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Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii
Also known as : Bluejoint, Big Blue
Big Bluestem (*Andropogon gerardii*) is a tall perennial grass native to North America that once dominated the prairie of the American Midwest. Its foliage changes color seasonally, and it is used as an ornamental grass and to rehabilitate prairie land.
Planting Time
Planting Time
Spring, Winter
care guide

Care Guide for Big Bluestem

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Watering Care
Watering Care
Average water needs,watering when the top 3 cm of soil has dried out.
Details on Watering Care Watering Care
Fertilizing Care
Fertilizing Care
Fertilization once in spring.
Details on Fertilizing Care Fertilizing Care
Pruning
Pruning
Trim the diseased, withered leaves once a month.
Details on Pruning Pruning
Soil Care
Soil Care
Loam, Chalky, Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Details on Soil Care Soil Care
Repotting
Repotting
Needs excellent drainage in pots.
Details on Repotting Repotting
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Big Bluestem
Sunlight
Sunlight
Full sun
Hardiness Zones
Hardiness Zones
3 to 9
Planting Time
Planting Time
Spring, Winter
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Questions About Big Bluestem

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Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Temperature Temperature Temperature
Fertilizing Fertilizing Fertilizing
What is the best way to water my Big Bluestem?
When watering the Big Bluestem, you should aim to use filtered water that is at room temperature. Filtered water is better for this plant, as tap water can contain particles that are harmful to its health. The reason that the water should be at room temperature or slightly warmer is that the Big Bluestem comes from a warm environment, and cold water can be somewhat of a shock to its system. Also, you should avoid overhead watering for this plant, as it can cause foliage complications. Instead, simply apply your filtered room temperature water to the soil until the soil is entirely soaked. Soaking the soil can be very beneficial for this plant as it moistens the roots and helps them continue to spread through the soil and collect the nutrients they need.
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What should I do if I water my Big Bluestem too much or too little?
Both overwatering and underwatering will be detrimental to the health of your Big Bluestem, but overwatering is a far more common issue. When this species receives too much water, its stems and leaves may begin to wilt and turn from green to yellow. Overwatering over a prolonged period may also lead to diseases such as root rot, mold, and mildew, all of which can kill your plant. Underwatering is far less common for the Big Bluestem, as this plant has decent drought tolerance. However, underwatering remains a possibility, and when it occurs, you can expect to find that the leaves of your Big Bluestem have become brittle and brown.
It is crucial that you notice the signs of overwatering as soon as possible when caring for your Big Bluestem. Some of the diseases that arise from overwatering, such as root rot, may not be correctable if you wait too long. If you see early signs of overwatering, you should reduce your watering schedule immediately. You may also want to assess the quality of soil in which your Big Bluestem grows. If you find that the soil drains very poorly, you should replace it immediately with a loose, well-draining potting mix. On the other hand, if you find signs that your Big Bluestem is receiving too little water, all you need to do is water more regularly until those signs have subsided.
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How often should I water my Big Bluestem?
If your plant is in a pot. The most precise way to decide whether your Big Bluestem needs water is to plunge your finger into the soil. If you notice that the first two to three inches of soil have become dry, it is time to add some water.
If you grow your Big Bluestem outdoors in the ground, you can use a similar method to test the soil. Again, when you find that the first few inches of soil have dried out, it is time to add water. During the spring and early fall, this method will often lead you to water this plant about once every week. When extremely hot weather arrives, you may need to increase your watering frequency to about twice or more per week. With that said, mature, well-established the Big Bluestem can show an admirable ability to withstand drought.
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How much water does my Big Bluestem need?
When it comes time to water your Big Bluestem, you should not be shy about how much water you give. With the first two to three inches of soil dry, this plant will appreciate a long and thorough watering. Supply enough water to soak the soil entirely. The amount of water you add should be enough to cause excess water to flow through the drainage holes at the bottom of your pot. If you don’t see excess water draining from the pot, you have likely underwatered your plant. But do not let the water accumulate inside the soil, which will be very dangerous to the plant as well. Alternatively, a lack of water draining through the pot could indicate poorly draining soils, which is detrimental to the health of this plant and should be avoided. If the plant is outside, 1 inch of rain per week will be sufficient.
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How should I water my Big Bluestem at different growth stages?
The water needs of the Big Bluestem can change depending on growth stages as well. For example, when your Big Bluestem is in the first few years of its life, or if you have just transplanted it to a new growing location, you will need to give more water than usual. During both of those stages, your Big Bluestem will put a lot of energy towards sprouting new roots that will then support future growth. For those roots to perform their best, they need a bit more moisture than they would at a more mature phase. After a few seasons, your Big Bluestem will need much less water. Another growth stage in which this plant may need more water is during the bloom period. Flower development can make use of a significant amount of moisture, which is why you might need to give your Big Bluestem more water at this time.
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How should I water my Big Bluestem through the seasons?
The Big Bluestem will have its highest water needs during the hottest months of the year. During the height of summer, you may need to give this plant water more than once per week, depending on how fast the soil dries out. The opposite is true during the winter. In winter, your plant will enter a dormant phase, in which it will need far less water than usual. In fact, you may not need to water this plant at all during the winter months. However, if you do water during winter, you should not do so more than about once per month. Watering too much at this time will make it more likely that your Big Bluestem will contract a disease.
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What's the difference between watering my Big Bluestem indoors and outdoors?
It is most common to grow the Big Bluestem indoors for any gardener that does not live in temperate and tropical regions. Those gardeners should consider the fact that soil in a container can dry out a bit faster than ground soil. Also, the presence of drying elements such as air conditioning units can cause your Big Bluestem to need water on a more frequent basis as well. if you planted it outside. When that is the case, it’s likely you won’t need to water your Big Bluestem very much at all. If you receive rainfall on a regular basis, that may be enough to keep your plant alive. Alternatively, those who grow this plant inside will need to water it more often, as allowing rainwater to soak the soil will not be an option.
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plant_info

Key Facts About Big Bluestem

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Attributes of Big Bluestem

Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Herb
Planting Time
Spring, Winter
Bloom Time
All year around
Harvest Time
Fall
Plant Height
91 cm to 3.5 m
Spread
60 cm
Leaf Color
Green
Blue
Purple
Flower Size
2.5 cm
Flower Color
Red
Purple
Brown
Stem Color
Green
Blue
Red
Purple
Leaf type
Deciduous
Ideal Temperature
0 - 35 ℃
Pollinators
Butterflies, Wind
Benefits to Pollinating Insects
Adult food, Larval food, Nesting and structure bees
Growth Rate:Moderate
Big Bluestem's moderate growth rate during summer allows it to gradually acquire height. This tendency primarily results in a surge in leaf production and stem elongation. However, growth slows down in winter, demonstrating the plant's adaptability.

Scientific Classification of Big Bluestem

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pests

Common Pests & Diseases About Big Bluestem

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Common issues for Big Bluestem based on 10 million real cases
Flower withering
Flower withering Flower withering
Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Solutions: If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible. For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface. In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well. If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
Leaf scorch
Leaf scorch Leaf scorch
Leaf scorch
Leaf blight causes leaves to dry out and turn brown starting at their tips.
Solutions: The solution to leaf scorch will depend on the cause, however, in general all cultural care methods that improve plant health and root functionality will reduce symptoms. Mulching the root zone (preferably with wood chip mulch) helps retain moisture, reduce evaporation, and promotes a healthy, functional root environment that is critical for water movement to the leaves. Check the root collar for girdling or circling roots that strangle the trunk and limit water and nutrient movement. Protect trees from severe root damage of nearby construction and excavation. If fertilizer burn is to blame, irrigate the soil deeply to flush out excess fertilizer salts. However, keep in mind that fertilizer runoff is an environmental pollutant. Avoiding excess fertilization in the first place is the best approach. If soil testing has revealed a potassium deficiency, apply a potassium fertilizer and water well. Even if you have enough potassium in the soil, plants will not be able to take it up if the soil is consistently too dry. Severely affected twigs may be removed using a pair of sharp and sanitized pruning shears, as weakened branches are susceptible to secondary infections. If your plant has bacterial leaf scorch, there is no cure. Antibiotic injections applied by a professional can reduce symptoms for a season, however, the above cultural management methods are the best options to reduce symptoms and prolong life. An infected plant will likely die within ten years.
Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Solutions: If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
Underwatering
Underwatering Underwatering
Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Solutions: The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with. Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock. In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
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Flower withering
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Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Overview
Overview
Flower withering occurs when flowers become weak, droopy, wilted, or faded until they can’t be revived. During withering, they begin to wrinkle and shrink until the flower becomes completely dry or dead.
Any flowers, regardless of the plant type or the climate they are grown in, are susceptible to withering. It is a worldwide problem across houseplants, herbs, flowering ornamentals, trees, shrubs, garden vegetables, and food crops.
Unlike wilting—which withering is often confused with—withering can be caused by different things and is often due to more than a lack of water. Withering can be fatal in severe cases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Flower withering progresses from very mild cases to severe occurrences that kill the flower. The severity of the symptoms is related to the cause and how long the condition is allowed to progress before action is taken.
  • Wilted, droopy flowers
  • Petals and leaves begin to wrinkle
  • Brown papery streaks or spots appear on the petals and leaf tips
  • Flowerhead shrink in size
  • Petal color fades
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Complete death of the flower
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The main causes of flower withering include natural age progress, lack of water, nutritional deficiencies, and bacterial or fungal diseases. It’s critical to determine the underlying cause when flower withering is noticed. This will guide the best course of action, if treatment is possible.
Check the soil for moisture and then closely examine the entire plant for signs of nutrient deficiencies. If neither of those appears to be the cause then cut open the stem below a flower. If a cross-section reveals brown or rust-colored stains it is safe to assume that this is a bacterial or fungal infection.
If the flower is nearing the end of its normal lifespan, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence, or cell aging and death. Cell division stops and the plant begins breaking down resources within the flower to use in other parts of the plant.
In all other cases, flower withering happens when the plant seals off the stem as a defense mechanism, stopping transport within the vascular system. This prevents further water loss through the flowers but also stops bacteria and fungi from moving to healthy parts of the plant. Once water and nutrient transport stops, the flower begins to wither and ultimately die.
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Leaf scorch
plant poor
Leaf scorch
Leaf blight causes leaves to dry out and turn brown starting at their tips.
Overview
Overview
Leaf scorch refers to two general conditions: physiological leaf scorch and bacterial leaf scorch. It causes leaves to discolor starting along the margins, and eventually die.
Leaf scorch development is most common in the hot, dry season, becoming most noticeable in late summer. However, it can occur at other times of the year. It most often affects young trees and shrubs, but it can also affect flowers, vegetables, and other plants.
Leaf scorch can get progressively worse over multiple seasons. If the root causes are not addressed, leaf scorch can lead to plant death.
While you cannot reverse the damage caused by physiological leaf scorch, you can prevent further damage. With proper management, plants will fully recover. However, there is no cure for bacterial leaf scorch, which is a systemic infection.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  • Yellow, brown, or blackened leaves starting with the leaf margins
  • Dying twig tips on trees and shrubs as leaves die and fall
  • Often there is a bright yellow border line between the dead and living leaf tissue
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
There are numerous contributing causes of leaf scorch.
Bacterial leaf scorch is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. The bacteria block the xylem vessels, preventing water movement. Symptoms may vary across species.
Physiological leaf scorch most commonly occurs when a plant cannot take up enough water. Numerous conditions can lead to this issue, particularly an unhealthy root system. Some causes of an unhealthy root system include overly-compacted soil, recent tillage, root compaction and severing due to pavement or other construction, drought, and overly-saturated soils.
Potassium deficiency can contribute to leaf scorch. Since plants need potassium to move water, they cannot properly move water when there is a lack of potassium.
Too much fertilizer can also cause leaf scorch symptoms. The accumulation of salts (including nutrient salts from fertilizers, as well as salt water) accumulate at the leaf margins and may build up to concentrations that burn the tissues.
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Aged yellow and dry
plant poor
Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Overview
Overview
Regardless of the type of plant or where it is grown, at some point, it will begin to aged yellow and dry. This is a natural, unavoidable process that happens when the plant has completed all of the steps in its life.
Annual plants go through this process at the end of a single growing season. Perennial plants live for multiple years, if not tens or hundreds of years, but will still ultimately exhibit these symptoms.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
When plants have progressed through their natural developmental stages and are nearing the end of their lifecycle, they begin showing signs of decline. Leaves will start to yellow and droop, and over time they turn papery brown and dry.
Once completely dry, the leaves begin to fall from the plant until the entire plant has dried out.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
At the end of its life, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence or natural aging and death. Cell division stops, and the plant begins catabolizing resources to use in other parts of the plant.
As this happens, the tissues begin yellow and drying until the entire plant is desiccated and perishes.
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Underwatering
plant poor
Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Overview
Overview
Underwatering plants is one of the quickest ways to kill them. This is something that most gardeners are well aware of. Unfortunately, knowing exactly how much water a plant needs can be tricky, especially considering that underwatering and overwatering present similar symptoms in plants.
Therefore, it’s important to be vigilant and attentive to each plants’ individual needs.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
As mentioned earlier, overwatering and underwatering present similar symptoms in plants. These symptoms include poor growth, wilted leaves, defoliation, and brown leaf tips or margins. Ultimately, both underwatering and overwatering can lead to the death of a plant.
The easiest way to determine whether a plant has too much water or too little is to look at the leaves. If underwatering is the culprit, the leaves will look brown and crunchy, while if it’s overwatering, they will appear yellow or a pale green in color.
When this issue first begins, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all, particularly in hardy or drought-tolerant plants. However, they will begin to wilt once they start suffering from a lack of water. The edges of the plant’s leaves will become brown or curled. Soil pulling away from the edges of the planter is a telltale sign, or a crispy, brittle stem.
Prolonged underwatering can cause a plant’s growth to become stunted. The leaves might drop and the plant can be more susceptible to pest infestations, too.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Underwatering is caused by, quite simply, not watering plants often or deeply enough. There is a heightened risk of underwatering if any of these situations apply:
  • Extreme heat and dry weather (when growing outdoors)
  • Grow lights or indoor lighting that is too bright or intense for the type of plant
  • Using fast-draining growing media such as sand
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distribution

Distribution of Big Bluestem

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Habitat of Big Bluestem

Usually in low meadows and prairies, rare in extreme west
Northern Hemisphere
South Hemisphere

Distribution Map of Big Bluestem

distribution map
Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
habit
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More Info on Big Bluestem Growth and Care

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Basic Care Guide
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Lighting
Full sun
Big Bluestem thrives under constant exposure to the sun, fostering robust growth. In its natural environment, it is often found where sunlight predominates, although it does cope with areas of dappled light. Too much shade, however, can lead to sparse growth and lesser vigor.
Best Sunlight Practices
Temperature
-30 - 38 ℃
Big Bluestem is native to temperate regions, thriving in temperature conditions ranging between 32 to 95 °F (0 to 35 ℃). Its growth is best supported in the milder seasons. Seasonal temperature adjustments aren't typically required.
Temp for Healthy Growth
Transplant
2-3 feet
The perfect period for transplanting big Bluestem is during the S1-S3; in other words, late winter to early spring. This time offers the plant a chance to take root before active growth. Aim to select a well-drained location with full sun. Be patient, as big Bluestem can take some time to establish.
Transplant Techniques
Feng shui direction
West
The big Bluestem embodies strong grounding properties. It harmoniously resonates with the earthly, stabilizing energy that Feng Shui associates with the West. This directional affiliation provides a supportive and nourishing environment for the plant but interpretations may vary upon personal intuitive insights.
Fengshui Details
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Plants Related to Big Bluestem

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Chinese pink
Chinese pink
Chinese pink (Dianthus chinensis) is a perennial flowering herb native to China, Russia, and Mongolia. In the wild, chinese pink grows in dense woodlands and forests. In cultivation, it is a common ornamental plant grow in hanging baskets and planters.
Shaggy dwarf morning-glory
Shaggy dwarf morning-glory
Other names for shaggy dwarf morning-glory (Evolvulus nuttallianus) include silky evolvulus, silver wild morning glory, and shaggy evolvulus. It’s indigenous to the western and midwestern parts of the United States. Its bright blue flowers make a terrific addition to butterfly gardens, attracting cloudless sulfur butterflies and other species.
Indian hawthorn
Indian hawthorn
Indian hawthorn is a perennial shrub that thrives in sunny locations. It requires less care than other shrubs because it is slow-growing and keeps its shape without pruning. Its pink or white blooms are fragrant and develop into purple-black fruit during the summer months.
Russian sage
Russian sage
Russian sage is an attractive species of sage with a strong scent. Certain cultures in Kashmir use the flowers to create textile dyes. A biopesticide has been developed from russian sage essential oil which protects against ants and certain beetles. The plant is also being investigated for its ability to draw heavy metals out of contaminated soil.
Field marigold
Field marigold
Field marigold (Calendula arvensis) is an annual herbaceous plant that can grow up to 51 cm tall. It blooms from spring to fall and can grow during the winter months in warmer climates. It produces a single flower head with yellow ray-like petals that surround an orange disc-shaped center. The field marigold thrives in full sun to partial shade and attracts bees, butterflies, and birds.
White mulberry
White mulberry
The white mulberry (Morus australis) is native to northern China but is naturalized in the USA. It is cultivated to feed the silkworms involved in the commercial production of silk. When it releases its pollen, the stamens act as catapults, and the pollen is ejected at 380 miles per hour, the fastest recorded movement in the plant world.
Cape jasmine
Cape jasmine
Gardenia jasminoides is an evergreen shrub with unique, glossy evergreen leaves and stunning flowers. The sophisticated, matte white flowers are often used in bouquets. The exceptional beauty of this ornamental plant has made it a popular and highly appreciated plant amongst gardeners and horticulturalists.
Golden pothos
Golden pothos
The golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a popular houseplant that is commonly seen in Australia, Asia, and the West Indies. It goes by many nicknames, including "devil's ivy", because it is so hard to kill and can even grow in low light conditions. Golden pothos has poisonous sap, so it should be kept away from pets and children.
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Related Plants
Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii
Also known as: Bluejoint, Big Blue
Big Bluestem (*Andropogon gerardii*) is a tall perennial grass native to North America that once dominated the prairie of the American Midwest. Its foliage changes color seasonally, and it is used as an ornamental grass and to rehabilitate prairie land.
Planting Time
Planting Time
Spring, Winter
question

Questions About Big Bluestem

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Feedback
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Watering Watering Watering
Pruning Pruning Pruning
Sunlight Sunlight Sunlight
Temperature Temperature Temperature
Fertilizing Fertilizing Fertilizing
What is the best way to water my Big Bluestem?
more
What should I do if I water my Big Bluestem too much or too little?
more
How often should I water my Big Bluestem?
more
How much water does my Big Bluestem need?
more
How should I water my Big Bluestem at different growth stages?
more
How should I water my Big Bluestem through the seasons?
more
What's the difference between watering my Big Bluestem indoors and outdoors?
more
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plant_info

Key Facts About Big Bluestem

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Attributes of Big Bluestem

Lifespan
Perennial
Plant Type
Herb
Planting Time
Spring, Winter
Bloom Time
All year around
Harvest Time
Fall
Plant Height
91 cm to 3.5 m
Spread
60 cm
Leaf Color
Green
Blue
Purple
Flower Size
2.5 cm
Flower Color
Red
Purple
Brown
Stem Color
Green
Blue
Red
Purple
Leaf type
Deciduous
Ideal Temperature
0 - 35 ℃
Pollinators
Butterflies, Wind
Benefits to Pollinating Insects
Adult food, Larval food, Nesting and structure bees
Growth Rate:Moderate
Big Bluestem's moderate growth rate during summer allows it to gradually acquire height. This tendency primarily results in a surge in leaf production and stem elongation. However, growth slows down in winter, demonstrating the plant's adaptability.
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Scientific Classification of Big Bluestem

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pests

Common Pests & Diseases About Big Bluestem

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Common issues for Big Bluestem based on 10 million real cases
Flower withering
Flower withering Flower withering Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Solutions: If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible. For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface. In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well. If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
Learn More About the Flower withering more
Leaf scorch
Leaf scorch Leaf scorch Leaf scorch
Leaf blight causes leaves to dry out and turn brown starting at their tips.
Solutions: The solution to leaf scorch will depend on the cause, however, in general all cultural care methods that improve plant health and root functionality will reduce symptoms. Mulching the root zone (preferably with wood chip mulch) helps retain moisture, reduce evaporation, and promotes a healthy, functional root environment that is critical for water movement to the leaves. Check the root collar for girdling or circling roots that strangle the trunk and limit water and nutrient movement. Protect trees from severe root damage of nearby construction and excavation. If fertilizer burn is to blame, irrigate the soil deeply to flush out excess fertilizer salts. However, keep in mind that fertilizer runoff is an environmental pollutant. Avoiding excess fertilization in the first place is the best approach. If soil testing has revealed a potassium deficiency, apply a potassium fertilizer and water well. Even if you have enough potassium in the soil, plants will not be able to take it up if the soil is consistently too dry. Severely affected twigs may be removed using a pair of sharp and sanitized pruning shears, as weakened branches are susceptible to secondary infections. If your plant has bacterial leaf scorch, there is no cure. Antibiotic injections applied by a professional can reduce symptoms for a season, however, the above cultural management methods are the best options to reduce symptoms and prolong life. An infected plant will likely die within ten years.
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Aged yellow and dry
Aged yellow and dry Aged yellow and dry Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Solutions: If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
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Underwatering
Underwatering Underwatering Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Solutions: The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with. Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock. In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
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Flower withering
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Flower withering
Flowers may dry out due to a sudden change in environment or because the plant has completed its normal flowering period.
Overview
Overview
Flower withering occurs when flowers become weak, droopy, wilted, or faded until they can’t be revived. During withering, they begin to wrinkle and shrink until the flower becomes completely dry or dead.
Any flowers, regardless of the plant type or the climate they are grown in, are susceptible to withering. It is a worldwide problem across houseplants, herbs, flowering ornamentals, trees, shrubs, garden vegetables, and food crops.
Unlike wilting—which withering is often confused with—withering can be caused by different things and is often due to more than a lack of water. Withering can be fatal in severe cases.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
Flower withering progresses from very mild cases to severe occurrences that kill the flower. The severity of the symptoms is related to the cause and how long the condition is allowed to progress before action is taken.
  • Wilted, droopy flowers
  • Petals and leaves begin to wrinkle
  • Brown papery streaks or spots appear on the petals and leaf tips
  • Flowerhead shrink in size
  • Petal color fades
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Complete death of the flower
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
The main causes of flower withering include natural age progress, lack of water, nutritional deficiencies, and bacterial or fungal diseases. It’s critical to determine the underlying cause when flower withering is noticed. This will guide the best course of action, if treatment is possible.
Check the soil for moisture and then closely examine the entire plant for signs of nutrient deficiencies. If neither of those appears to be the cause then cut open the stem below a flower. If a cross-section reveals brown or rust-colored stains it is safe to assume that this is a bacterial or fungal infection.
If the flower is nearing the end of its normal lifespan, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence, or cell aging and death. Cell division stops and the plant begins breaking down resources within the flower to use in other parts of the plant.
In all other cases, flower withering happens when the plant seals off the stem as a defense mechanism, stopping transport within the vascular system. This prevents further water loss through the flowers but also stops bacteria and fungi from moving to healthy parts of the plant. Once water and nutrient transport stops, the flower begins to wither and ultimately die.
Solutions
Solutions
If flower withering is a natural progression due to age, there is nothing that can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
For lack of water, immediately water the plant using room temperature rainwater, bottled spring water, or filtered tap water. Water container plants until excess water drains out the bottom; water in-ground plants until the soil is soaked but there isn’t standing water on the surface.
In the event of nutritional deficiencies, the best solution is to use a granular or water-soluble liquid fertilizer, and apply it to the soil at about half the recommended dosage. Keep it off the leaves and make sure granular products are watered into the soil well.
If the plant is infected with a bacterial or fungal pathogen, there is no course of treatment that cures the diseased plants. The best solution is to remove the infected plants and dispose of the plant material off-site. Do not put in a compost pile.
Prevention
Prevention
This is definitely one of those instances where prevention is more effective than cure. Here are some preventative measures for avoiding premature flower withering.
  • Water plants according to their needs -- either keep the soil slightly moist or allow the top inch or two to dry out before watering again.
  • Fertilize lightly on a consistent basis, depending upon the plant’s growth. Quick-growing plants and those that flower or develop fruit will need more frequent fertilizing than slow-growing plants.
  • Purchase plants that are certified disease- or pathogen-free.
  • Look for disease-resistant cultivars.
  • Isolate plants showing disease symptoms to prevent the spread to neighboring plants.
  • Practice good plant hygiene by removing any fallen plant material as soon as possible.
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Leaf scorch
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Leaf scorch
Leaf blight causes leaves to dry out and turn brown starting at their tips.
Overview
Overview
Leaf scorch refers to two general conditions: physiological leaf scorch and bacterial leaf scorch. It causes leaves to discolor starting along the margins, and eventually die.
Leaf scorch development is most common in the hot, dry season, becoming most noticeable in late summer. However, it can occur at other times of the year. It most often affects young trees and shrubs, but it can also affect flowers, vegetables, and other plants.
Leaf scorch can get progressively worse over multiple seasons. If the root causes are not addressed, leaf scorch can lead to plant death.
While you cannot reverse the damage caused by physiological leaf scorch, you can prevent further damage. With proper management, plants will fully recover. However, there is no cure for bacterial leaf scorch, which is a systemic infection.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
  • Yellow, brown, or blackened leaves starting with the leaf margins
  • Dying twig tips on trees and shrubs as leaves die and fall
  • Often there is a bright yellow border line between the dead and living leaf tissue
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
There are numerous contributing causes of leaf scorch.
Bacterial leaf scorch is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. The bacteria block the xylem vessels, preventing water movement. Symptoms may vary across species.
Physiological leaf scorch most commonly occurs when a plant cannot take up enough water. Numerous conditions can lead to this issue, particularly an unhealthy root system. Some causes of an unhealthy root system include overly-compacted soil, recent tillage, root compaction and severing due to pavement or other construction, drought, and overly-saturated soils.
Potassium deficiency can contribute to leaf scorch. Since plants need potassium to move water, they cannot properly move water when there is a lack of potassium.
Too much fertilizer can also cause leaf scorch symptoms. The accumulation of salts (including nutrient salts from fertilizers, as well as salt water) accumulate at the leaf margins and may build up to concentrations that burn the tissues.
Solutions
Solutions
The solution to leaf scorch will depend on the cause, however, in general all cultural care methods that improve plant health and root functionality will reduce symptoms.
  • Mulching the root zone (preferably with wood chip mulch) helps retain moisture, reduce evaporation, and promotes a healthy, functional root environment that is critical for water movement to the leaves.
  • Check the root collar for girdling or circling roots that strangle the trunk and limit water and nutrient movement.
  • Protect trees from severe root damage of nearby construction and excavation.
  • If fertilizer burn is to blame, irrigate the soil deeply to flush out excess fertilizer salts. However, keep in mind that fertilizer runoff is an environmental pollutant. Avoiding excess fertilization in the first place is the best approach.
  • If soil testing has revealed a potassium deficiency, apply a potassium fertilizer and water well. Even if you have enough potassium in the soil, plants will not be able to take it up if the soil is consistently too dry.
  • Severely affected twigs may be removed using a pair of sharp and sanitized pruning shears, as weakened branches are susceptible to secondary infections.
  • If your plant has bacterial leaf scorch, there is no cure. Antibiotic injections applied by a professional can reduce symptoms for a season, however, the above cultural management methods are the best options to reduce symptoms and prolong life. An infected plant will likely die within ten years.
Prevention
Prevention
  • Physiological leaf scorch is best avoided by making sure your plants have a healthy, functional root system and access to enough water. Water regularly, especially on the mornings of excessively hot, sunny days. Deep, infrequent irrigation is better than shallow, frequent irrigation.
  • Have your soil tested and apply the proper nutrients. Be sure to not over-apply fertilizers.
  • Make sure your plants’ roots have room to expand. Avoid compacted soil as well and avoid paving areas above the root zone. Do not till or disturb the soil where plant roots are growing.
  • Plant new trees and shrubs in the fall, so that they have the maximum amount of time to become established before the environmental stresses of the next summer.
  • Remove any dead or dying plant tissue that may harbor secondary infections.
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Aged yellow and dry
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Aged yellow and dry
Natural aging can cause leaves to turn yellow and dry out.
Overview
Overview
Regardless of the type of plant or where it is grown, at some point, it will begin to aged yellow and dry. This is a natural, unavoidable process that happens when the plant has completed all of the steps in its life.
Annual plants go through this process at the end of a single growing season. Perennial plants live for multiple years, if not tens or hundreds of years, but will still ultimately exhibit these symptoms.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
When plants have progressed through their natural developmental stages and are nearing the end of their lifecycle, they begin showing signs of decline. Leaves will start to yellow and droop, and over time they turn papery brown and dry.
Once completely dry, the leaves begin to fall from the plant until the entire plant has dried out.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
At the end of its life, genetic coding within the plant increases the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that controls senescence or natural aging and death. Cell division stops, and the plant begins catabolizing resources to use in other parts of the plant.
As this happens, the tissues begin yellow and drying until the entire plant is desiccated and perishes.
Solutions
Solutions
If the yellowing and drying of leaves and flowers is a natural progression due to age, nothing can be done to slow or stop the process. Once hormones within the plant begin the process of senescence, it’s irreversible.
Prevention
Prevention
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent plants from dying of “old age.” To help prolong their life, and put off symptoms of aged yellow and dry for as long as possible, take care of them by giving them enough water, fertilizing them appropriately, and making sure they get enough sunlight.
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Underwatering
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Underwatering
Leaves may wilt for a variety of reasons.
Overview
Overview
Underwatering plants is one of the quickest ways to kill them. This is something that most gardeners are well aware of. Unfortunately, knowing exactly how much water a plant needs can be tricky, especially considering that underwatering and overwatering present similar symptoms in plants.
Therefore, it’s important to be vigilant and attentive to each plants’ individual needs.
Symptom Analysis
Symptom Analysis
As mentioned earlier, overwatering and underwatering present similar symptoms in plants. These symptoms include poor growth, wilted leaves, defoliation, and brown leaf tips or margins. Ultimately, both underwatering and overwatering can lead to the death of a plant.
The easiest way to determine whether a plant has too much water or too little is to look at the leaves. If underwatering is the culprit, the leaves will look brown and crunchy, while if it’s overwatering, they will appear yellow or a pale green in color.
When this issue first begins, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all, particularly in hardy or drought-tolerant plants. However, they will begin to wilt once they start suffering from a lack of water. The edges of the plant’s leaves will become brown or curled. Soil pulling away from the edges of the planter is a telltale sign, or a crispy, brittle stem.
Prolonged underwatering can cause a plant’s growth to become stunted. The leaves might drop and the plant can be more susceptible to pest infestations, too.
Disease Cause
Disease Cause
Underwatering is caused by, quite simply, not watering plants often or deeply enough. There is a heightened risk of underwatering if any of these situations apply:
  • Extreme heat and dry weather (when growing outdoors)
  • Grow lights or indoor lighting that is too bright or intense for the type of plant
  • Using fast-draining growing media such as sand
Solutions
Solutions
The easiest (and most obvious) way to address underwatering is to fully hydrate the plant. However, this must be done carefully. A common mistake that many gardeners make is to douse their underwatered plants with water. This can overwhelm the roots of the plant and shock its system, something that can be even more damaging than the lack of water to begin with.
Instead, water thoroughly and slowly, taking breaks to let the water slowly saturate through the soil to get to the roots. Use room temperature water, as cold water might be too much of a shock.
In the future, shorten the time between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around each plant daily. If it’s dry to at least two inches down, it’s time to water. If a container plant is repeatedly drying out very quickly, repotting into a slower-draining container might be a good idea, too.
Prevention
Prevention
Always check the soil before watering. If the top inch of soil feels moist, though not wet, the watering is perfect. If it’s dry, water it immediately. If it feels soggy, you avoid watering until it dries out a bit more.
Also, make sure the lighting is sufficient for the species. Plants grow faster and need more water when there is intense light or lots of heat. Being aware of these conditions and modifying them, if possible, is a good way to prevent underwatering. Many container plants are potted in soil mixtures mean to be well-draining. Adding materials that retain moisture, like compost or peat moss, can also prevent these symptoms.
Other tips to prevent underwatering include:
  • Choose pots with adequately-sized drainage holes
  • Avoid warm temperatures
  • Use large pots with additional soil (these take longer to dry out)
  • Avoid terracotta pots, which lose water quickly
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distribution

Distribution of Big Bluestem

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Habitat of Big Bluestem

Usually in low meadows and prairies, rare in extreme west
Northern Hemisphere
South Hemisphere

Distribution Map of Big Bluestem

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Native
Cultivated
Invasive
Potentially invasive
Exotic
No species reported
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More Info on Big Bluestem Growth and Care

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Basic Care Guide
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Plants Related to Big Bluestem

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Lighting
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Indoor
Outdoor
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Requirements
Full sun
Ideal
Above 6 hours sunlight
Partial sun
Tolerance
About 3-6 hours sunlight
Watch how sunlight gracefully moves through your garden, and choose spots that provide the perfect balance of light and shade for your plants, ensuring their happiness.
Essentials
Big Bluestem thrives under constant exposure to the sun, fostering robust growth. In its natural environment, it is often found where sunlight predominates, although it does cope with areas of dappled light. Too much shade, however, can lead to sparse growth and lesser vigor.
Preferred
Tolerable
Unsuitable
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Artificial lighting
Indoor plants require adequate lighting for optimal growth. When natural sunlight is insufficient, particularly in winter or in less sunny spaces, artificial lights offer a vital solution, promoting faster, healthier growth.
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Indoor plants require adequate lighting for optimal growth. When natural sunlight is insufficient, particularly in winter or in less sunny spaces, artificial lights offer a vital solution, promoting faster, healthier growth.
1. Choose the right type of artificial light: LED lights are a popular choice for indoor plant lighting because they can be customized to provide the specific wavelengths of light that your plants need.
Full sun plants need 30-50W/sq ft of artificial light, partial sun plants need 20-30W/sq ft, and full shade plants need 10-20W/sq ft.
2. Determine the appropriate distance: Place the light source 12-36 inches above the plant to mimic natural sunlight.
3. Determine the duration: Mimic the length of natural daylight hours for your plant species. most plants need 8-12 hours of light per day.
Important Symptoms
Symptoms of Insufficient Light in %s
Big Bluestem thrives in full sunlight and is commonly grown outdoors where it receives ample sunlight. When placed in rooms with inadequate lighting, symptoms of light deficiency may not be readily apparent.
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Small leaves
New leaves may grow smaller in size compared to the previous ones once they have matured.
Leggy or sparse growth
The spaces between leaves or stems of your Big Bluestem may become longer, resulting in a thin and stretched-out appearance. This can make the plant look sparse and weak, and it may easily break or lean due to its own weight.
Faster leaf drop
When plants are exposed to low light conditions, they tend to shed older leaves early to conserve resources. Within a limited time, these resources can be utilized to grow new leaves until the plant's energy reserves are depleted.
Slower or no new growth
Big Bluestem enters a survival mode when light conditions are poor, which leads to a halt in leaf production. As a result, the plant's growth becomes delayed or stops altogether.
Lighter-colored new leaves
Insufficient sunlight can cause leaves to develop irregular color patterns or appear pale. This indicates a lack of chlorophyll and essential nutrients.
Solutions
1. To ensure optimal growth, gradually move plants to a sunnier location each week, until they receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Use a south-facing window and keep curtains open during the day for maximum sunlight exposure and nutrient accumulation.2. To provide additional light for your plant, consider using artificial light if it's large or not easily movable. Keep a desk or ceiling lamp on for at least 8 hours daily, or invest in professional plant grow lights for ample light.
Symptoms of Excessive light in %s
Big Bluestem thrives in full sun exposure and can tolerate intense sunlight. With their remarkable resilience, symptoms of sunburn may not be easily visible, as they rarely suffer from it.
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Chlorosis
Chlorosis is a condition where the plant's leaves lose their green color and turn yellow. This is due to the breakdown of chlorophyll from excessive sunlight, which negatively affects the plant's ability to photosynthesize.
Sunscald
Sunscald occurs when the plant's leaves or stems are damaged by intense sunlight exposure. It appears as pale, bleached, or necrotic areas on the plant tissue and can reduce the plant's overall health.
Leaf Curling
Leaf curling is a symptom where leaves curl or twist under extreme sunlight conditions. This is a defense mechanism used by the plant to reduce its surface area exposed to sunlight, minimizing water loss and damage.
Wilting
Wilting occurs when a plant loses turgor pressure and its leaves and stems begin to droop. Overexposure to sunlight can cause wilting by increasing the plant's water loss through transpiration, making it difficult for the plant to maintain adequate hydration.
Leaf Scorching
Leaf scorching is a symptom characterized by the appearance of brown, dry, and crispy edges or patches on leaves due to excessive sunlight. This can lead to a reduction in photosynthetic capacity and overall plant health.
Solutions
1. Move your plant to the optimal position where it can receive abundant sunlight but also have some shade. An east-facing window is an ideal choice as the morning sunlight is gentler. This way, your plant can enjoy ample sunlight while reducing the risk of sunburn.2. It is recommended to trim off any completely dehydrated or withered parts of the plant.
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Temperature
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Requirements
Ideal
Tolerable
Unsuitable
Just like people, each plant has its own preferences. Learn about your plants' temperature needs and create a comforting environment for them to flourish. As you care for your plants, your bond with them will deepen. Trust your intuition as you learn about their temperature needs, celebrating the journey you share. Lovingly monitor the temperature around your plants and adjust their environment as needed. A thermometer can be your ally in this heartfelt endeavor. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you explore your plants' temperature needs. Cherish your successes, learn from challenges, and nurture your garden with love, creating a haven that reflects the warmth of your care.
Essentials
Big Bluestem is native to temperate regions, thriving in temperature conditions ranging between 32 to 95 °F (0 to 35 ℃). Its growth is best supported in the milder seasons. Seasonal temperature adjustments aren't typically required.
Regional wintering strategies
Big Bluestem has strong cold resistance, so special frost protection measures are usually not necessary during winter. However, if the winter temperatures are expected to drop below {Limit_growth_temperature}, it is still important to provide cold protection. This can be achieved by covering the plant with materials such as soil or straw. Before the first freeze in autumn, it is recommended to water the plant abundantly, ensuring the soil remains moist and enters a frozen state. This helps prevent drought and water scarcity for the plant during winter and early spring.
Important Symptoms
Symptoms of Low Temperature in Big Bluestem
Big Bluestem is cold-tolerant and thrives best when the temperature is above {Suitable_growth_temperature_min}. During winter, it should be kept above {Tolerable_growing_temperature_min}. When the temperature falls below {Limit_growth_temperature}, although there may not be any noticeable changes during winter, there may be a decrease in sprouting or even no sprouting during springtime.
Solutions
In spring, remove any parts that have failed to sprout.
Symptoms of High Temperature in Big Bluestem
During summer, Big Bluestem should be kept below {Suitable_growth_temperature_max}. When the temperature exceeds {Tolerable_growing_temperature_max}, the leaves of the plant may become lighter in color, prone to curling, susceptible to sunburn, and in severe cases, the entire plant may wilt and become dry.
Solutions
Trim away the sunburned and dried-up parts. Move the plant to a location that provides shade from the midday and afternoon sun, or use a shade cloth to create shade. Water the plant in the morning and evening to keep the soil moist.
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