Hot Rod Switch Grass

Availability: Out of stock

With Hot Rod Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum 'Hot Rod') you won't have to wait long to enjoy vibrant color in your landscape! Delightful, blue-tinted foliage quickly bursts into bright shades of eye-catching red with this remarkably colorful Switch Grass variety.

Your Hot Rod Switch Grass is a perennial grass that has an upright habit, with a gentle cascading effect (to the outside foliage), lending a touch of additional elegance to its form. Forming large fountains 30-36 inches wide, Hot Rod will have a fast-growing impact on the sun garden!

By the time autumn arrives, your picturesque grass adopts shades of deep purple, topped with decorative seeds of red-purple intensity. The long, slender blades of Hot Rod reach up tall and straight 3-4 feet high, with an additional 6 inches added once the whimsical, airy seeds make an appearance! Hardy throughout USDA growing zones 4 through 9, there is little that bothered this fantastic warm-season Ornamental Grass!

Planting and Application:

Hot Rod Switch Grass stays true to its name as the "hot rod" of the grasses - ablaze in color from summer through fall! Even when in decline Hot Rod adds decorative interest to the winter landscape. Hot Rod Switch Grass is a must-have for those spots in your yard where you'd like some year-round interest like Perennial gardens, Rock gardens, and along xeric and sunbaked walkways and sidewalks.

Hot Rod is spectacular when planted en masse or used as a back-of-the-border installation! Groupings, rows, and checkerboard plantings only seem to magnify the effect this Ornamental Grass has on your landscape! Create seasonal screening and property definition, large punctuation throughout garden beds, anchoring landscaping installations, and providing much-needed winter interest. Birds love the seeds and you will love adding a few to fresh and dried bouquets.

  • Upright Cascading Fountains
  • Emerges Blue Green & Quickly Maturing Red All Summer
  • Reddish-Purple Seed Plumes
  • Purple Fall Color & Great Winter Interest
  • Fast-Growing Warm-Season Grass
  • Great Screening, Back-of-the-Border, Groupings & En Masse Impact

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Hot Rod Switch Grass does best in full sun and almost any kind of well-drained soil. Provide new grasses with regular water their first season in the ground, but once established, they are drought tolerant and generally carefree. Even deer tend to leave it alone! Prune in early spring and have some patience with your warm-season grass as it waits until later in the spring to green up. Divide every few years to maintain vigor and clean out the crown.

  • Thrives in Full Sun
  • Adaptable to a Variety of Soils
  • Moderate Moisture Needs - Low Once Established
  • Drought, Deer & Salt Tolerant
  • Prune Warm-Season Grasses in Early Spring

Enjoy dazzling color earlier than other Ornamental Grasses with the Hot Rod Switch Grass from today! Switch Grass is a carefree presence that will ramp up each season with its fascinating color changes!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

Click Here to learn more

Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
5 Now
6 Now
7 Now
8 Now
9 Now
10 Now
11 Now

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Hot Rod Switch Grass Is Suited to Grow in Zones 4-9
Growing Zones 4-9
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Panicum virgatum 'Hot Rod'
Type Perennial
Mature Height 36 - 48 inches
Mature Spread 30 - 36 inches
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Widely Adaptable
Moisture Low Once Established
Growth Rate Medium
Fall Color Red, Purple
Pollinator Friendly No
Pruning Time Early Spring