Andropogon Blackhawks Info: How To Grow Blackhawks Ornamental Grass


By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

What is Blackhawks grass (Andropogon gerardii‘Blackhawks’)? It’s a variety of bigbluestem prairie grass, which once grew across much of the Midwest – alsoknown as “turkeyfoot grass,” thanks to the interesting shape of the deepburgundy or purple seedheads. Growing this particular cultivar isn’t difficult for gardeners inUSDA plant hardiness zones 3-9, as this tough plant requires very little care.Read on to learn more.

Uses for Blackhawks Ornamental Grass

Blackhawks bluestem grass is appreciated for its stature andinteresting blooms. The colorful foliage is gray or bluish green in spring,morphing to green with red tints in summer, and finally ending the season withdeep purple or lavender-bronze leaves after the first frost in autumn.

This versatile ornamental grass is natural for prairieor meadowgardens, at the back of beds, in mass plantings, or any spot where you canappreciate its year-round color and beauty.

Andropogon Blackhawks grass can thrive in poor soil and isalso a good stabilizerfor erosion-prone areas.

Growing Blackhawks Grass

Blackhawks bluestem grass thrives in poor soil includingclay, sand, or dry conditions. The tall grass grows quickly in rich soil but islikely to weaken and fall over as it gets taller.

Full sunlight is best for growing Blackhawks, although itwill tolerate light shade. This ornamental grass is drought-tolerantonce established, but appreciates occasional irrigation during hot, dryweather.

Fertilizer isn’t a requirement for growing Blackhawks grass,but you can provide a very light application of a slow-releasefertilizer at planting time or if growth appears slow. Don’t overfeed Andropogongrass, as it may topple over in excessively fertile soil.

You can safely cut the plant back if it looks shaggy. Thistask should be done before midsummer so that you don’t inadvertently cut thedeveloping flower clusters.

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PLANT - O - PEDIA

Andropogon gerardii 'Blackhawks'

Other Names: Big Bluestem, Turkey Foot

This selection of native prairie grass has an impressive stature and beautiful seasonal foliage that develops dark purple highlights by mid summer, then turns near black in fall plant in full sun for best color an excellent screen or border plant

Blackhawks Bluestem is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. The plum purple seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from late summer to early fall. Its attractive grassy leaves are green in color with showy purple variegation. As an added bonus, the foliage turns gorgeous shades of burgundy, deep purple and black in the fall. The flowers are not ornamentally significant. The red stems can be quite attractive.

Blackhawks Bluestem is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Blackhawks Bluestem is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Vertical Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Blackhawks Bluestem will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is an amazingly adaptable plant, tolerating both dry conditions and even some standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.


What Is Blackhawks Grass – Learn About Growing Blackhawks Andropogon Grass - garden

Other Names: Big Bluestem, Turkey Foot

This selection of native prairie grass has an impressive stature and beautiful seasonal foliage that develops dark purple highlights by mid summer, then turns near black in fall plant in full sun for best color an excellent screen or border plant

Blackhawks Bluestem is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. The plum purple seed heads are carried on showy plumes displayed in abundance from late summer to early fall. Its attractive grassy leaves are green in color with showy purple variegation. As an added bonus, the foliage turns gorgeous shades of burgundy, deep purple and black in the fall. The flowers are not ornamentally significant. The red stems can be quite attractive.

Blackhawks Bluestem is an herbaceous perennial grass with an upright spreading habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Blackhawks Bluestem is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Vertical Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Blackhawks Bluestem will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is an amazingly adaptable plant, tolerating both dry conditions and even some standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.


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