Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass
poa pratensis
(po-ah prah-ten-sis)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

Kentucky bluegrass is a perennial grass that was introduced from Europe. However, it has become extensively naturalized in open woods, pastures, prairies, and roadsides throughout the Mid and Eastern U.S. It is considered a cool season grass, and is not very tolerant of heat. It has a medium texture and a notable blue-green color.

What is it used for?

Kentucky bluegrass is used as a lawn and turf grass.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

Kentucky bluegrass needs a well-drained soil in full sunshine. Kentucky bluegrass has good drought tolerance, once established. Plant the seeds and mow to 1 1/2 inches. The natural height of Kentucky bluegrass is 2 feet. It also has good wear tolerance and therefore is good for planting in well trafficked areas.

What are its primary problems?

Kentucky bluegrass seeds are usually mixed with other turfgrass seed types and planted together to improve pest resistance and stress tolerance.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.