Switch Grass is a bunchgrass that is native to North America. The plants can grow in a wide variety of climates and conditions and are found growing from Canada to Mexico. The plants tolerate heat or cold, humidity or drought, & soil that is rocky, sandy, or moist.
The length of the Switch Grass season varies with the climate they are grown in, lasting anywhere from 3 months to 8 months in warmer climates. Switch Grass is cold hardy to Zone 4 and will reseed in all zones. Switch Grass provides valuable habitat for wildlife, many of whom will enjoy eating the seeds in the fall.
Birds that enjoy the seeds include songbirds and large game birds like the pheasant, wild turkey, and quail. It is also a host plant for the Delaware Skipper Butterfly.
It is a very popular ornamental grass with large flower panicles up to 2' long in a lovely reddish-purple that turn golden brown in fall. The long grass-like leaves have bright red tips, & they turn a lovely yellow in fall.
NAME: Switch Grass OTHER COMMON NAMES: Switchgrass / Tall Panic Grass / Virginia Switchgrass / Wobsqua Grass / Tall Prairiegrass / Wild Redtop / Thatchgrass / Wand Panic Grass SCIENTIFIC NAME: Panicum Virgatum COLOR: Reddish Purple PLANT SEEDS: Fall sow seeds or cold stratify BLOOM TIME: Aug - Nov HARDINESS ZONE: 4 - 9 PLANT HEIGHT: 4 – 6’ PLANT SPACING: 3 – 4’ LIGHT REQUIREMENTS: Sun – Part Shade SOIL & WATER PREFERENCES: Average - Dry