How to Grow Beaked Panicgrass

Panicgrass image by Mark Nesbitt/


Once a staple on the American prairie, panicgrass is now becoming a staple of ornamental grasses in landscaping. Beaked panicgrass, a member of the panicum family, is prized for its 4-foot tall height, wide blades and attractive drooping seed heads. The blades remain green year-round, it flowers in summer and it produces seed in autumn, supplying feed to wintering birds as well as interest to the winter landscape. A self-seeding and a rhizome-growing perennial, panicgrass returns year after year with minimal maintenance.

Step 1

Sow seeds in fall or early winter while the ground is still thawed enough to work. Sow rhizomes from December into April.

Step 2

Choose a partially shaded planting area with moist soil such as near a marsh, near drainage areas or close to water features. Panicgrass is well suited as an erosion control method in your landscaping.

Step 3

Space rhizomes three feet apart or sow five to ten seeds every three feet. Not all seeds will germinate so oversowing of seeds is recommended.

Step 4

Sow seeds on the soil surface and cover with 1/4-inch of soil. Plant rhizomes so the top is just below the soil surface.

Step 5

Keep soil moist during periods of drought; otherwise natural rainfall and soil moisture is sufficient. Minimal overwatering will not harm panicgrass.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not plant panicgrass in the same area that cool season grasses are planted as they will choke out the ornamental. While rare, if panicgrass becomes weedy and starts to overcome other landscaping plants, contact your local extension office immediately.


  • USDA
  • Flower Gardening Made Easy
Keywords: growing beaked panicgrass, ornamental grasses, painicum anceps

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo by: Mark Nesbitt/