Bad Hair Day provides multiple seasons of interest, from its upright growth habit to midsummer with pendulous grayish, yellow-green foliage; its dense and weeping inflorescences from late summer well into autumn; and its strongly upright stems again in winter that are an attractive light yellowish brown. Bad Hair Day is a large grass, so utilize it in the back of the perennial border as a backdrop for shorter plants. Grow individual specimen plants or mass it in larger landscapes. Effective for screening. This is a large grass with an extensive root system, so space and site it accordingly. Adaptable to clay, loam, and sandy soils, as long as they are well-drained. We have not seen this selection lodge in our trials, but to be sure grow it in full sun with good air circulation, and avoid overly wet and nutrient-rich sites. Leave the persistent stems up all winter for seasonal interest. Remove the old growth in spring. With its genetic heritage, this selection may prove more salt and drought tolerant than many selections of switchgrass (P. virgatum). Test it under these conditions and send us the results.
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Panicum amarum ‘Dewey Blue’ was pollinated with pollen collected from various named selections of Panicum virgatum August 2007. Two hundred seeds were sown for germination in 2008, and 172 plants planted out that summer. ‘Bad Hair Day’ was selected in October 2011. The original plant was propagated in 2013, and then trial plants were evaluated in-ground for three years at the Chicago Botanic Garden (USDA Zone 5). Developed by Dr. Jim Ault.
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Mobile, Alabama 36640