Common Name: Ornamental Grass, Red Switch Grass Grass Panicum Prairie winds Cheyenne Sky

Height: 3.0 Feet

Spread: 18.0 Inches

Hardiness Zones: 4,5,6,7,8,9

Flower Color: Purple-red shades

Foliage Color: Purple shades

Sunlight: Full Sun (> 6 hrs. Direct Sun)

Water Requirements: Low Water Needs or Average Water Needs or Consistent Water Needs

Soil Quality: Poor Soil Quality or Average Soil Quality or Fertile Soil Quality

Soil Chemistry: Acidic Soil (pH < 7.0) or Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)

Bloomtime: Late Summer

Critter Resistant: Deer Resistant

Seasonal Interest: Dried Seed Heads

Growth Rate: Medium

Garden Style: Patio Container, Eclectic, Modern, Prairie, Rain Garden

Other Features: Border Plant, Container, Cut Flower, Cut Foliage, Dried Flower, Drought Tolerant, Easy To Grow, Mass Planting, Salt Tolerant

Origin: Native to North America


Absolutely ideal for growing in decorative containers, this hardy Red Switch Grass is a perennial substitute for Pennisetum 'Rubrum'.  Measuring in at just 3ft (2ft before blooming), 'Cheyenne Sky' forms a tight, vase-shaped clump of blue-green foliage that begins turning wine red in early summer.  

By late summer, nearly the entire clump is drenched in color and is topped by matching wine-red flower panicles held just above the foliage.  It makes a dynamite specimen plant and is even more eye-catching when planted en masse.

Switch grass gets its name from the peaceful swishing sound it makes when blowing in the wind.  All parts of this grass are very sturdy, and will remain standing thru winter unless snows are heavy.  This provides important cover for birds during the coldest days of winter.  This grass is very versitile from a design standpoint; it is effective as a specimen, in masses, for screening, alongside ponds or streams, or even in large containers.

Ornamental Grasses of the PRAIRIE WINDS® Collection add graceful texture and movement to the garden.  These varieties thrive in full sun growing conditions and are proven deer resistant.

'Cheyenne Sky' has been selected by gardening expert P. Allen Smith for his Platinum Collection.  Here's what P. Allen has to say about this fabulous plant:

"This grass is lovely in every way.  A ‘see through plant’ that allows views through its graceful red margined blades of glaucous foliage.  The perfect guest in the garden, never a thug like some grasses."


Gardening Tips:

Panicum is native grass that is very easy to grow and is a good grass for beginners.  It will grow in any soil, from sand to clay, is drought tolerant once established, and even withstands periodic flooding.  Grow this grass in full sun.  It will tolerate light shade, but will flop over if the shade is too heavy. 

Panicum is wind and salt tolerant, making it a good choice for seaside gardens or along roads that are salted in winter.