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The Plant Guide

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Switch grass

Panicum virgatum ‘Heavy Metal’

PAN-ih-kum ver-GAY-tum Audio

This rhizomatous perennial grass has a narrowly upright, clumping form. Mid-green stems bear stiff, erect, blue-gray leaves to 24 inches long. Foliage turns yellow in autumn. Weeping panicles of tiny purple-green spikes appear in early autumn.

CareGrow in moderately fertile, well-drained soil, in a sunny mixed or herbaceous border.

PropagationDivide between mid-spring and early summer.

ProblemsDamping off, black ring, tar spot, rust, smut, leaf spots, anthracnose, and sugarcane mosaic virus.

  • Genus : Panicum
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Bloom Time : Fall
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Plant Type : Grasses
  • Flower Color : Red
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
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