Skip to content

Big Bluestem

Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardi)

Big Bluestem
(Andropogon gerardi)


  • 4 to 8 feet


  • June to September


  • Native
  • Perennial


  • Full sun to part sun

Soil moisture:

  • Dry to moist

Provides food for:

  • Caterpillars (foliage)
  • Songbirds (seeds, caterpillars and other insects)


  • Big bluestem is what’s called a bunch grass which means it forms clumps instead of a solid mat like the turf grass in your yard.
  • The foliage is blue-green in spring and reddish-brown in fall and winter.
  • Big bluestem is a warm season grass which means that most of its growth occurs during summer and early fall.
  • The vegetation remains standing throughout the winter which provides shelter to songbirds and other small wildlife.
  • Bumble bee queens will sometimes crawl into the vegetation at the base of the clump to overwinter.
  • It can self-seed aggressively and may not be a good choice for small garden spaces.
  • Deer resistant

Native Range:

USDA range map for Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardi)
Map credit: USDA Plants Database