High Desert Plant Finder & Guide

ornamental grass

Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass

Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'

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Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal') at Moana Nursery

Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass foliage

Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal') at Moana Nursery

Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass

Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3

Ornamental Features

Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass features airy plumes of rose flowers rising above the foliage in mid summer. Its attractive grassy leaves are steel blue in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous orange in the fall. The brick red seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from late summer to mid fall. The steel blue stems are very colorful and add to the overall interest of the plant.

Landscape Attributes

Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass is an herbaceous perennial grass with an indistinguished habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Vertical Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in both summer and winter to conserve soil moisture and protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Articulation  Massing  Garden 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Plant Form  Bark 
Ornamental Features

Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.