Panicum Virgatum Blue Fountain (Switch Grass) is an evergreen perennialdecorative grass with ornamental blue-green foliage and long flower plumes in summer. It’s an excellent choice for prairie planting, mixed sunny borders and coastal gardens.
Panicum virgatum is native to the North American prairies and better known as Switchgrass for the ‘swishing’ sound it makes in the breeze. It’s an important prairie grass that was used historically to thatch houses but over the years it’s been cultivated into many varieties of ornamental grass. Blue Switch Grass is a popular cultivar. It has an upright habit compared to other grasses, with wide strappy blue-green leaves. The name Blue Fountain comes from its colour and its habit of gently arching outwards at the tip similar to a water fountain.
In summer, tall plumes of brown-green flowers bloom on long stalks above its foliage attracting birds that take the plumes for their nests. In winter its flower stems dry out and the leaves remain to create a tuft of attractive blue-green foliage and cover for small mammals. In spring, fresh new foliage emerges from the centre.
This is an excellent evergreen perennial grass with lots of height and colour. If you have a sunny border and like foliage plants, Switch Grass Blue Fountain is a hardy, decorative choice.
Height And Spread of Panicum Virgatum Blue Fountain Blue Switch Grass is a tall evergreen grass that’ll reach 2.5 metres in height and over a metre in spread. Its habit of remaining upright gives it real imposing character.
How Hardy is Panicum Virgatum Blue Fountain This is a hardy ornamental grass that can cope with our sub-zero winters if the roots are well drained. It tolerates drought and rarely attracts pests.
How To Use Panicum Virgatum Blue Fountain This large decorative grass that looks best when it has room to spread and cascade. Use it in prairie planting, coastal gardens, mixed hot borders, cottage gardens, low maintenance spaces and wildlife-friendly areas. Architectural ornamental grasses like Blue Switch Grass also suit urban townhouses and hot courtyards dotted around seating areas to produce a pleasant swishing sound. Try pairing it with Panicum Virgatum Heavy Metal Switch Grass which is similar in shape but a darker blue. Its flowers and foliage also make excellent additions to flower arrangements.
How To Care For Panicum Virgatum Blue Fountain Switch Grass Blue Fountain is easy to grow and needs very little care once established. Choose a sunny spot in full sun or partial shade that’s either sheltered or exposed. Switchgrass will grow in poor soil such as chalk and sand and it likes to be well-drained. In early spring cut away dead or damaged foliage to encourage air circulation and give new growth room to emerge. A thick layer of well-rotted organic matter around the roots at the same time helps boost its colour and flower production. Water well until established.