Prairie Dropseed Seeds 8045 (Sporobolus heterolepis). While taking 2 to 3 seasons to fully establish, Prairie Dropseed grows into a magnificent fountain of emerald green leaves that turn a golden colour through the fall and winter – it makes for quite a specimen in the landscape. This perennial, clump forming warm season native grass grows in a wide range of conditions from seasonally wet to quite dry. A very distinctive border planting and an excellent plant for providing seed for ground foraging song birds. Height ranges from 30-90 cm (1-3′). Hardy to Zone 3.
How to Grow
2600 seed/gram. Most native grasses do best when seed is planted in the fall, between Oct. 15th and Nov. 15th. A late fall sowing naturally stratifies any seed that may be dormant. Prairie Dropseed also responds very well to a spring sowing about 3-6 mm (1/8-1/4″) deep in April through May – germination will occur once the soil temperature reaches 21 C (70 F). Keep in mind that should ideal growing conditions not occur, the seed may go dormant and not germinate until the spring of the following year. When used as a landscape plant, space at least 30 cm (12″) apart.
Many native plants will not bloom until the second year of growth when grown from seed. Avoid the use of supplemental fertilizer as this encourages weeds at the expense of the native plants. During the establishment year, native species plantings should be watered when dictated by the weather. The following year’s growth adapts easily to local climate and soil conditions needing only what nature provides. Mow to 20 cm (8″) height at least once through the first year of growth should aggressive weeds threaten to take over the planting and again after the fall frosts have reduced annual foliage. Consider a controlled burn of prairie species where municipal laws permit. The encroachment of woody or non-prairie vegetation is curtailed by fire allowing the prairie community to thrive.