How to Grow Buffalo Grass: Can You Grow Buffalo Grass from Seed?

Popularity of buffalo grass as a lawn choice has increased due to the grass’s durability and low maintenance needs. This versatile grass species possesses remarkable drought tolerance and is resistant to pests and diseases, making it an ideal option for regions with challenging climates. In this detailed manual, we’ll investigate how to grow buffalo grass, paying special attention to the possibility of doing so from seed. By understanding the essential factors involved in buffalo grass cultivation and exploring the seed propagation method, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge needed to establish a thriving buffalo grass lawn. So, let’s dive in and discover the wonders of growing buffalo grass from seed!


Understanding Buffalo Grass

A. Characteristics of Buffalo Grass:

Native to North America, buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides) is a warm-season grass species. It is known for its unique traits that contribute to its desirability as a lawn grass. Buffalo grass forms a dense turf with fine-textured, soft blades and a low growth habit, reaching a height of 4 to 8 inches at its maximum. Its attractive blue-green color adds aesthetic appeal to any landscape. Moreover, buffalo grass exhibits excellent drought tolerance and can survive in areas with limited water availability.

B. Benefits of Growing Buffalo Grass:

  1. Low Water Requirements: Buffalo grass is much more water-efficient than other grass species and requires less irrigation. It requires less frequent watering because of its deep root system, which effectively accesses moisture from the soil.
  2. Low-Maintenance: This grass type has a slow growth rate, reducing the frequency of mowing. It is the perfect option for homeowners looking for a low-maintenance lawn because it also requires little fertilization and can withstand prolonged periods without irrigation.
  3. Environmental Friendliness: Buffalo grass is a green choice because of its lower water use, less chemical inputs, and lower carbon footprint. It promotes sustainability by conserving resources while providing a visually appealing lawn.

Understanding the characteristics and benefits of buffalo grass sets the foundation for successful cultivation. Now, let’s explore the factors to consider before embarking on your buffalo grass-growing journey.

Factors to Consider Before Growing Buffalo Grass

To ensure the best growth and establishment, it is important to take into account a few key factors before beginning the buffalo grass growing process. By understanding these factors, you can create the ideal conditions for buffalo grass to thrive.

Climate and Region:

Buffalo grass is well-suited to regions with warm climates, particularly those with hot summers and mild winters. It grows best in areas with at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. It is important to assess whether your region’s climate and sunlight conditions align with the requirements of buffalo grass before proceeding with cultivation.

Soil Requirements:

  1. Soil Type: Buffalo grass prefers well-drained soils with good water infiltration. It tolerates a wide range of soil textures, including clay, loam, and sandy soils. However, the soil should not become waterlogged, as this can cause root rot.
  2. pH Level: Buffalo grass grows best in soils that are slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. A soil test will assist you in determining the pH of your soil and making any necessary modifications to create an ideal growing environment.


Buffalo grass is a warm-season grass that requires abundant sunlight for photosynthesis and optimal growth. Ensure that your lawn area receives plenty of sunlight, as insufficient sunlight can lead to weak growth, thinning, and increased susceptibility to diseases and pests.

Considering these factors, such as climate, soil type, and sunlight availability, will greatly contribute to the success of your buffalo grass cultivation project. In the next section, we will explore the possibility of growing buffalo grass from seed and discuss the seed propagation method in detail.

Growing Buffalo Grass: Seed Propagation Method

1. Can Buffalo Grass Be Grown from Seed?

One common question among prospective buffalo grass growers is whether it can be grown from seed. The answer is yes, buffalo grass can indeed be propagated from seed. However, it’s important to note that there are advantages and disadvantages to using seeds for buffalo grass establishment.


  1. Cost-Effective: Growing buffalo grass from seed can be more cost-effective compared to other methods like sod installation or plug planting.
  2. Large Coverage: Seeds allow for the establishment of a large area with buffalo grass, making it suitable for expansive lawns or commercial applications.
  3. Genetic Diversity: Seeds provide an opportunity for genetic diversity, as each seed can potentially develop into a unique plant with specific traits.


  1. Longer Establishment Time: Growing buffalo grass from seed requires patience, as it generally takes longer to establish compared to other methods like sod or plugs.
  2. Susceptibility to Weeds: During the establishment phase, buffalo grass seedlings can be more vulnerable to weed competition. Extra care must be taken to control weeds and provide optimal growing conditions.

2. Collecting Buffalo Grass Seeds:

To grow buffalo grass from seed, you need to collect the seeds. Here are some guidelines for collecting buffalo grass seeds:

  1. Timing: Buffalo grass produces seeds during its flowering period, typically in late spring or early summer. Collect the seeds when they are fully mature and have turned golden brown.
  2. Seed Collection Technique: Gently shake or brush the buffalo grass seed heads over a clean container to collect the seeds. Avoid damaging the seeds or collecting excessive plant debris.

3. Preparing the Soil:

Before sowing buffalo grass seeds, it’s crucial to prepare the soil properly to provide an optimal growing environment. Just do what I say:

  1. Soil Aeration: Use a garden fork or aerator to break up compacted soil to increase water infiltration and root penetration.
  2. Leveling: Ensure the soil surface is level and smooth, removing any rocks, debris, or large clumps of soil.
  3. Weed Control: Eliminate existing weeds by hand-pulling or using a suitable herbicide, ensuring it is safe for buffalo grass. Wait for the recommended waiting period before proceeding.

4. Sowing Buffalo Grass Seeds:

To sow buffalo grass seeds effectively, follow these guidelines:

  1. Timing: Plant the seeds in the late spring or early summer, when the soil temperature stays above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 degrees Celsius) consistently.
  2. Seed Distribution: Broadcast the buffalo grass seeds evenly across the prepared soil surface. Use a spreader or your hand to ensure uniform coverage.
  3. Watering: After seeding, the area should be gently watered to promote seed-to-soil contact. Use a fine mist or sprinkler to avoid displacing the seeds.

5. Caring for Buffalo Grass Seedlings:

During the establishment phase, buffalo grass seedlings require special care and attention. Consider the following tips:

  1. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not saturated. Water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth.
  2. Mowing: Let the grass seedlings reach a height of three to four inches before mowing. Set the mower to the highest setting to avoid scalping the young plants.
  3. Fertilization: Follow the label directions when using a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus but low in nitrogen. Avoid excessive fertilization, as buffalo grass prefers lower nutrient levels.

By following these steps, you can successfully grow buffalo grass from seed and ensure healthy establishment. However, it’s important to note that there are alternative methods available, such as sod installation or plug planting, which may suit specific needs.

In the following section, we will discuss alternative methods of growing buffalo grass and provide insights into maintaining a healthy buffalo grass lawn.

Alternative Growing Methods for Buffalo Grass

Although growing buffalo grass from seed is a viable option, there are other methods for establishing a buffalo grass lawn that you can consider. Here are two popular alternatives:

1. Sod Installation:

Sod installation involves laying down pre-grown buffalo grass sod, which consists of mature grass plants held together by a layer of soil and roots. This method offers several advantages:

  1. Instant Results: With sod, you can achieve an instant lawn as the mature grass is already established.
  2. Weed Suppression: Sod installation minimizes weed competition during the initial growth stage.
  3. Erosion Control: Sod helps prevent soil erosion on sloped areas or sites prone to erosion.

However, it’s important to consider that sod installation can be more expensive compared to seed propagation, and it may require professional assistance for proper installation.

2. Plug Planting:

Plug planting involves placing small sections of buffalo grass sod, known as plugs, into prepared soil at regular intervals. Here are some key points about plug planting:

  1. Cost-Effective: Plug planting strikes a balance between seed propagation and sod installation in terms of cost.
  2. Quicker Establishment: Compared to growing from seed, plug planting allows for a faster establishment of the buffalo grass lawn.
  3. Coverage Control: By strategically placing plugs, you have more control over the coverage and density of the buffalo grass in your lawn.

While plug planting can speed up the establishment process, it may require more effort and time compared to sod installation.

Consider your budget, timeline, and desired coverage when choosing the most suitable method for growing buffalo grass. Regardless of the technique you select, regular maintenance is necessary for a healthy buffalo grass lawn. This topic will be covered in more detail in the following section.

How to Take Care of Your Buffalo Grass Lawn?

A. Watering:

Proper watering is crucial for maintaining a healthy buffalo grass lawn. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Deep Watering: Water the lawn thoroughly, allowing the water to penetrate the soil 6-8 inches deep. This encourages the roots to grow deeper and improves drought tolerance.
  2. Watering Frequency: Water the lawn infrequently but deeply, promoting a more robust root system. Aim for 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall.
  3. Early Morning Watering: Watering in the early morning reduces evaporation and allows grass blades to dry before evening, lowering disease risk.

B. Mowing:

Mowing practices play a vital role in the health and appearance of your buffalo grass lawn. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Proper Height: Maintain a mowing height of 2.5-3.5 inches for buffalo grass. Cutting the grass too short weakens the plants and increases weed competition.
  2. Regular Mowing: Mow regularly to prevent the grass from becoming too long. Avoid removing more than one-third of the grass blade length in a single mowing session.
  3. Sharpened Blades: Ensure your mower blades are sharp to achieve clean cuts, preventing damage to the grass.

C. Fertilization and Weed Control:

Proper fertilization and weed control are crucial for maintaining a healthy buffalo grass lawn:

  1. Fertilization: Buffalo grass generally requires minimal fertilization. To promote healthy growth, apply a low-nitrogen fertilizer in early spring. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates.
  2. Weed Control: Regularly inspect the lawn for weeds and remove them manually or with appropriate herbicides. Avoid using broad-spectrum herbicides that can harm buffalo grass.

D. Aeration:

Aeration on a regular basis reduces soil compaction, improves water and nutrient penetration, and encourages healthy root development. Use a garden fork or aerator to create small holes in the lawn’s surface.

E. Seasonal Maintenance:

  1. Overseeding: If your buffalo grass lawn starts to thin out, consider overseeding in late spring or early summer to maintain its density.
  2. Winter Care: In regions with colder winters, buffalo grass may go dormant. Avoid foot traffic on dormant grass and refrain from mowing until it starts to actively grow again in spring.

By following these maintenance practices, you can ensure a lush, healthy buffalo grass lawn that thrives throughout the seasons. Regular care and attention will help your buffalo grass withstand environmental challenges and provide an aesthetically pleasing and low-maintenance landscape option.


Growing buffalo grass, whether from seed, sod installation, or plug planting, offers a range of options for establishing a lush and resilient lawn. Understanding the characteristics of buffalo grass, including its low-maintenance nature and drought tolerance, sets the foundation for successful cultivation. While growing buffalo grass from seed provides cost-effectiveness and the potential for large coverage, alternative methods like sod installation and plug planting offer quicker establishment. Whatever method is used, proper maintenance practices such as watering, mowing, fertilization, weed control, and seasonal care are essential for maintaining a healthy buffalo grass lawn. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can confidently embark on your buffalo grass-growing journey and enjoy the beauty and durability of this remarkable grass species.

A B M Zahidul Hoque

I'm the owner of After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I have joined as a scientist at Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh. I started Weeds in Gardens to make you familiar with different weeds and their positive and negative aspects.

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