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Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’
(Switch Grass)

£20.00 £17.00

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July - August
100cm x 100cm
Easy Care
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Panicum ‘Heavy Metal’ is a favourite on our nursery for its striking metallic blue-grey foliage. Holding the RHS Garden Merit award, it’s a reliable garden performer year after year. We love pairing it with bold perennials like Echinacea and Rudbeckia for a stunning contrast. Ideal for adding vertical interest in borders, its graceful form and airy flower panicles create dynamic movement in any garden setting.

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Plant Type
Flowering Period
Flower Colour
Fully Grown Size
Garden Position
Light Level
RHS Plants For Pollinators
RHS Garden Merit Award
Pot Size
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Panicum 'Heavy Metal', commonly known as switch grass, is a striking and popular ornamental grass that adds a touch of height and movement to any garden. This variety is known for its upright, steel-blue foliage that provides a dramatic contrast to other plants in the garden. Reaching heights of about 90-120 cm, 'Heavy Metal' forms a neat, vertical clump that brings both structure and elegance to the landscape. One of the standout features of Panicum 'Heavy Metal' is its versatility and resilience. It thrives in full sun and is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, including poor and dry soils. This drought-tolerant nature makes it an excellent choice for low-maintenance gardens and water-wise landscapes. 'Heavy Metal' looks fantastic in mixed perennial borders, prairie-style gardens, and equally, modern garden designs. Its stiff, upright blades create a striking architectural element, while the airy, reddish-brown flower panicles that appear in late Summer add a soft, textural contrast. This grass pairs well with perennials like Echinacea, Rudbeckia, and Sedum, enhancing the garden's overall aesthetic. Our horticultural team selected Panicum 'Heavy Metal' for its reliable garden performance, distinctive foliage colour, and minimal maintenance requirements. It is also a great choice for attracting wildlife, supporting biodiversity, and adding year-round interest to any garden.

Planting Conditions

For Panicum, we recommend planting in full sun to partial shade to promote robust growth. These grasses thrive in well-drained, moderately fertile soil. Ideal planting time is in Spring or early Summer when the soil is warm. Ideally, we space the plants about 60 cm apart to allow room for their spread. Panicum is tolerant of a range of soil types, including sandy and clay soils, but avoid waterlogged areas. Adding compost to the planting site can improve soil fertility and structure, supporting healthier growth.

Watering & Feeding

Water Panicum regularly during its first growing season to establish a strong root system. Once established, it becomes drought-tolerant, requiring watering only during prolonged dry periods. Ensure the soil remains moist but not waterlogged. Feed the grass in early Spring with a balanced, slow-release fertiliser to promote healthy growth. Avoid over-fertilising, as this can lead to weak, floppy stems. Applying a layer of mulch can help retain soil moisture and suppress weeds, contributing to the overall health of the plant.

General Care

Panicum requires minimal pruning, but removing dead or damaged foliage in late Winter or early Spring will promote a burst of fresh growth. Cut back the previous year's stems to ground level before new shoots emerge. Deadheading is unnecessary as Panicum’s seed heads add Winter interest. This grass is generally disease and pest resistant, but occasional issues may include rust or leaf spot, which can be mitigated by ensuring good air circulation and avoiding overhead watering. Regular maintenance and proper care ensure a healthy, vigorous plant throughout the growing season.