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PlantFiles: Switch Grass, Wand Panic Grass
Panicum virgatum 'Prairie Sky'

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Panicum (PAN-ih-kum) (Info)
Species: virgatum (vir-GA-tum) (Info)
Cultivar: Prairie Sky

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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No positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Ithakan On Oct 2, 2014, Ithakan from Ithaca, NY wrote:

I have six of these planted beneath a long bed of 3 river birch. They definitely do flop toward the end of the season, but the bigger problem is self-seeding. The first three years, no problem, but this year, I have tiny volunteer grasses EVERYWHERE.

You can try to deadhead, but mine produce tons of seed heads so it's tough to get them all in time. Plus, without the seed heads, the winter interest is minimal.

Consider carefully--I wouldn't plant this again.

Neutral onebugslife On Aug 21, 2014, onebugslife from Pacific Junction, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love this grass until it finally sprouts up past 4'. Once it hits that mark it flops over in my garden. What I have read is that it does not like fertile rich soil or to be watered. At this point I plan on moving it outside the compost enriched beds.

Neutral Gabrielle On Feb 28, 2012, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Blooms July-August in my garden. Nice bluish foliage.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Washington, Illinois
Pacific Junction, Iowa
Ithaca, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Portland, Oregon
Urbanna, Virginia
Eau Claire, Wisconsin

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