Native grasses are well adapted to Denver’s local weather conditions. As a result, they thrive well even when exposed to the region’s cold winters, hot to mild summers, occasional snowfall, and low humidity.
Besides their superb adaptability, native grasses need minimal maintenance. Nick’s Garden Center sheds more light on Denver’s native grasses. Learn what varieties are available, their benefits, and how to maintain them.
Understanding Native Grasses
Native grasses are those grasses that were not introduced to Denver by landscapers. They have been growing wild in this region for thousands of years. As a result, the plants have developed the resilience necessary to survive the local climate.
In particular, the grasses can tolerate temperature fluctuations and low humidity. Moreover, these grasses thrive in drought, which helps you conserve water. With the grass, you’ll not have to water your lawn frequently.
Popular Native Grass Varieties for Denver
Denver has a variety of native grasses. So you can always find a type to give your lawn the desired aesthetic appeal.
Below is an overview of the grasses that thrive in the region’s climatic conditions:
- Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis). Blue grama is a small, clump-forming grass with blue-gray leaves. The foliage adds a striking golden-brown color to your lawn in the fall.
- Buffalo Grass (Bouteloua dactyloides). Buffalo grass has fine, blue-green leaves and dense, low-growing turf. With its robust root system, the grass survives dry areas without problems.
- Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium). This ornamental grass has silvery-blue stems and leaves and purple-bronze seed heads. These natural hues make the grass an excellent addition to your lawn.
- Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). Switchgrass boasts slender green leaves and pinnate flower panicles. Denver gardeners often use it to prevent erosion.
- Side-Oats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula). This side-oats grass has slender, blue-green leaves with distinctive oat-like seed heads. It is an excellent, low-maintenance option for a prairie-style lawn.
- Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans). Indian grass has tall, slender stems with graceful flower panicles that turn golden-orange in the fall. It is among the most decorative native grasses in Denver.
- Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis). This perennial grass has delicate, arching foliage and delightful, fragrant seed heads. It is often used to add elegance and charm to prairie-style landscapes.
Benefits of Native Grasses in Landscaping
Native grasses are characterized by one benefit – their excellent adaptability. The grasses maintain top shape even in Denver’s not-so-friendly garden conditions.
Other reasons why landscapers prefer native grasses include the following:
- Drought tolerance and water conservation. Many native grasses go dormant to survive extended periods without rainfall.
- Low maintenance requirements. Denver native grasses rarely need watering and fertilizing. Furthermore, the grasses are resistant to pests and last for years.
- Erosion control and soil stabilization. The dense root systems of native grasses hold the soil in place. No wonder Denver gardeners use them to prevent erosion from wind and water.
- Wildlife habitat and biodiversity support. Grasses are not only useful for landscaping. They also provide habitat for native wildlife such as songbirds and rabbits.
- Aesthetically pleasing landscapes. Many native varieties feature colorful leaves, stems, and seed heads. They’ll give your landscape an incomparable beauty.
Native Grass Care and Maintenance
Although native grasses are low maintenance, they still need some maintenance. The care helps them remain hardy enough to reach their full potential. So how do you care for your native grasses?
- Watering and irrigation practices. During the dry season, water your native grass so that it receives enough moisture. As a rule, irrigate the lawn late in the evening or early in the morning.
- Fertilization and weed control. Apply grass fertilizer to your lawn in late spring or early summer. The fertilizer will boost healthy growth. Weed as soon as weeds emerge to avoid competition for nutrients.
- Pruning, mowing, and seasonal maintenance. Cut back grass in late winter or early spring to remove dead parts. Furthermore, mow in late spring or early summer when the grass looks overgrown.
Get Your Native Grasses at Nick’s Garden Center
Since 1987, Nick’s Garden Center has been a trusted source of grasses, shrubs, and herbs. We also offer insider tips to maximize your gardening and landscaping success. Contact us to learn more about Denver’s native grasses.