Before the tall-grass prairies of the North American plains became a casualty of progress, Big Bluestem grass dominated from the Rocky Mountains to the forests in the East. It formed acres of rolling waves of amber. Many reports say that it grew so tall it could hide a man on horseback.
Thankfully some great horticulturalists have tamed some of these native grasses for us to use in our own home landscapes. Introducing the Red October Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii 'Red October') which has proven to be one of the best. This year-round showstopper emerges blue-gray in the spring. As it grows taller through the summer it changes to the deep blue-green that it's named for. Late summer brings burgundy-red wheat-like flower heads, floating over foliage that has turned a purple-red hue for winter interest.
Then, when the first frost of fall hits the color ratchets up a notch to the vivid scarlet red that gives this big grass its name. Growing 4-8 feet in height when in bloom and spreading just 2-3 feet wide, these are fantastic selections to grow anywhere that is hot, dry, and needs a plant that needs little maintenance throughout USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9!
Give this hardy grass room to grow, as it gets tall! Not enough to hide a man on horseback, but enough to hide your other shrubs, so plant Red October in the back of the border or as a specimen in big beds. It also looks great mimicking a prairie in big drifts along the edge of your property. Its height lends itself well to screening out that nosy neighbor or hiding an eyesore anywhere in the sun garden!
Wildlife loves this Ornamental Grass, too! It provides cover for at least 20 different species of songbirds! Create dramatic garden height and columnar focal points around the landscape as anchors, garden bed, and border punctuation, or add height and waving, rustling sound and texture to Rock Gardens, hard-to-mow slopes, or that hell-strip along the sidewalk and driveway.
Being a native cultivar, Red October can handle just about any garden situation but loves full sun and dry, sandy or clay soils. Having moderate moisture requirements while newly planted, provide regular moisture until established, but after, these warm-season grasses are drought tolerant! Low-maintenance, Red October needs pruning in early spring to a few inches above the ground and division every 3-5 years to keep them neat, tidy, and growing vigorously.
Bring some classic American beauty and wilderness to your home landscape this year! Order Red October Big Bluestem Grass from NatureHills.com today!
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|Brand||Nature Hills' Choice|
|Botanical Name||Andropogon gerardii 'Red October'|
|Mature Height||4 - 8 feet|
|Mature Spread||2 - 3 feet|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|
|Moisture||Moderate to Low Once Established|
|Foliage Color||Burgundy Red|
|Fall Color||Red, Burgundy / Purple|
|Pruning Time||Early Spring|