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propagating perennials: Panicum virgatum-Switch Grass
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Monday, October 6, 2008

Panicum virgatum-Switch Grass

Propagating Panicum or Switch Grass should be done in the spring by digging up the rhizomes that spread from the parent plant, but don’t try breaking apart the parent clump because its roots can grow as deep as 10'. Panicum like Miscanthus, above, is being tested for bio mass however it is not as efficient as storing carbon as Miscanthus. Oddly enough it is deer resistant however it is used for grazing for cows and horse but only in the spring or summer, because it loses efficacy in the fall. It is a warm season perennial and doesn’t start growing leaves until the soil warms past 68 degrees. It is used for erosion control and prefers a sandy acidic loam soil, but will tolerate clay, its flowers are insignificant, bloom July-August, reddish in color, but the birds love the seeds and people who raise quail, pheasant, grouse for hunting plant this perennial because it is used as a nesting place for the wildlife. The average height varies from 3'-6' and different varieties has different colored leaves, ranging from burgundy, lavender-blue, blue and green with red stems which give off various hues in the fall and will tolerate full sun to partial shade.

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