Does Fescue Go Dormant? Understanding the Grass Growth Cycle.

Yes, fescue grass does go dormant, but it is a natural part of the grass’s growth cycle. Fescue dormancy typically occurs during the summer months when temperatures are high and rainfall is low.

Dormancy is a survival mechanism that allows the grass to conserve energy and resources during times of stress. While dormant, fescue will appear brown and lifeless, but it will bounce back once conditions become more favorable. In this article, we will discuss the factors that contribute to fescue dormancy, how to distinguish between dormant and dead grass, and how to care for your fescue lawn during dormancy.

You’ll also learn practical tips to help your fescue grass thrive year-round.

Does Fescue Go Dormant? Understanding the Grass Growth Cycle.


What Is Fescue Grass?

Fescue grass is a popular cool-season grass that goes dormant in the warm season. It is a bunch-type grass with fine blades that can grow up to a foot tall. Fescue grass is often grown in areas with cool, wet climates, but some varieties can also tolerate heat and drought.

There are several types of fescue grass, including tall fescue, fine fescue, red fescue, and chewing fescue, each with its unique characteristics and growing season. For instance, tall fescue grows well during the cool season but struggles in hot temperatures.

Fine fescue, on the other hand, thrives in colder temperatures and shaded areas. Fescue grass is highly adaptable and can grow in a wide range of soils, but it requires proper maintenance to keep it healthy and vibrant.

The Grass Growth Cycle

Grass goes through a continuous growth cycle that occurs in four stages – germination, vegetative, reproductive, and dormancy. During the germination phase, the seed starts to develop and grows roots, while in the vegetative stage, the plant begins to produce stems and leaves.

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The reproductive phase, on the other hand, involves the production of flowers and seeds. Finally, the grass enters a dormant stage where growth slows down, and leaves turn yellow or brown. This cycle is a natural process that occurs due to environmental factors such as temperature, moisture, and sunlight.

Understanding the grass growth cycle is vital in maintaining a healthy lawn and determining when to mow or fertilize it. Overall, fescue does go dormant, but it is a necessary process for the grass to thrive and survive.

Fescue Grass Dormancy

Fescue grass dormancy occurs during periods of low temperatures and insufficient sunlight for photosynthesis. Grass dormancy is a natural process in which the grass reduces its metabolic activity, leading to yellowing and reduced growth. Factors such as day length, temperature, moisture, and nutrient availability influence dormancy periods.

Fescue grass goes dormant during the winter months when temperatures are below 50°f. However, the degree of dormancy varies depending on the cultivar and region. In colder areas with longer winters, the dormancy period could last for months. Warm-season grasses, on the other hand, go dormant during the hot, dry summer months.

The climate plays a major role in determining the period and intensity of grass dormancy. Understanding the grass growth cycle and its dormancy process can help you take better care of your lawn year-round.

Reviving Fescue Grass From Dormancy

Reviving fescue grass from dormancy can be a bit challenging, but it’s not impossible. Fertilization, irrigation, and other measures can help the grass come back to life. Spring and fall are the ideal times to revive your dormant fescue grass.

You can use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients. Watering the lawn deeply and less often will also help to encourage growth. Regular monitoring of the lawn for any signs of pests or diseases is also important. Lastly, avoid cutting the grass too short, as it can put undue stress on the grass and cause it to go dormant again.

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Following these tips will help ensure your fescue grass remains lush and green throughout the growing season.


Overall, understanding the dormancy of fescue is essential for anyone looking to maintain a healthy and vibrant lawn. Whether you live in an area with mild or harsh weather, knowing the signs and triggers of dormancy can help ensure your lawn remains in prime condition year-round.

Additionally, it’s vital to note that proper care and attention to lawn maintenance, such as proper watering and fertilization, can help prevent dormancy altogether. So, as a homeowner or landscaper, take the time to educate yourself on fescue dormancy and make sure to implement the appropriate measures to keep your lawn looking its best.

With a little bit of effort and knowledge, you can keep your lawn in top shape and enjoy a beautiful and vibrant outdoor space throughout the year.