When Does Grass Go Dormant in summer? | Complete Guide

When does grass go dormant in summer stressed out by intense heat and drought? It can survive in this latent state for 3-4 weeks without dying, yet prolonged drought will probably kill it.

With its unpleasant dark color, dormant turf isn’t very appealing to look at.

During the hot summer days, you may notice that your lawn turns brown. Don’t worry, the grass isn’t dead; it’s just dormant right now.Dormant is another synonym for sleep. During a scorching hot summer, putting your lawn into dormancy is thought to be an effective method to preserve water.

A dormant lawn, on the other hand, appears to be a dead lawn to lawn care aficionados who are new to the pastime.

when does grass go dormant in summer

What is Dormant Grass / When does Grass go Dormant in summer?

Dormancy is a technique used by grasses to avoid situations where there is insufficient moisture. The brownish-tan tint of the leaf blades is the most visible sign of dormancy. This is more common during droughts and during the winter months.

A brown lawn isn’t always indicative of death; it could simply be dormant! Dormancy is the lawn’s equivalent of ‘going to sleep.

It can happen in both the cold and the hot summer months. In order to conserve water and nutrients, grass goes dormant during the cold winter months and turns brown. In the summer, as grass lays dormant, it also turns brown.

What months is grass dormant?

When soil temperatures continuously fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, warm-season grasses go dormant. The soil temperature that causes dormancy in cool-season grasses is 45 degrees F.

You may measure soil temperatures in your neighborhood online (search “soil temperature map”), or simply watch grass growth slow to a crawl before going dormant.

When the period between mowings increases from every two weeks to once a month, you know the grass is growing more slowly.

How to Revive Dormant Grass?

Make sure the lawn is in good shape before the dormancy period begins. When the weather becomes adverse for the lawn, don’t worry about it. When the conditions are favorable, dormant grass becomes brown and recovers.

Follow These Steps to Bring Your Grass dormancy:


If the drought lasts more than four weeks, you must irrigate your lawn to rehydrate the grass and moisten the soil to a depth of five inches. During the drought season, this procedure will keep the grass alive.


  • Full of essential nutrients that help feed and nourish above and below the soil
  • Contains vital micronutrients to grow stronger, vibrant and more productive plants versus unfed plants
  • Feeds up to 3 months
  • Will not burn when used as directed
  • For use in ground and in containers

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During the dormancy phase, avoid fertilizing excessively. If there is a greater supply of nutrients, the grass leaves grow quickly. In the latent condition, rapid growth has an impact on the root system. Provide no nitrogen since it promotes turfgrass plant development.

Weed Control

Weeds (View on Amazon) can also grow in extreme drought conditions. These weeds steal nutrients from the turf roots that store water during the dormant season. Herbicide treatment can put turfgrass plants under a lot of stress. It is preferable to identify the weeds and apply pesticides directly to them or manually eradicate them.


During dry seasons, it is recommended that the grass be kept at a consistent height to avoid stress. Only mow the lawn in the early morning or late at night. Always use a sharp blade and just remove one-third of the turf’s height.

Traffic should be reduced.

Because the grass is in the dormant period, you should limit your lawn usage. The traffic on the grass could harm the grass crowns. Foot movement in the gardens would put a strain on the grass and could lead to dehydration.

Difference between the Dead vs Dormant grass.

Dormant Grass

To stay alive, your grass conserves energy and water when it falls dormant. Your lawn is directing crucial resources to the roots and crowns to keep them alive during times of stress, rather than to create lush, green blades of grass.

Natural grass lawns in many regions of the country go dormant throughout the winter as temperatures drop, then return in the spring as temperatures increase.

Natural grass lawns, on the other hand, thrive in Southern California throughout the winter and go dormant during the summer months or during droughts.

When a natural grass lawn turns dormant, it might last for up to a month before it begins to die.

Unfortunately, California’s summer heat usually lasts longer than a month, which means that homeowners with natural grass will either need to significantly increase their lawn irrigation during the summer, or they will need to replace some or all of their grass once drought conditions improve and temperatures drop in the fall.

Dead Grass

Dead grass resembles dormant grass in appearance, but it does not return when the weather improves or when you take steps to resuscitate it.

If your grass has died, you will need to reseed or replace it in order to have a healthy, green lawn again.

When does grass go dormant in winter?

When temperatures are regularly below 60°F, grass goes dormant in the late fall or early winter. There are a number of elements that influence when your lawn goes dormant.

The type of grass and soil, the presence of trees, and additional soil warmth provided by surrounding concrete or plants are just a few of the factors that influence how your lawn reacts to cold temperatures.

Warm-season grasses in southern regions, such as DFW, progressively turn brown as the weather gets colder. The grass’s crowns will remain alive during natural winter hibernation, even though the grass appears to be dead.

The distinction between grass dying and grass dormancy is significant. The crown of a grass blade is at the soil level and helps the plant’s capacity to regenerate. Your grass should be able to green again following winter dormancy if the crown remains alive.

Why Would I Let My Lawn Go Dormant?

A lawn that has gone dormant. Is it becoming too expensive to water your grass in this scorching summer heat? Have you simply not had the opportunity to enjoy your lawn as much as you would like?

Many individuals choose to let their lawns grow dormant for a variety of reasons. Allowing your lawn to go dormant for the remainder of the year does not imply that you are giving up; it just means that you are allowing the grass to turn brown without damaging it, and you will not have to worry about weeds taking over in the following months.

The 4 reasons why grass go dormant

Money: Water is expensive, and our water agencies have a two-tiered cost structure that charges you more if you go over a certain quantity. Water One, Johnson County’s main water provider, will charge you 25% more for the more water you consume.

Convenient: You don’t have to mow the grass while it turns dormant, which is convenient. Simply weed whipping the margins or a few tall spots will keep your lawn looking professional.

Timeliness: Some individuals go on vacation throughout the summer, and allowing the lawn to become dormant is the most convenient alternative for them.

Roll with the seasons: “There is a season for everything,” says the proverb. During the summer, cool-season grasses naturally slow down. Because they normally grow in the spring and fall, allowing these lawns to lay dormant will save you money and water on grass that isn’t growing much in the first place.

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