How to grow: Overall, switch grass is delightfully well-behaved: It rarely needs staking (if it flops, it's getting too much fertilizer or too little sun), nor does it crowd out its companions or produce hundreds of seedlings. If you've avoided ornamental grasses because some are uncontrollable garden thugs, try switch grass. Cut the old growth to a few inches above the ground in early spring.
Which: Cultivars include 'Northwind', with upright clumps of green foliage that are 5 to 6 feet tall; fall color is yellow. 'Rotstrahlbusch' is a bit shorter than 'Northwind'; it turns wine red in fall. Others include 6-foot-tall 'Dallas Blues', with broad silvery blue leaf blades and pink flowers, and the 8-foot-tall 'Cloud Nine'.