Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Kentucky Bluegrass
Poa pratensis

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Poa (POH-ah) (Info)
Species: pratensis (pray-TEN-sis) (Info)

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Clary
Thumbnail #1 of Poa pratensis by Clary

By Clary
Thumbnail #2 of Poa pratensis by Clary


1 positive
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Clary On Feb 25, 2012, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Growing our kentucky bluegrass lawn has been a learning experience - but worth it. We've finally gotten the hang of it and our lawn looks fantastic. It's all-natural.

Our grass looks best in spring and fall. In fact, I usually have a green lawn until it snows, and at spring thaw you can see that growth has already started. This grass requires a lot of water, a lot of lime, regular mowing to maintain 1.5", annual aeration, and a few applications of fertilizer through the season.

The color is outstanding, as is the soft freshness of the leaves. I'm glad we made the effort to establish this plant for our lawn.

Songbirds especially enjoy the lawn for the bugs and larvae - good food for a bird. And I enjoy watching them!


Regarding the comments on growing this grass around and under trees:

The types of grasses that are typically considered "lawns" require a lot of cropping, water, light, and lime. The best "lawn" in the world is the "White Cliffs of Dover" - incredibly verdant grass exposed to reflected light and sub-arctic weather atop a gigantic piece of chalk.

When I say we had a "learning curve" it included realizing that nice turf isn't a filler, it's the focus. My lawn is the fussiest plant on my property.

Unless you live in certain few regions of the world where lush and low grass is part of the natural landscape and grows like a weed!

We have no trees or anything planted in or around the lawn.


I also want to mention that I've recently become aware that there are GMO kentucky bluegrass; Scott's brand is mentioned in news sites, but I would like to clarify that I bought/buy organic pure strain seed.

NO GMO for me

Neutral Cindy_Rae On Aug 18, 2011, Cindy_Rae from Kansas City, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

paani-We've tried Kentucky Bluegrass without any success. I read how pretty a green it is and thought we just HAD to have it.
We have 2 Black Walnuts out back and several others I'm trying to control and have been unsuccessful in growing any grass under them, except of course weeds and prairie grasses! :D
However, to be fair, the grass hasn't done too well here (KCMO) except in the cooler early spring and late fall. Apparently if I had researched further, I would've found that it doesn't like our excessive heat during the summer. If you put a ridiculous amount of water on it throughout the summer it will do a bit better, but it's definitely a cool-season grass.
MO Conservation says Buffalo Grass-a native grass, is a good alternative for lawns & only has to be mowed a couple times a month. Supposedly it resists clumping, thatch, disease, pests and is drought tolerant. I haven't personally tried it & didn't ask him where we could purchase it. My husband is thinking about trying it this fall in the front but hasn't decided just yet. So far I have decided to keep the pond we've had between the Walnuts and have been able to grow several pond loving plants instead-Cattails, Buttonbush and a few other Natives.
Sorry to not be of much help, but I wish you luck in finding something to grow under the trees.

Neutral paani On Jan 30, 2011, paani from Saint Louis, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

An Ohio State U. Extension Factsheet (HYG-1148-93) says, "The beneficial effect of black walnut on pastures in encouraging the growth of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) and other grasses appears to be valid as long as there is sufficient sunlight and water." (quoted by Tom Clothier - ).

Does anyone know if Kentucky Bluegrass will actually grow within the radius of a black walnut? Or would you still have that no-grass circle under the walnut tree?


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America