How to Plant and Maintain Little Blue Stem

The Little Blue Stem (Schizachyrium scoparium) is a tufted grass that ground birds LOVE living in! It is also eaten by songbirds, upland gamebirds and sometimes grazed by livestock! It is also often used in erosion control as a cover crop and as a prairie restoration plant.

This grass grows to a medium height ranging between 18 inches to 3 feet, depending on the soil quality. The preferred soil quality for Little Blue Stem plants is well-drained, medium to dry, infertile soil with a pH of 7.0 or slightly higher. It does not tolerate flood conditions very well at all. The growing season for this grass begins in late spring until the first killing frost.


  • Prepare a seedbed by making sure there are no weeds and that the seed bed is firm. Plant the seed 1/4 inch into the soil during the spring or the fall (dormant seeding).
  • Little Blue Stem seedlings are incredibly resilient, so you’ll have plenty of newly established plantings in no time!
  • Don’t add fertilizer to your soil the first year, unless soil tests indicate that there’s a severe deficiency of potassium and/or phosphorous. If this is the case, don’t add fertilizer with nitrogen– it will encourage weeds to grow too!

If you want to know more about the Little Blue Stem, please visit this USDA pdf!