Panicum 'Bad Hair Day'

Bad Hair Day Switch Grass

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Switch grass was an important part of the tall grass prairie,  providing an important food source and winter shelter for a range of insects, small mammals and birds, and even bison. Bad Hair Day switch grass is an upright grass of about 6 feet in height and 7 feet in width. The most notable feature is the upright stems, topped by the heavy pendulous panicles appearing in summer that are responsive to even light breezes and give rise to its name. Spring foliage is grayish-green, which turns a light yellowish-brown by summer and persists throughout the winter months if the plant is not cut back. Like most switch grasses, Bad Hair Day is extremely versatile and can cope with a range of soil types from sandy to clay and shade conditions, although it prefers full sun.

Because of its versatility it can be used in a range of conditions such as in rain gardens or as stabilization of eroding banks. Since Bad Hair Day is mostly grown for its ornamental value, it is generally retained for its autumn and winter interest. Cut back the foliage to near ground level in late winter. In an evaluation of perennial grasses conducted at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Bad Hair Day received an excellent rating for growing in local conditions, having been developed by Dr. Jim Ault at the Garden.

A Chicagoland Grows(TM) Introduction

Plant Shape
Full Sun, Partial Shade
Bloom Time
July - August, September - October, November - December
Bloom Color
Landscape Use
Screen/Hedge, Bedding or Border, Specimen Plant
Wildlife Interest
Attracts Birds, Resistant To Deer
Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
4 - 8