Panicum Virgatum Northwind Grasses: How to Grow

Last Updated on June 12, 2023 by Real Men Sow

Panicum virgatum Northwind Grasses (Switchgrass) is a striking architectural plant. These super grasses produce dense, upright clumps with narrow, straight, strong upright leaves that range from olive-green to dark-green. In late Summer, the leaves are topped by golden flower spires, which appear to hover cloud-like over the flowers. As the year goes on, both foliage and flowers turn to a golden brown. This makes for stunning ornamental displays in Autumn as well as providing shelter for birds.

How to Propagate Panicum Virgatum Northwind Grasses

Dividing Switchgrass clumps is a great way to propagate them. Do this in spring since they require warm soil for their establishment. It is best to do clump division every few years as the center can start to die. This is because doing so will increase their vitality.

Growing Panicum Virgatum Northwind Grasses From Seed

You can grow switchgrass from seed However, the results of the seedlings may differ from the original plants. Additionally, it is easier to divide the clumps if you want to reproduce the colors and heights of plants in your garden.

To germinate seeds, they need lots of light, moisture, warmth, and temperature. Seedlings develop quickly, usually within a few days. They are easy to take hold of so start them indoors in a standard potting soil. Give them plenty of light from a sunny windowsill and give them regular watering. Additionally, if you are planting seeds outdoors, ensure they get full sun and that the soil is kept moist.

General Care Guide for Panicum Virgatum Northwind Grasses


Switchgrass thrives in full sun. This will allow for vigorous growth and tall, upright stalks. It also gives you the most beautiful color. You can grow it in part shade, but you should be aware that the stalks will droop and the clusters may be less tight-knit.


Switchgrass’s versatility is part of its appeal. You may plant it in all soil types. However, it prefers a moist, sandy, or clay soil. Therefore, you should be aware that too rich soil can cause stalks to flop and may require you to stake them.


Switchgrass is a drought-tolerant variety that can withstand both dry and hot conditions. It prefers to be kept moist for best growth. It can withstand light flooding and is often used around ponds.

Temperature and Humidity

This grass variety is tolerant to a wide range of weather conditions. It can also withstand extreme summer heat as well as freezing winter conditions.


Rhizomatous switchgrass is a perennial that can be established and does not require any additional fertilizer. However, too many nutrients can lead to the grass stalks becoming droopy.


To encourage healthy new growth, it is a good idea to cut back heavily the foliage in late winter and early spring.


Overwintering switchgrass does not require any special care as it is very cold-hardy and can withstand freezing temperatures.

Pests and Plant Diseases of Panicum Virgatum Northwind Grasses

The switchgrass is resistant to most pests. However, the ones that do cause damage to the grass, such as aphids and other insects, are rarely serious. However, fungal diseases are more common. These could include leaf spot, rust, and smut. In order to prevent large-scale fungal diseases, a fungicide is an effective option.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.