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Description

Blue grama grass is truly a versatile, tough and elegant plant. It naturally grows as a clumping perennial from 1 1/2-2 ft. tall and spreads to 2 ft. wide. Unique inflorescences are set at a 45° angle from thin stems throughout summer and fall and wave gracefully in daily breezes.

The versatility of this grass can be seen when it is used for habitat plantings, as a natural meadow and accent plant around rocks, and mixed with other native plants. Unmowed plants also have a delicate ornamental character making them useful in mixed perennial plantings throughout the Inland Empire. Perhaps its most surprising use is for a low water needy lawn. When maintained as a 2-3 in. tall lawn, it shows good tolerance of foot traffic while receiving relatively low amounts of supplemental water.

Water Needs

Blue grama is a warm season grass that is well suited to sunny garden locations on well drained soils and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water. When grown as a lawn, the supplemental watering schedule set to the high range of this chart will result in more vigorous growth and resistance to foot traffic.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Grass
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous
Habit: Upright, Spreading, Graceful, Clumping
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 18 in. - 24 in.
Width: 12 in.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Purple
Flower Season: Summer
Soil Adaptations: Loam
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Residential spaces, Parks and open space, Mass planting, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Borders, Banks, Attracts butterflies, Small spaces

Maintenance

If desired, cut back when dormant to clean up the look. Buffalo Grass is winter dormant, so will not grow until warm weather returns. If it looks good in the winter, wait until just before spring growth to cut back (S). It may be mowed to 2-3" for a low foot traffic lawn (4).

References

Associations

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