How to Grow Indian Ricegrass


Indian Ricegrass is a type of grass that is abundant in the mountain west all the way to the Pacific Ocean, especially in cooler desert locations. This versatile grass is also the state grass of both Utah and Nevada, growing well in the climates of both states. The grass is often grown from seed and used for grazing animals. As a cool season grass, it provides an excellent source of nutrition for such animals in the winter months, as well as in the early spring.

Growing Indian Ricegrass

Step 1

Choose an appropriate location. Indian ricegrass usually grows at elevations of 3,000 to 10,000 feet. Though elevation is not critical, it does indicate that the grass does better in cooler areas. Therefore make sure the grass is capable of dealing with the climate you have.

Step 2

Check the soil. To grow properly Indian ricegrass must have well-drained soil. If anything, those interested in this species should err on the side of a dry soil, rather than a moist one. This type of grass is designed specifically to be drought tolerant with deep growing root systems.

Step 3

Determine the best time to plant. In most cases, planting Indian ricegrass in the fall before the first freeze is the best time. That way, the seed will overwinter and be ready for germination in the spring.

Step 4

Plant 2.5 to 4 inches deep, making sure the grass is in drill rows with each row being spaced approximately 12 to 14 inches from each other. The seed normally required for good growth is 8 to 10 pounds per acre. Once the seed is planted, it can generally be left alone until the spring.

Step 5

Water sparingly. The nice thing about Indian ricegrass is that it should not require supplemental watering. While this may go against the strategy used with many grasses, Indian ricegrass is quite capable of surviving very well.

Tips and Warnings

  • Indian ricegrass is a cool season perennial that will not do well in extremely hot climates.

Things You'll Need

  • Indian ricegrass seed
  • Land


  • State Grasses
  • Utah State University
  • Planting Indian Ricegrass

Who Can Help

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Indian Ricegrass
Keywords: growing ricegrass, Indian ricegrass tips, Indian ricegrass profile

About this Author

Kenneth Black has been a freelance writer since 2008. He currently works as a staff writer for "The Times Republican" in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel. Black holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix.