Little bluestem


I am interested in planting little bluestem (the blues). They are non invasive but read that they are or could be “aggressive” self-seeders which would be undesirable since they are close to our lawn. I appreciate any help. Thank you


Thank  you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

Little bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium is a beautiful native clump-forming ornamental grass, with fine textured blue green stems which become a mahogany colour in the fall, topped by white-shining seed tufts. The seeds of this grass are a particular important food source to small birds during the winter.

This plant prefers a sunny, relatively dry, well-drained location. Avoid places that are shady, wet, or have really rich soils. If little bluestem is planted in an area that is too shady, wet, or rich, then it could flop over — and not thrive.

It is true that in some sites, such as small gardens, little bluestem can be somewhat aggressive due to the seeds. If this becomes a problem in your garden you can cut off the seed heads instead of leaving them for the wildlife. The plumes will add visual interest to your arrangements.

The slight aggressive nature of this plant would not be enough of a deterrent, to not include this  plant in my garden. Little Bluestem: A Native Plant for Praires and Gardens gives more insight on this valuable pollinator plant.

Little Bluestem

Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium