Bring the Outdoors Home

Prairie Dropseed | Plant Profile

Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) is a long lived clump forming ornamental grass native to the plains of central United States. The thin blades grow to about 3′ in height and width and are a light to medium green color. In the fall the blade can turn to an orange/copper color.

Prairie Dropseed prefers full sun in well drained soils with dry to medium moisture. Foliage should be cut back in late winter to encourage new growth. There are few serious insects or diseases that plague Prairie Dropseed.

Though the Prairie Dropseed has a fine and delicate look, it tends to resist flattening by snow. Foliage is a light brown in winter and showcases beautiful winter interest.


Prairie Dropseed Characteristics

Prairie Dropseeds are medium - tall ornamental grasses with a delicate and elegant appearance. The fine leaves form arches and wheat-like fragrant flowers appear in late summer that reach beyond the rest of the blades. The flowers drop seeds that are attractive to birds and small fauna for food. It is not attractive to deer, though grazing does occasionally occur.

Dry well drained and rocky soils are the ideal growing conditions, but these ornamental grasses tolerate clays as well.

Prairie Dropseed can bring texture and height to small gardens. The arches foliage look beautiful if position in the corner of a fence. Because of its tolerance of dry soils, Prairie Dropseed is effective in erosion control. These plants can create borders and natural short fences. Naturally a meadow plant, it can fill in large areas of unused ground. It creates a beautiful backdrop when planted with smaller and bold flowers.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones  3 - 9
2.00 - 3.00'
2.00 - 3.00'
Bloom Time
August - October
Dry - Medium
Full Sun to Part Shade
Deer Resistant?