Buchloe dactyloides

Buffalo Grass - Cultivar

$3.50 - $40.00

1 oz.
1 lb.

Wild-type Buffalo Grass seed is unfortunately rarely available even in very small quantities. The cultivar Buffalo Grass we offer can be a good lawn grass alternative, but should not be used for restoration purposes.

Buffalo Grass has the ability to survive the cool Northern climates and the hot, drier climates of the South. It requires little to no mowing and can withstand droughts. It is a rhizomatous plant with maximum height of just 5", yet a very deep root system once established, for full sun areas and medium to dry soils. 

After its winter dormancy, this warm-season grass remains brown until soil temperatures warm significantly, meaning, a Buffalo Grass lawn will be still be dormant (brown) early-Spring while cool-season, traditional, fescue lawns are greening up. Once established, a Buffalo Grass lawn is green during the hottest, driest times of summer, while traditional, cool-season fescue lawns turn brown mid-summer without heavy watering.

Buffalo Grass is often planted with Blue Grama and Oats as a cover crop. 

Recommended seeding rate: 2-3 lbs/1000 sq.ft. (36,000 seeds/oz)

13 Questions asked on Buchloe dactyloides

We have some of your Buchloe seeds. We would like to know why they are green. Thanks.
Hi Andy. The green dye indicates the seed has been soaked in Potassium nitrate (saltpeter) which enhances germination. This is a naturally occurring substance and is not dangerous.
How much Blue Grama should we order if we wanted to seed it with Buffalo Grass?
Hi Laurie. We suggest about 1 oz of Blue Grama for every lb of Buffalo Grass you order.
I'm considering sowing this to carpet a foot path in a restored prairie. What would be the best time of year to sow? Thanks.
Since this grass does not need to overwinter to germinate (Germ Code = A), and it is a warm-season grass (grows actively when soil temps are warm), we would recommend sowing it late-spring or early-summer. Like with any new seeding, the site should be bare; free of weeds and prairie species that would compete with the new Buffalo Grass trying to germinate and take hold.
I have 2 areas I am looking to seed. One area is the parking adjacent to a road. Would this withstand road salt? The other area is an 8 degree slope that my dog runs on. Would this withstand disturbance from paw traffic? Urine? Thanks!
Thanks for writing, Mary. Historically, Buffalo Grass withstood the hooves of herds of its namesakes, so paw pressure likely would be no problem for it. As a warm-season grass, it probably would tolerate some salt exposure during its dormant winter months. It is mentioned specifically in a document on salt-tolerant grasses from Colorado State University, reached through this link.
Can I seed Buffalo Grass (Buchloe dactyloides) into my thin existing turf? Thanks!
Hi Gary. We wouldn't recommend it. Traditional turf is cool-season, where as Buffalo Grass is warm-season. Cool season grasses green-up and flourish when soil temps are cool, but struggle in the hottest part of summer without frequent watering. Warm-season grasses, like Buffalo Grass and many other deep-rooted prairie grasses stay brown and dormant during the cool spring, but green-up and thrive when soil temps are warm. If you were to interseed Buffalo in your existing lawn, end results may be patches of brown Buffalo in the spring.
How many days to sprout?
HI Kattie. This is a warm season prairie grass, meaning it actively grows when soil temps are warm, like in the middle of the summer as opposed to spring and fall. If your soil is warm, it should germinate in 7-14 days.
Would buffalo grass survive with the rainy Wisconsin summers? We have a retaining wall we'd like to plant this on top, so it would be well drained. Is planting now (August) too late?
Hi Della. Although WI is a bit east of it's native range (it was widespread from the Dakota's south to Texas) it should adapt to WI just fine. Here in SE MN it does very well for us on a few sample plots we have growing. Planting in early-August should be fine; it should germinate soon with the warm soil temps and put on enough growth before killing frosts. Note - it will remain brown next spring, when all other lawn grasses are greening up; some perceive this lengthy brown phase to be dead plants, but when soil temps warm up by June, it will green up.
Does this grass do well w/mowing? Though I know mowing isn't optional.... w/ticks & Chiggers well...... I've looked at Eco grass which also looks like a good option. This planting would be in So. IL.
Yes, you can still choose to mow these grasses for a more 'manicured' lawn. The reason you don't typically need to mow is because they grow slowly, so you will not need to mow as frequently to get the similar appearance to turf. An important reminder is to mow the Buffalo Grass and EcoGrass higher than you would a typical turf grass lawn. 2-3" is the lowest I would recommend.
Hi there, when will this come back into stock for bulk purchase by the pound? It's January 2023 right now. Thanks!
Hi Lucy. Buffalo Grass has been rather difficult for us to source in larger quantities lately. We do not have a definitive timeframe for when we will be able to offer this species at the pound amount again. Hopefully with our website redesign we can include more specific "Notify Me When Back In Stock" options like pound-specific inquiries.
How aggressive is this? I recently had to work very hard to get rid of some nasty zoysia that was overtaking my garden beds. I originally only planted it in a walking path. Can I plant this in a path without much worry of it taking over the garden beds (they are a prairie type of bed with taller plants)?
Hi Pandala. Buffalo Grass will typically fill in empty spaces, but it is not so aggressive that it will outcompete established prairie plants.
We'll be installing geothermal and new French drains around our house and retaining walls this summer and have decided to take the opportunity to kill off the existing turf in favor of more drought resistant grasses. Would mixing buffalo grass seed into the eco grass seed mix give us a longer green season (my husband is very into traditional lawns so this is important to him) or would it just result in weird patchiness?
HI Katrina. I do think it might not be the best look. The Eco-Grass greens up very early - like traditional lawns - since it is a cool-season fescue. Buffalo Grass is a true deep-rooted prairie grass - it is warm-season and does not green up until the soil temps warm significantly. Planted together, I think the Eco-Grass would eventually out-compete the Buffalo.
What are the differences between this cultivar and the wild type?
Hi Alex. True, wild-type Buffalo Grass seed is very difficult to find. It spreads primarily by rhizomatous roots, making viable seed a scarce resource. We currently offer the Sundancer cultivar, which establishes more quickly as a warm season turf grass and produces viable seed more reliably.
Need instructions on planting. How deep? How many seeds per hole? Thanks
Hi David. Sow the Buffalo Grass only as deep as the widest part of the seed. If you are seeding directly on-site, we recommend a sowing rate of about 50 seeds/sqft for a single species stand of grass. If you are sowing into trays or container pots, sow 1 seed per square inch.


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



use 2-3 lbs/1000 sq ft
Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Medium, Medium-Dry, Dry
5 inches
Bloom Time
May, June, July, August
Deer Resistant
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code