Stunning hues of red, burgundy, orange and yellow appear each year at fall. These brilliant hues create colorful displays for all to enjoy and admire. This year, bring brilliant hues into your landscape or patio garden with the 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year®.
The Perennial Plant Association recently released Schizachyrium scoparium commonly known as ‘Little Bluestem’ and cultivars as the 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year®. We are proud to grow numerous Midwest perennials, including a few of the 2022 Plant of the Year cultivars. Plant these cultivars for excellent fall color, to attract and feed local bird populations and support the environment.
The Blues Little Bluestem
(Schizachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues’)
This perennial plant enjoys well drained soil and provides blue foliage throughout the summer. As the seasons change, The Blues offers an excellent fall color display that his filled with shades of purple, orange and red. In the late summer you will begin to see small seed heads appear on your plant.
The Blues has a tight growing habit and will remain upright. Too much shade, water or even fertilizer can cause your plant to flop. Reaching a mature height of 2 to 3 feet (depending on bloom), this plant has a growing range of 3 to 9 feet. This beautiful Zone 4 grass is perfect for bringing seasonal colors into a landscape.
Standing Ovation Little Bluestem
(Schizachyrium scoparium Standing Ovation)
Sturdy stems support brilliant blue with lovely hints of green, purple and pink. Reaching a mature height and spread of 3 to 4 feet, this grass provides wonderful texture within a garden or landscape.
While many Schizachyrium varieties will flop with too much care, standing ovation stays tall. Native grasses like Standing Ovation and the other cultivars of Little Bluestem are great for erosion control and grow well in sunny areas. Plant in Zones 3 to 8.
Blue Heaven Little Bluestem
(Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Blue Heaven’)
Blue Heaven offers delightful blue-grey foliage which turns into a mix of burgundy, red, pink and orange in the fall. Blue Heaven has an easy-care regiment, it likes dry soil and is drought tolerant once established. When watering is needed, water evenly across the base.
It is the perfect addition for natural landscapes. It reaches a mature height of 3 to 4 feet and can be grown in Zones 3 to 9. We love the texture and color this grass provides within a landscape.
Carousel Little Bluestem
(Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Carousel’)
Streaks of pink appear each summer, while a mixture of copper, beige, orange, red and mahogany coloring develop in fall. This colorful Zone 3 to 9 grass reaches a mature height of 1.5 to 2.5 feet.
With a broader base than other cultivars of Little Bluestems, Carousel remains upright throughout the winter months. This creates a wonderful habitat for wildlife each winter. Like the other cultivars it does well in low quality soils and in sunny areas.
Other varieties we love are Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Blaze’ or ‘Twilight Zone.’ As you plant these wonderful cultivars this fall, relax and enjoy the beauty of your new plants. Your neighbors might just envy your colorful new plants.
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