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Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'
  • RHS AGM

switch grass 'Heavy Metal'

'Heavy Metal' is a rhizomatous perennial grass forming clumps of upright metallic blue-grey leaves, turning yellow in autumn. Broad, diffuse, weeping panicles to 50cm long of tiny purple-green spikelets in early autumn

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Blue Grey Silver
Summer Blue Grey Silver
Autumn Purple Green Yellow
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Poaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright, Tufted
Genus

Panicum can be annual or perennial, evergreen or deciduous grasses, with flat, narrowly lanceolate leaves, with large finely branched panicles of small spikelets in late summer or autumn

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun

Propagation

Propagate by division in mid-spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Gravel garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Prairie planting
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Cut flowers
Pruning

Remove dead foliage and old flowered stems in spring

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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