Andropogon gerardii 'Red October' - Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii 'Red October' - Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii 'Red October' - Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii 'Red October' - Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii 'Red October' - Big Bluestem

Andropogon gerardii 'Red October' - Big Bluestem

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Butterfly FriendlyDeer ResistantPart Shade
Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii 'Red October'

'Red October' is a show stopper with year-round beauty. The foliage emerges in spring with reddish highlights. In summer the foliage is a lush, deep green. Burgundy red flowers bloom in August while the foliage takes on a purple-red hue. The first frost brings on the vivid, scarlet red, fall color. Attractive to butterflies, birds and other beneficial insects. Provides cover for at least 24 species of songbirds. Tough and easy to grow. 

  • All season beauty, vivid red fall color
  • Attracts birds and butterflies
  • Drought tolerant once established
  • Superb for mass planting and erosion control
  • Deer resistant, tolerant of black walnut
  • Seed heads dry well for cut flower arrangements

Native Range

Andropogon gerardii can be found in moist meadows and alongside roads and rivers from Canada to Mexico.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)


Big bluestem once dominated the tall-grass prairies of North America, forming rippling waves of amber taller than a man on horseback from the Rocky Mountains to the eastern forests.




Andropogon gerardii is very tolerant of diverse conditions but is most often found in full sun, dry and sandy to clay soils. It grows quickly in moist, fertile soils, but is more likely to bend and fall over. Clumps can be divided in early summer, but bring a sturdy shovel!


Mature Size: 4-6ft. Tall x 2-3ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Coming Soon!

    Choosing the Right Plants

    American Beauties Offer Solution Based Plant Collections to Help you Choose

    Quick Tips for Choosing Plants:

    • Planting a variety of native trees, shrubs, perennials and vines increases biodiversity and gives wildlife a source for food, cover and nesting
    • Choose a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees so birds and other wildlife will always be able to find shelter
    • Plant trees and large shrubs where they will block winter winds from the house and shade it in summer, that will save energy and lower your carbon footprint
    • Try your best to buy plants that were grown locally, your independent garden center will be your best bet
    • Think about ultimate height and width of the plant you choose, make sure it will fit the space you have for it when it's reached maturity
    • Plant nectar plants in groups, to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects more easily
    • Ask for help if you need it. Most garden centers either have a landscape designer on staff or they can give you a reference of a designer that is adept at native plant wildlife gardening. There will be upfront costs but they are small when compared to having to redo a landscape that wasn't what you really wanted

    Our Plant Tags Hold the Secrets to Success

    Choosing the right plants for your garden can seem like a daunting task but we’re here to help. Our horticulturists have spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing our beautiful, American Beauties plant tags to help you be successful. First of all, when you see an American Beauties branded pot at your garden center you can be confident that the plant is native to your area and a responsible choice. 

    When you look at our tag you’ll find information about the plants natural habitat. That will give you a clue to how it will work in your backyard. For instance if the plant is naturally founded and moist, shade and you have full sun, it’s not the plant for you. The “Features” section gives you an overview or plant description so you’ll know what to expect. While the “Benefits” section talks about the plants strong suits and how the plant will benefit wildlife. 

    A Special Note About Exposure

    Full sun: Prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
    Partial shade: Thrives in three to six hours of daily sunshine
    Shade: Generally does well with less than three hours of sun per day. Having said that even shade loving plants will struggle in extremely deep shade.


    Best Plants for Bees - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Butterflies - Double sided printout for download

    Best Plants for Birds - Double sided printout for download

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