2022 Perennial Plant of the Year

Features - Perennials

This spiky, tough and dependable grass works well in many conditions with varied plantings.

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September 7, 2021

Schizachyrium 'Blue Heaven
Photos courtesy of Hoffman Nursery, Concept Plants and Emerald Coast Growers (‘Shining Star’)

Little bluestem

The Perennial Plant Association’s 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year is Schizachyrium scoparium and cultivars. Little bluestem is a tough and dependable clumping grass that blends well with perennials such as asters, sedums, coneflowers, and other grasses. Native to a broad swath of North America, it was one of the dominant grasses of the vast tallgrass prairies. Cultivars have been selected for shorter plants, enhanced leaf colors and stronger stems.

The wider selection of not only little bluestem, but any associated cultivars, allows regional perennial experts to select and promote the cultivars that do best in their location.

 

Schizachyrium 'Chameleon'

Find more photos and information about top performers at perennialplant.org/page/2022PPOY.

Grower notes: Best in 1- to 2-gallon pots. A bit slower growing. Once established, grow on the dry side with low to moderate fertilizer rates. Overwinter on the dry side. Overwatering and too much nitrogen can cause floppy growth and increase the probability of rootzone and foliar pathogens. Has few pest issues; scout for aphids and spider mites. Some cultivars are vegetatively propagated and patent-protected, while the straight species and a few cultivars can be grown from seed.