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Panicum virgatum Heavy Metal

Switch Grass

Stiff upright columns of steely grey foliage

As the name implies this is a sturdy grass that remains upright even in a downpour of rain. The gorgeous blue-green leaves mature to glossy yellow in autumn. Fresh pink plumes of flowers appear from July.


Whilst this grass can grow in part shade, it prefers a sunny spot. Perfect for prairie planting and in beds and borders.


Happy in any soil that is not too wet.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Grass
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Summer, Autumn, Winter
Flowering June - February
Evergreen No
Plant height 100 cm - 130 cm
Plant width 45 cm - 60 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 120 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H4

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Light exposure Full sun
Soil drainage Well drained, Medium
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden, City garden, Courtyard garden, Flower border and beds

Typically available

From April to September