Go Back Heavy Metal Blue Switch Grass

Panicum virgatum 'Heavy Metal'
Deer Resistant IconRock Garden Icon

Plant Type: Grasses

Perhaps the most upright variety of Panicum, the strong stems of ‘Heavy Metal’ never flop or lean, even in heavy rains. Its metallic blue leaves turn bright yellow in the fall. Beginning in late summer or early fall, delicate pink panicles dance 12-16 inches above the foliage. Switch grass gets its name from the peaceful swishing sound it makes when blowing in the wind. All parts of this grass are very sturdy, and will remain standing through winter unless snows are heavy. This provides important cover for birds during the coldest days of winter. This grass is very versatile from a design standpoint. It is effective as a specimen, in masses, for screening, and alongside ponds or streams.

Currently not available for online purchase.

Growing & Maintenance Tips:

Panicum is native grass that is very easy to grow and is a good grass for beginners. It will grow in any soil, from sand to clay, is drought tolerant once established, and even withstands periodic flooding. Grow this grass in full sun. It will tolerate light shade, but will flop over if the shade is too heavy. Panicum is wind and salt tolerant,making it a good choice for seaside gardens or along roads that are salted in winter.

Flower Color

Pink shades

Foliage Color


Plant Spread


Good Companions

Other plants for hot dry locations.

Plant Height


Scape Height


Hardness Zone


Soil Moisture

Low to average, consistent water needs

Characteristics & Attributes


Bloom Time

Upright growth. Strong making it attractive for winter conditions.

Critter Resistance

Drought tolerant, Container, Specimen, Mass Plant, Cut flower or foliage, Border, Salt tolerant


Late summer

Growth Rate

Deer resistant

Seasonal Interests

Early winter to late winter