Washington State University

Gardening in Washington State

Does Buffalograss Grow Well in Washington State?

To determine if buffalograss is a suitable turfgrass for central Washington, Dr. Gwen Stahnke, Extension Turfgrass Specialist for WSU, established the first set of test plots at the Yakima Area Arboretum in Yakima, Washington, over 15 years ago. Plots were also established in Pullman, Washington, but these did not survive, probably because of drying out over the winter. The loss of buffalograss in Pullman may have been due to winter desiccation. Because of the low soil temperatures for much of the year in western Washington, buffalograss is not recommended for planting there, since it is quickly outcompeted by cool-season grasses and weeds. To summarize regarding adaptability, buffalograsses are only suited for use in low- to moderately-maintained areas in central Washington.


For more information, a free downloadable PDF is located here Buffalograss for Use In Central Washington FS 095E

Submitted by: Marianne Ophardt,  May 19, 2015


4 comments on “Does Buffalograss Grow Well in Washington State?”

  1. Larry Parker said on June 15, 2015:

    What kinds of drought resistant grasses will grow in zone 6 (zip code 99123) in shady sandy areas?

  2. David Butler said on August 31, 2022:

    Yes I live in Yakima Washington noticed that it was planted at the Arboretum I wondered if it is still suitable for this area thank you

  3. Brien said on September 19, 2022:

    We are in Tacoma’s East side. Our lawn consists of field grass dring the cooler months, giving way to dust and bad soil in the summer months.
    We like the resource-wise concept of buffalo grass, but understanding that the soil temps arent welcoming, what grasses would you recommend for a year-round green space?

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Gardening in Washington State, Puyallup Research and Extension Center

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