Big Bluestem

Andropogon gerardii

A native of the Midwestern tallgrass prairie, Big Bluestem is warm season grass with ornamental quailites fit for the garden and landscape. The remarkable foliage changes color from green to blue-green in summer, to a deep red-bronze in the fall …

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In stock
SKU
40530-03 / 20530
Plants 3" Pots Sold Out
1-4 $6.99 ea.
5-10 $5.99 ea.
11-31 $4.99 ea.
32+ $3.99 ea.
Seeds 8,200 seeds/oz
Oz $4.00
1/4 Lb $10.00
1/2 Lb $15.00
Lb $25.00
Cultural Details
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture Dry, Medium, Moist
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Height 5' - 8'
Bloom Color Green, Red
Bloom Time Aug, Sep, Oct
Spacing 2'
Hardiness Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Root Type Fibrous
Benefits Birds, Host Plant, Deer Resistant
Seeds per Oz 8200
Propagation Treatment Dry Stratification
Direct Sowing Time Spring, Early Summer

A leading player in the Midwestern tallgrass prairie, Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) is a warm season grass with ornamental quailites fit for the garden and landscape. The remarkable foliage changes color from green to blue-green in summer, to a deep red-bronze in the fall and provides interest well into the winter. The growth stays compact until midsummer and compliments other perennials without overpowering them in the early season. The late summer heat brings a dramatic increase in height, along with the iconic and distinctive three-parted seed heads – said to resemble a turkey's foot.

Drought tolerant and easy to maintain, Big Bluestem is a top choice for naturalistic plantings, but it does self seed readily and may not be the best grass for small or highly manicured spaces. Plant it in groups as a border or screen, or individually as a tall accent plant. The deep root system can be slow to develop, but once established, this grass is very drought tolerant. It will grow in almost any soil, from wet clay to dry sand. This native grass does need full sun to look its best.

An important member of the prairie ecosystem Big Bluestem was largely responsible for the formation of the famous prairie sod. The grass is a host plant for numerous Skippers including the Arogos Skipper, Delaware Skipper, and Dusted Skipper, and it provides shelter and food for songbirds. Big bluestem is an excellent native alternative to invasive fountaingrasses.