10 Drought Tolerant Grasses For The Lawn

By Tonya Barnett | July 11, 2020
by Tonya Barnett
July 11, 2020

For many homeowners, a lush green lawn is the pinnacle of creating stunning curb appeal. A well-maintained lawn perfectly frames the home, and is a point of pride. However, the process of creating and manicuring these plantings can be both costly and labor intensive.

With water conservation an ever-growing concern, people have started to explore lawn alternatives such as xeriscape landscapes and artificial turf. For those who still yearn for a real grassy yard, many types of lawn grass are being developed for their water-wise growth habits and ability to tolerate drought conditions. Below you will find some of the top grass choices for arid lawns.

10 Drought Tolerant Grasses for Lawns

  • Fescue – Fescue is a cool season grass. While tall fescue is more like traditional lawns, other types may demonstrate more of a clumping habit. Sheep fescue, for example, is very tolerant of drought. However, its texture and growth pattern make it less than ideal for use in yards.
  • Buffalo grass – Yet another cool season grass, buffalo grass has gained popularity for its less frequent need to be mowed. Like sheep fescue, lawns planted with buffalo grass tend to be bumpy and undesirable.
  • Kentucky bluegrassKentucky bluegrass grass is a popular option due to its versatility. While traditional bluegrass does require ample irrigation, more recent breeding projects have focused on increased resistance to drought.
  • Zoysia – This type of grass is especially tolerant to both drought conditions and high amounts of foot traffic. Due to its warm season growth, zoysia grass is an excellent option for regions where summer temperatures are especially warm.
  • Bermuda grassBermuda grass is a popular choice for warm season yards which receive high amounts of foot traffic. This grass may also require more maintenance than some other types, as frequent mowing will be a necessity.
  • St. Augustine – While this grass is a good choice for drought prone regions, it does perform best when planted in yards that receive shade throughout the day. St. Augustine grass will grow quickly to form lush patches of new grass.
  • WheatgrassWheatgrass within the lawn can look vibrant and become quite thick. However, this grass will definitely need more care than other types. With careful attention, it is possible to establish a drought tolerant patch of wheatgrass.
  • RyegrassPerennial ryegrass is an excellent choice for those wishing to establish a lawn planting quickly. Ryegrass is often used for its visual appeal in applications such as golf courses and baseball fields.
  • BentgrassBentgrass quickly establishes masses of thick, matted blades. Though many varieties of bentgrass can tolerate drought, it does best in regions where temperatures are not excessively hot.
  • Bahia – Bahia grass is a great choice to troublesome yards which are low in nutrients. Though the blades are coarser than some other types of grass, bahia grass will create a thick planting. In some areas, the grass grows so well that it’s considered weedy.
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