Difficulties with stand establishment are a major factor limiting further agronomic use of native warm season grasses. One significant cause of stand failure is competition with rapidly growing annual weed species during the early development of the perennial native grass. Broad spectrum preemergent herbicides can provide the needed weed control, but only if tolerance exists in the desired grass. Herbicide safeners, synthetic compounds that protect crops from herbicide injury, applied as seed treatments offer a potential strategy to achieving the needed herbicide tolerance where it does not naturally occur. This study tested the efficacy of five herbicide safeners (benoxacor, fenclorim, fluxofenin, naphthalic anhydride, and oxabetrinil) in protecting three native warm season grass species (big bluestem, Andropogon gerardii Vitman; little bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash; indiangrass, Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash) from herbicidal injury caused by preemergent application of S-metolachlor and quantifies this establishment method's impact on early stand performance.