- Year-Round Beauty
- Vivid Fall Color
- Deer Resistant and Tolerant of Black Walnut
- Dried Seed Heads are Great for Floral Arrangements
Before the tall-grass prairies of the North American plains became a casualty of progress, big bluestem grass dominated from the Rocky Mountains to the forests in the east. It formed acres of rolling waves of amber. Many reports say that it grew so tall it could hide a man on horseback.
Thankfully some great horticulturalists have tamed some of these native grasses for us to use in our own home landscapes. Red October Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii ‘Red October’) is one of the best of those. This year-round showstopper emerges blue-gray in the spring. As it grows taller through the summer it changes to a deep blue-green. Late summer brings burgundy red wheat-like flower heads floating over foliage that has turned a purple-red hue. Then, when the first frost of fall hits the color ratchets up a notch to the vivid scarlet red that gives this big grass its name.
Give this hardy grass room to grow, as it gets tall! Not enough to hide a man on horseback, but enough to hide your other shrubs, so plant it in the back of the border or as a specimen in big beds. It also looks great mimicking a prairie in big drifts along the edge of your property.
Wildlife love this grass, too. It attracts butterflies and other pollinators and provides cover for at least 20 different species of songbirds!
Being a native, it can handle just about any garden situation but loves full sun and dry, sandy or clay soils.
Bring some classic American beauty to your home landscape this year.