Little Bluestem Grass Plant Profile
Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) is a perennial grass that is native to eastern North America. It is hardy to USDA Zones 3 through 9.
This clump-forming grass forms a mound a few feet wide and grows to about three feet high.
The spring and summer foliage is a silvery blue with hints of pink and purple. In the fall, it turns various shades of burgundy, rust, and pink.
It is the larval host for a number of skipper butterflies and has attractive seed heads that are fuzzy white and are eaten by small birds in winter. It is deer-resistant and drought-tolerant.
Little Bluestem grows in full to part sun. It tolerates a variety of soil conditions, but does not like a constantly wet root zone.
The only maintenance is to cut it back in late winter or early spring before the new growth emerges. It can be propagated by seed or root division.
This ornamental grass was designated as Perennial Plant of the Year for 2022 by the Perennial Plant Association. It pairs well with coneflowers and tall sedums.
There are several cultivars that are widely available. They include ‘The Blues', 'Standing Ovation', 'Jazz', and ‘Blue Heaven’.
Little Bluestem: You Can Grow That!
The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine as part of our Plant Profile series for Mid-Atlantic USA gardeners.
Audio, video, and text by Kathy Jentz
Editing by Jamie Oberg
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~ Podcast: GardenDC