Panicum virgatum Prairie Sky (Switch Grass) 5l

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Switch Grass

Add some designer chic to your garden with Panicum virgatum ‘Prairie Sky’.

A cultivated form of a grass which once covered the great prairies of North America. How times change… now the prairies are covered in fields of corn and the switch grass has switched sides of the Atlantic to become a much-loved garden plant in the UK and Europe. With its sheaves of bolt upright leaves Panicum adds an unmistakable vertical accent to gardens - their steely blue colouring works well in contemporary schemes and they are tough enough to stand tall well into winter, giving this plant a long season of interest. Flowering occurs in late summer - airy heads of blue-green flowerheads erupt in a froth above the leaves, adding an extra dimension to this hard-working garden plant.

Quite simply one of the most stylish, easy-going plants out there - a great addition to almost any garden.

Key Features

Plant Type: Ornamental Grass

Hardiness: H5 Hardy. Minimum temperature -15 to -10.

Plant Height & Spread (at maturity): H 1.5m x W 50cm (Mature age: 2 Years)

Foliage Colour: Blue, Green

Flower Colour: Blue, Green

Fragrant Flower: No

Aromatic Foliage: No

RHS Award of Garden Merit: No

RHS Perfect for Pollinators: No

Foliage Type: Deciduous

Soil Type: Chalky, Clay, Loam, Sandy, Acid, Alkaline

Soil Drainage: Moist but Well Drained, Well Drained

Light Exposure: Full Sun

Planting Style: Flower Beds & Borders, Cutting Garden, Informal Garden, Cottage Garden, Coastal Garden, Gravel & Drought Resistant Garden, Prairie Garden, Courtyard Garden

Season of Interest: Summer, Autumn, Winter

Flowering (from - to): August - October

Plant Care & Advice

Grow in full sun - this plant works especially well in combination with other prairie-type plants such as Echinaceas and Rudbeckias. Although it is drought tolerant it grows best in a well-drained soil that doesn’t dry out too much - keep them well watered in the first season while the deep roots establish themselves. (It's better to water heavily but infrequently to encourage the roots to head downwards rather than near the surface where they will be more vulnerable to a lack of water.)

Surprisingly for such an upright plant, Panicum 'Prairie Sky' copes well with gusty winds - this can be used to the gardener's advantage as it brings movement to plantings!

In most gardens, feeding isn't necessary - if growth is lacklustre and your soil is particularly poor, give plants a general-purpose feed in spring.

Pruning is simple - just cut the whole lot down to ground level once you see the first green shoots emerging from the base in early spring.