Prairie Winds Totem Pole Switch Grass - August 2021

I picked up a new (to me) grass at the Spring Morton Arboretum Plant Sale.  It is called Panicum virgatum 'Totem Pole' and a couple of the defining characteristics are the blue color and the immense size. The tag lists this thing being 72" tall at maturity, so it is a tall cultivar, for sure.  I planted it back in early June after deciding that I thought it would work well in one of the front beds - kind of tucked behind the troubled Norway Maple tree.  I've planted various things in/around the tree over the years and I've had absolutely ZERO luck with just about anything.  Hostas fail.  Grasses fail.  The hydrangeas and boxwoods that live within the drip-line of the tree?  They're all in decline.  

But, I thought that maybe this grass could be the plant that changes the course of this bed.  I've been watering this switchgrass whenever I water the front lawn, but other than that, I've mostly left it alone.  

I went out front recently and noticed that it has started to send up some seed heads.  You can see them below:

Now,  our grass certainly is NOT six feet tall, but it has grown from when I planted it.  Below, you can see the state of the Totem Pole grass in its first growing season:

We'll see how it does with the rest of the late-Summer heat during August, but I'm hopeful that it is establishing itself well this first growing season and will come back next year.  


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