How Does Buffalo Grass Spread?

Buffalo grass is a common blue-green turfgrass found in North American countries such as Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It grows well in full sun and spreads quickly on its own.

What is Buffalo Grass?

Buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides) is a low-maintenance, warm-season grass recognized for its blue to gray-green leaf blades and drought resistance. It is a natural lawn grass in North America, vying with blue grama as the most common turf type in the shortgrass prairies of Nebraska, Texas, and other heartland regions. ‘Cody’ and ‘Texoka’ are two well-known buffalo grass varieties.

The term buffalo grass comes from the fact that it was extensively fed to bison and buffalo over the Great Plains in the eighteenth century. It has since grown significantly more domesticated. Buffalo grass lawns, as well as buffalo grass golf courses, are fairly common.

How Does Buffalo Grass Spread?

How Does Buffalo Grass Spread?

Buffalo grass spreads by rhizomes (underground, stemlike roots) as well as stolons. (above-ground connections between plants). This results in a root system that is both durable and self-replicating after seeding. This grass is dioecious, which means it has both male and female plants. Male plant seed heads aid female flowers in grass reproduction. The more frequently you mow your buffalo grass, the easier it is for this seeding process to go quickly and aggressively.

How Long Does Buffalo Grass Take To Establish?

Buffalo grass can germinate in 15 to 21 days or more. As a result, watering the lawn many times per day will be necessary until a good amount of grass develops. We’ll get into recommended practices for buffalo grass care momentarily, but first, let’s look at how long buffalo grass takes to spread when it grows.

How Do You Encourage Buffalo Grass To Spread?

Mowing on a regular basis is the best way to foster the spread of buffalo grass. Of course, you must stop irrigation one or two days before cutting the lawn to allow the soil to dry properly. Mowing can assist buffalo grass in spreading and filling up open areas. It may also aid in the control of weeds that have begun to sprout in your yard. Extra seed can also be scratched into open or thin patches in your new grass to encourage growth.

What Is The Best Fertiliser For Buffalo Grass?

You must fertilise your grass as needed for it to be healthy. This is one of the four most important aspects of maintaining a beautiful lawn. A slow-release liquid lawn fertilizer is the best form of fertilizer for buffalo. Buffalo grass is quite resilient, yet it, like most other grasses, loses vitality during the colder months.

As a result, utilizing a simple liquid lawn fertilizer will bring out the best in your buffalo grass all year!

Why A Buffalo Lawn Is So Valuable

Remember that all of the time and effort you spend into maintaining your buffalo grass is a fantastic investment. According to a national survey conducted by real estate firm Raine & Horne, having a lawn can increase the value of your home by up to 20%. That is a stunning sum, equivalent to an average of $110,000 in Australian property values.

Taking care of your grass will not only add value to your home, but it will also boost its buyability. (should you wish to sell up in the future that is). In either scenario, you will have a beautiful and long-lasting lawn that will be the envy of your neighbors!

Is Buffalo Grass Easy To Grow?

Buffalo grass is rather simple to grow. It is drought-tolerant, which means it requires less rain or less regular watering, reducing the amount of maintenance required dramatically. Buffalo grass prefers full sun, although it is not finicky about its surroundings.

Buffalo grass has a tendency to spread, so it may require occasional trimming or edging to keep it out of other places, but this is the primary problem that many people who plant it face. Some modern buffalo grass types have been developed to be even more resistant to drought, heat, and weeds, making it even lower-maintenance than it originally was.

Buffalo grass generally outperforms weeds due to its height, giving them little room to establish themselves. Some weeds may still infiltrate your yard, but they will be fewer in number.

Should You Remove Runners From Buffalo Grass

Buffalo grass runners are vital for filling in bare places on your lawn. However, runners creeping into flower beds, gardens, or onto paved areas should be removed. This will maintain your yard neat and prevent Buffalo grass from taking over areas where grass should not grow.

  • Allow Buffalo grass runners to grow in your lawn; they create dense grass and keep broadleaf weeds at bay.
  • Remove invasive runners from garden beds and pavement areas.
  • Errant Buffalo grass runners that grow upwards rather than along the soil surface should be mowed.

Buffalo grass runners may stick upwards rather than creep down the surface of the lawn in some situations. You should mow these stray runners to keep your lawn looking neat.

Does Buffalo Lawn Grass Have Runners?

During the summer, buffalo grass generates a lot of runners. Unlike some other grasses, Buffalo grass spreads only by runners. During the summer, it is critical to water and fertilize Buffalo grass. If the grass is subjected to drought over the summer and does not develop runners, you will miss out on new growth until the following year. This makes it critical to water and fertilize your Buffalo grass lawn during the hot months.

Growth Cycle Of Buffalo Grass

Sun-loving buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides) grows best in temperatures ranging from 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm soil, up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, promotes quick germination and foliage growth. This warm-season grass prefers USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 11, and it has a distinct growth cycle that you should be aware of in order to properly care for it.


Buffalo grass is a low-maintenance grass that is primarily grown from seed. Wait until soil temperatures reach 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit before beginning any seeding initiatives; planting buffalo grass in midspring to midsummer is the optimal period for this soil temperature. Seeds take longer to sprout if planted earlier in the spring.

Buffalo grass need warmth to establish quickly. In optimum conditions, excellent seeds germinate in around seven days. Because of their rapid establishment, these seedlings are highly competitive with germinating weed seeds for the same soil space.

Stolon Spread

Buffalo grass remains close to the ground after germination and begins to spread after four weeks. Stolons, or plant stems that grow above ground, spread throughout the earth. As the stem contacts the soil, new roots form to sustain the stem and foliage above.

This spreading technique explains why this turf is easier to manage: it expends its energy on horizontal spreading rather than tall, grass blade growth. Buffalo grass only grows to a height of 3 to 6 inches. The stolons spread swiftly, forming a dense turf that suffocates any struggling weeds.

Vigorous Growth Period

Buffalo grass, which has a characteristic bluish-green color, grows quickly throughout the summer. However, because this period corresponds with severe drought, you must irrigate buffalo grass on a regular basis to keep its color and growth pattern. Maintaining a well-draining and nutrient-rich soil structure adds to summer grass growth success by retaining water for root uptake. Plant buffalo grass in full sun and water it thoroughly for the best growth.


Buffalo grass enters dormancy as the soil cools in the fall and winter approaches. The grass may appear yellow or brown, although this is not caused by disease. This natural dormancy color will be present till spring. You can avoid a brown lawn in the winter by overseeding with a cool-season turf species. Cool-season grasses, which keep their green hue throughout the winter, provide some life to your lawn until the buffalo grass grows back in the spring.


To summarize, it can take up to 4 weeks for a buffalo lawn to grow and begin spreading properly. If you follow the lawncare instructions stated above, you should have no serious problems with your new lawn. If you find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed and in need of some additional guidance, contact a reputed lawn care provider, who will take good care of you.