Red October Big Bluestem Grass

'Red October' Big Bluestem Grass (Andropogon gerardii) is a striking ornamental native prairie grass. This stunning, large bluestem cultivar adds architectural interest and a injects a dose of rich scarlet color that contrasts beautifully with the tawny browns and greys of autumn. Red October emerges with strong red foliage highlights in spring, and after frost, it finishes the season in deep, glorious scarlet. With year-long visual interest, Red October is great for meadow and back of border installations, and is widely adapted to many soil types. Clump forming grass will grow in neat mounds. (Andropogon gerardii)
Zones3 - 9
Attract Birds
Deer Resistant
Low Maintenance
Good For Erosion Control
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Water Tolerance
Mature Height 60-72" tall (5-6' tall)
Mature Spread18-24" wide
Bloom TimeLate summer
Shipping DetailsNo longer available this season. Learn More…

USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

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60” tall x 24” wide. Set your meadows aglow with 'Red October' Big Bluestem Grass (Andropogon gerardii). A large bluestem variety originally bred for its upright habit, this exciting 6-foot cultivar is a clump forming tall grass that emerges in spring with red highlights on narrow green leaves. Densely packed terminal inflorescences are borne in late summer/early autumn. In fall, even the seed heads show strong coloration. Plant ‘Red October’ in dry to average soils in full sun, watering regularly during the first season to establish the plant. Though this big bluestem can tolerate partial shade, it may be prone to flopping in such conditions and will not bloom as prolifically. Particularly suited to meadow installations where the foliage can be fully appreciated, ‘Red October’ is long-lived and will do well for several years without the need for division.
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Associated SKUsHC017798
HC017470 (Plant - 2.5" Pot) - Out of stock.
HC017781 (Plant - 5" Deep Pot) - Out of stock.
Common Name
Red October Big Bluestem
Botanical Name
Andropogon gerardii Red October PP#26,283
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Flower Color
Mature Height
60-72" tall (5-6' tall)
Mature Spread
18-24" wide
Bloom Time
Late summer
Ships As
Potted Plant
Soil Type
Average Soil, Sandy Soil
Soil Moisture
Waterwise, Average
Attract Birds, Deer Resistant, Native, Low Maintenance, Good For Erosion Control
Ideal Region
Northeast, Midwest, West, Southwest, Pacific Northwest
Planting Time
Spring / Summer, Fall
Neonicotinoid Free
Ships To Canada
Planting Guides

View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.

No longer available this season.

As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Some perennials are shipped as potted plants, some as perennial roots packed in peat.  The ‘Plant Information’ section describes how that item will ship. All perennials and spring-planted bulbs are packaged to withstand shipping and are fully-guaranteed. Please open upon receipt and follow the instructions included.

Perennials and spring-planted bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment and all items are shipping to the same address, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (800) 925-9387 or contact us by email.

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