How Long Does Ryegrass Last?

Ryegrass is used throughout the United States as a cover crop as well as turfgrass. It is also widely planted as high-quality pasture grasses for feeding livestock. But the major confusion arises here in terms of the actual ryegrass plant and turf as that perennial ryegrass is not related to the cereal grain plant.

How Long Does Ryegrass Last?

Well established ryegrass lasts for 3 to 4 years in proper climates and if not adversely affected with the cold winters. Ryegrass is most adversely turf grass by summer heatwaves so it goes dormant in summers but again gains the quick color in after summer. 

Most of the producers overseed their lawns with 5 pounds of perennial ryegrass seed per acre to maintain their fully productive stands.

Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) is a reliable turf grass and cool-season grass and is mostly used as a mixture with cool-season grasses. It grows from fall through spring and establishes a strong root system in the soil during the growth period in winters. 

Annual ryegrass is also a type of ryegrass but has the life of just one season from fall to spring. And then it dies in summer due to the heat waves.

In the case of perennial ryegrass, there are many factors that decide the age of turf, and well maintained these factors help the turf to last for years.

All of these factors and the average life of northern areas loving perennial ryegrass is discussed in this guide.

The difference between annual ryegrass to perennial ryegrass

Annual ryegrass is close related to perennial ryegrass but they differ in terms of life. As the name shows clearly that the annual ryegrass is a short-lived grass that grows quickly and gets a quicker green cover.

Due to short and quick growth and temporary stability, the annual ryegrass lasts for a single season and dies.

How long does perennial ryegrass last?

Perennial ryegrass lasts for almost 4 years if provided with the proper nutrition and protected from the summer heat by frequent irrigations. But there are many advanced perennial ryegrass seeds that can stand the summer heatwaves to much extent.

How long does annual ryegrass last?

Annual ryegrass lasts for just one season from fall to spring. It is seeded at the start of fall and grows during the winter and establish a strong root system and grows till spring. At the start of summer, its dying period starts and it dies eventually.

How long does winter ryegrass last?

Winters ryegrass lasts for years and years if provided with the proper irrigation during the summer weeks and keep well fertilized. According to the Bowers ‚ÄúAnnual ryegrass survives the winter approximately 75% to 80% of the time.‚ÄĚ


Factors affecting the age of perennial ryegrass

Here are some important factors that affect the life of ryegrass:

Hot Weather

According to britannica Summer is the most critical period for the perennial ryegrass as it goes dormant in these months. Being the cool-season grass, it can only withstand the hot weather if provided with frequent irrigation. The temperatures above 87 degrees Fahrenheit cause the growth to stop.

Cold Weather

Harsh cold weather also adversely affects the ryegrass too much. Ryegrass growing in temperatures below 41 degrees Fahrenheit will cause the stunted growth and sometimes death of plants.


Timely and proper fertilization is the ultimate key to the success of any plant. Proper nutrition helps the plant to build the body parts stronger to fight against the harsh weather condition and better root establishment for proper food and water management.


Watering is the most critical factor for ryegrass after nutrition. During the harsh months of summer, only the frequent application of irrigations can save the ryegrass from dying.

Soil preparation

Ryegrass growing in the well-prepared soil will establish a better root system so builds up a good body structure to face the harsh weather. It ultimately helps the plant to go through the life cycles from years to years.

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Will my annual ryegrass die?

Annual ryegrass has stability over the winter and can survive the winter approximately 75% to 80% of the time. It dies back in the spring as the temperature starts rising in late spring.

At what temperature does ryegrass die?

Ryegrass starts dying when the temperature starts dropping below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and above 87 degrees Fahrenheit. In the dropping temperature, the plant store up reserves for future spring flush.

Does ryegrass die in summer?

Summer is the most critical and dormant period for perennial ryegrass. When the temperature starts rising above 87 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant stops growth. But if the temperature rises above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it will kill ryegrass completely.

Why is my rye grass dying?

Ryegrass commonly goes dormant by the heat waves. Regular watering is the ultimate solution to keep them safe from dying. As the drought period can cause annual ryegrass to prematurely brown.


Perennial ryegrass lasts for 3 to 4 years if provided with the proper nutrition and watering. Being the cool-season grass, it goes dormant in the summer months and turns brown, and needs frequent irrigation to keep it safe from dying.

Drought can be the main possible reason behind the dying of ryegrass as the heat waves in summer months stops the growth and watering is the only possible solution for ryegrass to overcome drought and heat shocks.


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