Andropogon gerardii, commonly known as big bluestem, is a warm-season grass that is native to the tallgrass prairies of North America. This grass has a robust growth habit and can grow up to 6 feet tall with a spread of 3-4 feet. Its striking foliage turns a deep blue-green color in summer and transforms into shades of copper and bronze in the fall.Product Characteristics:
• Height: 4-6 feet
• Spread: 3-4 feet
• Flower color: Pinkish-purple
• Flowering period: Late summer to early fall
• Foliage: Deep blue-green in summer, turning shades of copper and bronze in the fall
• Sunlight requirements: Full sun
• Soil requirements: Well-draining, medium to dry soils
• Hardiness Zone: 3-9Uses:
Andropogon gerardii is a great choice for adding a touch of natural beauty to your garden, prairie restoration projects, and wildlife habitats. It is also used as a forage crop for grazing animals.Benefits:
Big bluestem is a drought-tolerant grass and can withstand hot and dry weather conditions. This grass can also provide habitat for a variety of wildlife, including birds and small mammals.Companion Plants:
Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot) - Another native wildflower, wild bergamot's pink or lavender blooms provide a pop of color that complements the neutral tones of big bluestem.
Aster novae-angliae (New England aster) - This showy, late-blooming perennial produces an abundance of daisy-like flowers in shades of pink, purple, and white that contrast nicely with big bluestem's upright habit.
Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) - A popular ornamental grass with upright foliage that is similar in color and texture to big bluestem, making it an excellent complementary plant.
Andropogon gerardii prefers well-draining soils and full sun exposure. Once established, this grass is relatively low maintenance and only needs occasional watering during periods of drought. It is also recommended to cut back the grass in early spring to encourage new growth.Final Thoughts:
Big bluestem is a beautiful ornamental grass that can add texture and interest to any garden. Its natural beauty and drought tolerance make it a great choice for gardeners who want to create a sustainable and eco-friendly landscape.