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Bull grass is an evergreen clumping grass growing 2-3 ft. tall and as wide. It has fine textured pale green foliage, and produces attractive inflorescences of flowers by the end of summer.

Bull grass is an easy to grow perennial grass that needs little care or attention. It thrives in sunny locations with normal winter rains and low amounts of summer water. It is smaller in size than the popular and robust Deer grass, M. rigens, and as a result is better suited to smaller spaces. Inflorescences last well into fall and early winter; trim this plant hard during this season to stimulate a strong spring growth cycle and renewed foliage character.

Water Needs

Bull grass can grow throughout the Inland Empire where it is adapted to sunny exposures 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; more water in the spring will result in more robust summer performance.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  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 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 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" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

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

  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: Evergreen
Habit: Mounding, Dense, Arching
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.
Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Purple, Tan
Flower Season: Summer, Fall
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, Aridity, All day sun, Partial sun
Function: Wildlife value, Residential spaces, Near pools and water features, Grouped, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Borders, Banks, Small spaces


In late winter or early spring, just prior to spring growth, cut back hard, to an appx. 6" mound. For multiple plants, this is best done using a manual or powered hedge trimmer. If needed, dried flowers can be cleaned up over the winter with a very light shearing, but it is a warm season growing grass so avoid cutting back significantly during the cool season. If you only have a few plants, old flower stalks can be removed individually with a hand pruner. After the pink flowers fade to tan, the dried flowers continue to look attractive for quite some time. Consider waiting to remove dried flowers until they begin to look unattractive (S).