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Prairie Winds® Niagara Falls Switch Grass

Panicum virgatum 'Niagara Falls'

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Prairie Winds Niagara Falls Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum 'Niagara Falls') at Dickman Farms

Prairie Winds® Niagara Falls Switch Grass in bloom

Prairie Winds® Niagara Falls Switch Grass in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3

Group/Class:  Prairie Winds Collection

Brand:  Walters Gardens


This sturdy ornamental selection forms arching, upright clumps of striking powder blue foliage; sprays of creamy golden seed heads in fall; adds color and softness to screening, borders or containers; great addition to cut or dried flower arrangements

Ornamental Features

Prairie Winds® Niagara Falls Switch Grass features airy plumes of gold flowers rising above the foliage from late summer to late fall. Its attractive grassy leaves emerge grayish green in spring, turning powder blue in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns gorgeous shades of tan and in the fall. The gold seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from late summer to late fall. The steel blue stems are very colorful and add to the overall interest of the plant.

Landscape Attributes

Prairie Winds® Niagara Falls Switch Grass is an herbaceous perennial with a shapely form and gracefully arching foliage. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Prairie Winds® Niagara Falls Switch Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Prairie Winds® Niagara Falls Switch Grass will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. This plant does not require much in the way of fertilizing once established. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Prairie Winds® Niagara Falls Switch Grass is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Bark 
Ornamental Features