Panicum (Switch Grass)
A useful group of deciduous grasses, grown for their handsome fountain like architectural foliage and attractive flower spikes composed of many tiny spikelets that almost seem to float on top of the leaves. Panicum Grasses have attractive Autumn colour before turning to light brown as the foliage dies over Winter. Even then these versatile plants bring height to the garden, swaying in the breeze and catching the frost on cold mornings.
They look great planted with other shapes, sizes and colours of ornamental grasses, also in a mixed sunny border where the height and colour makes a good foil for other flowering plants and they may also be used in large containers.
Grow them in full sun, any well drained soil.
Panicum are deciduous grasses, the old foliage should be left over the Winter as this will protect the crown of the plant from inclement weather conditions and will still provide structure and interest, especially on frosty days. Cut them back close to the ground in February or March before the new foliage emerges. The cut stems and foliage is useful as a natural mulch or may be composted.
How to grow Panicum
Position: Full Sun
Foliage: Deciduous grass, foliage turns brown in Winter, fresh new foliage emerges in spring.
Soil and site: Any well drained soil.
Flowering time: late Summer
Growth rate: Moderate/fast
Ultimate height and spread: up to 150cm x 75cm.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Aftercare: Water regularly after planting and through the first season until established. Cut to ground level in Early Spring.