Blue grama grass is a perennial warm season grass grown for its fine, gray-green leaves and one-sided decorative flowers. A compact grower, it is native to the arid western United States and Mexico where soils are dry and alkaline.
Fine, narrow, gray-green leaves emerge in spring. In summer slender stems rise above the foliage lined with one-sided flower buds that resemble mosquito larvae. The tiny flowers are reddish purple when they open and quite decorative lining the stem tips. In autumn the foliage turns burgundy before becoming tan in winter. Small birds eat the dry seeds through cold fall and winter months. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Bouteloua
Species - Gracilis
Common name - Blue Grama Grass
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 9
Height - 0.40 - 0.60 m
Spread - 0.25 - 0.30 m
Plant type - Decorative Grass
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - 5.0 - 8.5 (Neutral, Alkaline)
Soil type - Well drained, Light, Medium, Low salinity
Water requirements - Semi-moist or Dry
Care level - Easy
Landscape uses - Dried Flower/Everlasting, Lawns and Turf, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
Germination rate - 97%
Bloom season - Summer, Late Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green, grey green / White - light purple
|1. Sow seeds indoors in April to produce plants large enough to move outdoors in specific locations after frost. Fill a seed flat with 2 parts potting soil and 1 part perlite. Mist the flat until it is evenly moist.
2. Sow the seeds half an inch apart on the surface of the soil mixture. Mist lightly and place the lid on the flat. Place the flat in a light room where the temperatures is at least 68 F. Mist the flat every couple of days or as the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feels dry. Remove the lid for one hour per day to prevent mold.
3. Check the flat daily after the first week to look for germination. Sprouting usually occurs within two weeks, at which point you can grow the grasses without the lid. Thin the grasses to two inches apart and allow them to fill in until they are 3 to 4 inches high. Transplant them after the danger of frost has passed.
4. Plant the seed outside after the danger of frost has passed in your zone. Prepare a garden bed by tilling in 5 inches of compost and 1 to 2 inches of sand. Remove weeds, rocks and roots, and rake the bed smooth.
5. Use the rake to create trenches in the soil of the planting bed. Plant the seed in the trenches and then run the back of the rake over the bed to knock a fine layer of soil onto the seeds to prevent the wind from taking them. Water the bed until it is damp 3 to 5 inches under the surface. Use a finger or dig a little trench to make sure the bed is damp enough.
6. Mist the bed daily in the morning or afternoon. On very sunny days, you may have to do both to keep the seeds from drying out. Blue fescue does not germinate if the temperature falls below 65 F or if the seed dries out.
7. Thin the sprouted seeds if necessary, continue watering and keep weeds out of the bed. If you want to transplant the seedlings, do so once they are 3 to 4 inches high.