Little bluestem is a clump-forming, warm-season, deciduous grass native to central and eastern North America. Its narrow, dense, upright, gray-green leaves turn sunset colors in fall. In late summer, tall, hazy panicles of flowers mature into silvery seedheads which provide ornament through fall and winter. The plant is a larval food source for many skipper butterflies and the seeds are enjoyed by a variety of smaller songbirds.
Grow little bluestem in full sun in humus-rich, well drained soil, and shear to the ground in late winter. Avoid locations that have a very heavy or waterlogged soil. It is ideal for naturalizing, wildflower gardens, and rough lawns. Its ability to reseed prevents this perennial grass from being used well in small gardens. (Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Schizachyrium
Species - Scoparium
Common name - Little Bluestem
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 2 - 7
Height - 2'-6' / 0.6m - 1.8m (4)
Spread - 1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m
Plant type - Ornamental Grass
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Loam, Sand, Well Drained
Water requirements - Drought tolerant, average water
Landscape uses - Dried Flower / Everlasting, Cutflower, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Wildflower
Germination rate - 95%
Bloom season - Purple, Bronze
Leaf / Flower color - Blue Green, Gray Green / Summer, Late Summer
|Germination||1. Soak the seeds in a jar of very warm water for 24 hours to soften the seed coat.|
2. Fill the peat pots.
3. Place the seeds on top of the mix and cover them with about 1/16 inch (1-2 mm) of mix.
4. Set the peat pots in the tray and thoroughly moisten both soil and pots with water. Allow the pots to drain for a few minutes then dump any remaining water from the tray. Never allow the pots to stand in water.
5. Slide the tray of peat pots into a plastic bag and secure the opening with a twist tie. Set the peat pots in a 70 to 75 degree Fahrenheit area out of direct sunlight to germinate.
6. Check daily to see if seedlings have sprouted. Germination takes five to 36 days. Once the seeds germinate, remove the tray of pots from the plastic bag and set them in a sunny, south-facing window.
7. Keep the pots moist but not dripping wet. Watering once a week is usually sufficient.
8. Use one-quarter strength water-soluble fertilizer to water the plants no more than once a week.
9. Transplant seedlings outdoors after the last frost.