Panicum virgatum ‘North Wind’



Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind,’ a versatile ornamental grass, showcases vertical growth and striking blue-green foliage. Ideal for full sun and well-draining soil, this drought-tolerant grass adds elegance and movement to landscapes.


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Origin: North America, from Canada to Mexico
Genus: Panicum
Species / Cultivar: virgatum 'North Wind'
Common Name: Switchgrass

Plant Biography

Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ is a cultivar of Panicum virgatum, commonly known as Switchgrass. Developed by renowned plantsman Roy Diblik, it was introduced in the late 1990s. ‘Northwind’ quickly gained popularity for its upright growth, blue-green foliage, and strong vertical presence in gardens and landscapes.

Switchgrass has a rich history, serving as an important component of the prairie ecosystem in North America. Today, ‘Northwind’ remains a beloved and widely grown cultivar of this ornamental grass, admired for its beauty, adaptability, and ecological value, adding natural charm and movement to outdoor spaces.

Panicum virgatum 'North Wind'
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Growth Rate: Fast
Expect to see prolific growth, especially during growing season.
Water Requirement: Low
Will grow in a drier position and is unlikely to need regular watering once established.
Situation: Full Sun
Wants direct, unfiltered sunlight most of the day, such as a south facing position.
Eventual Height: 1-1.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.5-1m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Hardy
Survives unprotected in an average winter. May need protection in extreme long frosts.
Lifecycle: Perennial
This plant is persistant and does not die off after flowering. It will return each season indefinitely, if provided with suitable growing conditions.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ is a relatively easy plant to care for. Plant it in a sunny location with well-draining soil. Once established, switchgrass is drought-tolerant and requires minimal watering. This low-maintenance grass typically doesn’t need much fertilisation. Pruning is not necessary, but you can cut back the foliage in late winter or early spring to encourage new growth. ‘Northwind’ is generally pest and disease resistant. To maintain its upright form, avoid overcrowding with other plants. Enjoy this striking ornamental grass in your garden, as it adds a touch of natural beauty and movement to the landscape with minimal effort.


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