feet tall and has 1-inch-wide, blue-green foliage. Plants turn tan to rust brown in fall. ‘Northwind’ is a dense, columnar plant that grows 4 to 5 feet tall. Its olive green foliage turns to yellow or beige in fall. ‘Shenandoah’ is a compact, 3-foot-tall plant. Its foliage is initially bluish green, but turns to burgundy red by mid-summer. Finally, ‘Prairie Fire’ grows 4 to 5 feet tall. Its blue-green foliage turns wine red in summer.
Switchgrasses are easy to grow in the home landscape. They perform best in full sun and a well-drained, moist soil. They require little care and have few insect and disease pests.