How to Grow Russian Wildrye

Pasture grass. image by priyahegde:


Russian wildrye, or Psathyrostachys juncea, is a green perennial grass that has yellow flowers. It can get up to 3 feet high and grows fast, coming back year after year. This particular type of grass is shade intolerant and must be in full sun. It can grow up to 3 feet in height, and blooms in early spring. Russian wildrye is also cold and drought intolerant and requires a warm climate.

Step 1

Determine where to plant your Russian wildrye. The location should be in full sun and have a pH between 6.5 to 9. Wildrye can tolerate drought conditions, so areas with low water will be fine, but sandy locations will make it hard to grow.

Step 2

Spread Russian wildrye seed to a depth of less than 1 inch in early spring using a hand seed spreader or a broadcast seed spreader. Use 3 lb. of seed per acre. Alternately, seed in late fall once the soil is at a temperature of less than 45 degrees F.

Step 3

Evenly space seeds planted in rows according to their moisture levels. In dry areas, space rows between 2 and 3 feet. In moisture-rich areas (above 14 inches a year in rain), space rows between 1 and 2 feet apart.

Step 4

Cover the seeds with a light layer of hay for wind and bird protection. There is a high germination rate for the seed, but it is slow to get started. Seeds remain viable for five to six years.

Things You'll Need

  • Broadcast spreader
  • Hay


  • National Sustainable Agriculture
  • USDA Forest Service

Who Can Help

  • Sagebud
Keywords: Russian Wildrye, pasture grass, Psathyrostachys juncea

About this Author

T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.

Photo by: priyahegde: