Panicum Rotstrahlbusch

The very first ornamental grass I ever planted was a Panicum Rotstrahlbusch.
panicum rotstrahlbusch

I ordered these through an on-line catalog and they were about six inches high at that time. However, it didn’t take long for them to reach their mature size (about two years). And what beauties they are. Some quick facts:

  • It is a “warm season” grass so new growth doesn’t emerge until the weather warms up in Spring.
  • Survives winters as far north as zone 3.
  • Mature size is about five feet tall by three feet wide.
  • Prefers full sun and a consistently moist soil.
  • Should be cut down in early spring right before the new growth emerges (definitely use a hedge trimmer).
  • Pink wispy blooms emerge in July (will show you some shots of the blooms in a bit) and last until the middle of autumn.
  • Has tremendous burgundy color in the autumn (although the burgundy color starts to emerge as early as July).

Years ago, I successfully divided this grass by simply digging out three sections with a sharp spade; I never removed the grass from the ground. From there, one mature Panicum Rotstrahlbusch turned into three new grasses as seen in the photo below.


And only a few years later they looked like this.



The Panicum Rotstrahlbusch blooms are fantastic come mid summer.



And I have found that this grass mixes well with other shrubs and perennials in your typical mixed border. I have them located all over my garden and they work everywhere.




These grasses are typically not found at your garden center but can be purchased online at a number of ornamental grass vendors. Trust me, even if you purchase them small you will see almost immediate results within that first year.

Or, if you are nice enough, I may send you a cutting through the mail because as you know, I am a man of the people.


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8 thoughts on “Panicum Rotstrahlbusch

  1. Kimberly

    What an INSANE task…to separate these grasses. I’ve done it…no small accomplishment. I do love them, though. My fave is the purple fountain grass.
    Regarding you nonsensical posts…I love them!

  2. The Idiot Gardener

    I like ornamental grasses. If I had more room, or needed less vegetables (okay, I don’t need them, but my mind won’t let me accept that fact), I’d grow some grasses, but as I don’t, I won’t.

    But I do like yours.

  3. michaele anderson

    You really hit it lucky that your first purchased ornamental grass (and mail order, no less) has proven to be such a winner. Ha, couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

  4. Adrienne

    Don and I may take you up on that offer to share your grasses. We are digging up some raspberry canes in early Spring, if you’d like to swap.

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