Dallas Blues Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’)
Dallas Blues Switch Grass
Ok, maybe it’s cliché that Texas is known for big hair, big boots, big belt buckles and big football teams, but now it will definitely be known for big grass!
Dallas Blues Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’) is a super hearty grass discovered near Dallas, Texas. It is a remnant of the long-gone tall grass prairies of the Midwest and Great Plains. It grows to an impressive 4-6 feet tall and wide every season, creating a big, billowy presence in the garden! But don’t let its height fool you, this columnar ornamental grass only spreads 12-18 inches at the base to create a slim and trim profile!
The strappy vase shape and exceptional height aren’t all that Dallas Blues has going for it, though. It is, as its name suggests, a stunning blue-green that really makes a statement in the garden. Once it is established it survives with little fuss and is an excellent addition to xeric gardens.
This warm-season Switch Grass variety, sometimes spelled Switchgrass, soaks up the heat throughout USDA growing zones 5 to 9. Don’t forget the big purplish-tan flower plumes that spring up in autumn and persist well into winter, either. They are great cut flowers and winter garden interest, as well as food for the birds.
Dallas Blue Switchgrass looks great as a specimen plant by itself or in a big mass planting. And just because it was discovered in the prairie, don’t limit it to rustic or natural gardens (even though it excels there). A big geometric bed of Ornamental Grass in a modern or formal garden stops traffic!
Create rows, gropings, and en masse drifts to let this big softy show its stuff! Use as backdrops to garden beds, as vertical accents and focal points, as garden bed anchors and foundation planting punctuation – you name it! Need flowing seasonal screening around your meditation nook or pool? A zigzagging row of Dallas Blues looks fantastic! This xeric gem even looks right at home in the Rock Garden!
Thriving in as much sun as you can give it, Switch Grass does best in 6 hours of direct sun a day. Plant it where it has room to grow in normal to poor soil. It loves lean clay and sandy conditions so much that it tends to flop if the soil is too rich! Provide moderate moisture to establish, then once it is established, these are quite drought-tolerant. Prune the clumps down in early spring and be patient with this warm-season grass – it takes a bit longer to wake up in the spring.
Go big or go home! This simple-to-grow Ornamental Native Grass will be a really big and bold standout in your landscape!
|Common name||Dallas Blues Switch Grass|
|Botanical name||Panicum virgatum 'Dallas Blues'|
|Height||4 - 6 ft.|
|Width||12 - 18 inches|
|Moisture||Low Once Established|
|Soil condition||Widely Adaptable|
|Pruning time||Early Spring|