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Centipede Grass for Lawns (My Ultimate Guide 2023)

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Centipede turf is an exceptionally heat-tolerant turf found across the Southeastern United States. It’s prominent in domestic lawns due to its reduced maintenance demands. Vermin yard requires marginal maintenance, making it excellent for house owners that don’t have at the moment or inclination to make lengthy efforts to maintain their yard in tip-top shape.

But it’s except everybody. Centipede yard has very specific development demands that make it suited just for a minimal region.

Centipede Grass at a Glance (where to expand it, why it thrives there)

The Southeast U.S. is the best growing area for Centipede yard. It is easily found in the Coastal Plains, from the Carolinas to the Texas Gulf Coast.

While it has extraordinary warm tolerance, this sort of grass does not have fantastic dry spell resistance. The hefty rains because area, integrated with the extreme heat discovered there, are what makes it such a prime area for Centipede grass.

Close Up Photo of Centipede Grass

Within the locations that support its growth, vermin turf grows like none various other. It is virtually fully self-sufficient. This makes it a fantastic option for busy professionals and also those who aren’t curious about toiling over their grass on the weekends.

If you do not wish to purchase regular fertilizing and also various other maintenance regimens, this can be the grass for you. Centipede yard calls for extremely little fertilizer to grow appropriately.

One of the Best marketing points because regard is its slow growth habit. It does not require to be mown usually to maintain a tidy grass look. This is due to the fact that it takes a long period of time to grow tall.

History of Centipede Grass

Centipede turf (Eremochloa ophiuroides) belongs to China and also Southeast Asia. It expands particularly in the warm, sub-tropical locations that likewise receive hefty rainfall in that part of the globe.

It was given the United States in 1916 by Frank N. Meyer, who gathered the seeds. Within the complying with decades, centipede grass was developed as a home yard as well as has since come to be widespread via the southeastern United States– from the Carolinas, throughout Florida, and into the Texas Gulf Coast.

Centipede yard is also located throughout various other subtropical, coastal locations. You’ll see it used in grass in Mexico, the West Indies, as well as in South as well as Central America. It has even been discovered in particular locations along the west coast of Africa.

Growing Centipede Grass in your Yard

Centipede turf is a rugged distinctive yard with a lighter environment-friendly shade. It grows and spreads slowly with above ground stolons.

Centipede Lawn Grass

I’s a large fan of grasses that spread out side to side, since it enables your yard to self-repair any kind of damage or bare patches. Expanding laterally by stolons (instead of roots, which are below ground joggers) makes this grass less complicated to regulate and also include.

Centipede pH and Soil Requirements

Centipede turf favor acidic dirts with a pH degree in between 4.5 and 6.5. Its low plant food requirements also make it suited to infertile soils with a sandy composition rather than abundant loam or hefty clay.

Centipede Light Requirements

It’s a full sun yard, though it can endure a moderate quantity of shade.

Under the correct conditions, vermin yard can stay green throughout the year. However, because it does not go totally dormant during the winter, it is a lawn that might be damaged by colder weather.

You can expect it to recover quickly when the climate heats up. Right now your Centipede turf yard will certainly fix itself to a level. That claimed, given that it grows slowly, successive years of extreme cold will certainly kill it off with time. In its preferred expanding area (the Southeastern United States), this is seldom a risk.

Growth Habit

Centipede turf is a sod-forming yard that creates a thick carpet-like layer. It gets its name from the stolons, or joggers, that aid it grow.

This lawn has a shallow root system due to its side practice and does not have great drought resistance as a result.

Centipede lawn stolons are visible as a result of its sluggish development pattern. As they expand, the stolons appear like vermins, so it was named after them.

Common Issues with Centipede Grass

With all of its appealing top qualities, why would not you desire to expand a Centipede turf lawn?

Why Choose a Centipede Grass Lawn - Pros and Cons of Centipede Grass

Below I’ll review several of the drawbacks of this sort of yard, however to swiftly sum up:

  • Limited expanding region,
  • Light green coloration,
  • Poor cold tolerance (simple damage in winter given that it doesn’t go inactive),
  • High thatch production,
  • Requires a level grass,
  • Not fit for yards near the sea (salt can damage it),
  • Performs improperly for high-traffic yards as well as backyards (kids/pets),
  • Can be vulnerable to pests.

Let’s take a more detailed look at several of these, and the factors Centipede grass might not be best for you:

Location, Location, Location

One of the vital issues with centipede turf is its slim development region. Within its prime locations, it flourishes, but it’s almost difficult to expand anywhere else, as well as house owners who try to plant it outside of its excellent sub-climate will certainly be dissatisfied.


Most cultivars have a light-green color, which can be unsightly for some individuals. Boosted selections which correct this characteristic are extremely expensive to purchase.


Centipede yard does not have cold tolerance and also does not go inactive in the winter season. That makes it extra prone to cool declines throughout the year. It will get better, considering that it does fix itself. However, duplicated continual damages is normally deadly after a long term time.


Because it is sod-forming, centipede yard is prone to creating thatch. Thatch raking or dethatching your lawn with a power to bring in the springtime is practical to maintain the grass healthy as well as growing.

Centipede yard likewise does not grow well on uneven yards, as they provide an obstacle to its stolons.

Not Great Near the Ocean

Another obstacle with Centipede turf is its poor salt tolerance, which does deficient matched to yards close to the ocean.

Bad With Foot Traffic

Centipede turf additionally does not have to wear tolerance. It will not expand well in areas that have hefty foot website traffic, like sports fields or lawns with children and pets. It can fix itself to an extent, but it will certainly not recover swiftly from extensive foot traffic because it grows so slowly.

Pests Can Move In

Furthermore, vermin turf is likewise susceptible to parasites, like nematodes and ground pearls. When it’s in an exceptionally healthy condition, it can hold up against as well as avoid pests. Nonetheless, when the lawn is under tension, it is extra vulnerable.

Types of Centipede Grass

Centipede grass grows in an extremely small region as well as has not had a comprehensive variety of cultivars developed. The Common range is one of the most extensive cultivar of centipede turf, and if you’re ordering sod then that’s most likely what you’ll get.

Types of Centipede Grass

This strain has actually not been improved or additional established. Typical range yard has a coarse appearance with a light green shade. It grows and also spreads gradually. It is offered commonly as seed as well as is also offered as sod.

New ranges of Centipede grass are being grown, and numerous have currently been assessed as well as approved. Others like Santee, are still being assessed to be adjusted right into usage as a turfgrass.


Covington Centipede turf is a recently created turf range. It has a darker eco-friendly shade with better shade retention, both qualities that make it preferred with home owners.

Additionally, it has enhanced cold tolerance and stays eco-friendly much longer right into the winter than the Common range of Centipede grass.


The TifBlair variety was developed in 1997 by the University of Georgia. It has actually boosted resistance for cool and freezing temperatures.

TifBlair also has a somewhat faster development price than the various other cultivars. It can be expanded from seed yet is only certified, available as turf, so if you prepare to set up a brand-new Centipede turf yard by laying turf, this might be what you purchase.

The Best Time to Plant Centipede Grass

As a warm season lawn, the Best time to plant Centipede grass remains in the late-spring as well as very early summer.

The soil requires to be cozy, over 70-degrees Fahrenheit, for seeds to sprout. It’s Best to grow it during the period when the weather starts to get cozy, yet prior to the dry period embed in.

Centipede grass has a sluggish germination period and can take as couple of as 10 days or as much as 28 days before you’ll discover your new yard beginning to sprout.

This longer germination period can evaluate the persistence of many property owners, and also you really have to commit to everyday watering as well as accept awaiting your brand-new grass to grow.

This lawn can be expanded as seed, as plugs (Amazon link), or you can lay turf. These choices vary by rate factor and also the amount of effort or time called for to accomplish a full centipede turf lawn.

Personally, I recommend that you plant turf connects or lay sod, as expanding a centipede grass from seed can be extremely frustrating.

After planting your centipede yard, you intend to provide your yard time to germinate before trimming it. Allow it 3 weeks post-germination, or up until it reaches an elevation of 2 1/2- inches prior to cutting your brand-new lawn.

A Note on Overseeding

It’s not suggested to oversee various other types of lawn with vermin yard.

While it’s typical to overseed ryegrass into warm-season yards to keep an environment-friendly grass with the chillier months, centipede grass will certainly be damaged by the competitors because it’s vulnerable throughout the cold.

Alternatively, vermin turf is hostile throughout its development periods, that makes it difficult for other sorts of grass to grow together with it.

Planting Centipede Grass from Seed

Planting vermin turf from seed is the least expensive alternative to develop a yard with this kind of lawn, however it takes one of the most quantity of time before your grass will certainly remain in full effect.

Planting Centipede Grass Seed

Be truthful concerning how client and devoted you are when establishing which method (sod, seed, or plugs) will function Best for you.

Preparing Your Lawn for Seed

The very first thing you require to do to prepare your lawn for the brand-new grass seed is to till it, or a minimum of loosen up the topsoil by raking it.

Either employ an expert or lease a maker to till your grass. If you make use of an herbicide to exterminate any type of previous yard or weeds, make certain to enable it to rest for several weeks for the herbicide to dissipate. In this way it won’t disrupt the brand-new seeds as they germinate.

Once the soil is prepared for your seed, use 1 pound of vermin yard seed to cover a 3, 000 square foot location.

Since centipede turf chooses sandy dirts, if your lawn is not currently sandy, mix the seed with sand while spreading it. For every 1 pound of seed, blend it with 3 gallons of sand.

Spread the combination over your grass two times, utilizing your broadcast spreader to make come on contrary instructions (i.e. spread fifty percent taking a trip north-to-south, after that the second fifty percent east-to-west). This vertical pattern makes certain even coverage.

After Planting

Cover the seed, as well as water the turf seeds carefully and also thoroughly to maintain them moist up until they begin to germinate. Be careful not to remove the new seed while sprinkling your yard.

How to Water Centipede Grass

As the lawn sprouts, water much less frequently yet with greater quantities of water each time. This will certainly motivate origin growth (the origins will attempt to reach the dampness deeper in the dirt).

Spread a fertilizer over your yard after your seeds are sprouted. A yard soil examination is the Best method to recognize that fertilizer will give the nutrients your lawn is missing. This is the package I purchase from Amazon to make use of every spring on my lawn.

Important Note– Some conventional fertilizers have buildings that are hazardous to centipede turf. Review the plan carefully, yet when doubtful, purchase a fertilizer especially for southern soils as well as grasses.

Establishing Centipede Grass Lawn from Plugs

When growing vermin lawn from plugs, you’re going to start by prepping your dirt similarly. Loosen the dirt and get rid of previous turf as well as weeds.

Renting a turf cutter to kill or eliminate the previous grass can be a great way to conserve time. This is also a great chance to aerate your yard to boost air as well as water flow right into the soil.

Once your yard is prepared, apply a plant food to the dirt, combined with sand (if your dirt is not currently sandy). Utilize the back of a plastic fallen leave rake to work the plant food right into the soil uniformly, then using a sod plug drill little bit (Amazon link), prepare openings in your yard. You can use a yard trowel instead if that’s something you currently own.

Insert the connect into the holes concerning 1 feet besides each. Start to water thoroughly for the next couple of weeks.

You can sprinkle much more completely with plugs than with seed, as they will not clean away. When choosing a fertilizer, make sure to pick one that replenishes the nutrients your lawn is doing not have. Also, make sure to select one that will certainly profit quick development as well as the facility to aid your lawn grow swiftly and also vigorously.

I like to utilize Bio-Tone from Espoma (Amazon link) when planting plugs. It helps them get developed swiftly and also you’ll discover your plugs start to spread out extra quickly. Simply scoop a little into the hole before planting your plug.

While growing vermin grass from plugs is more costly than growing seed, it’s a great middle-ground option between seed and sod.

Planting from Sod

Planting vermin grass in your lawn by laying sod is the quickest, most hassle-free, but also most costly method to grow your brand-new grass.

Laying Centipede Grass Sod

Like growing with plugs, your initial action must be prepping your yard as well as putting down plant food as well as compost to improve your dirt as well as degree the location. Freshening your yard is also a good idea.

Once your grass is prepared, use a rake to loosen up the leading layer of soil (this additionally enables the fertilizer to blend well right into your lawn). After that, it’s time to lay out the turf.

Roll out the sod as well as press it gently into the ground. Match completions that are turned out as well as blend the sides with each other using your hands.

When rolling out the following row, surprise the seams (lay it out in the exact same pattern seen in bricks). Cut the very first roll in half so the gaps are not straight with each other. This allows even more stamina in your lawn, and a better look as your new turf develops itself.

Water daily till the origins develop themselves in your lawn.

Overseeding Centipede Grass

While it isn’t suggested to oversee various yard types right into vermin lawn yards, overseeing brand-new vermin grass seed right into your grass is a great technique to replenish it if slim or damaged.

If you have details patches that are bare, you can buy a spot repair work seed mix. However, if you wish to fix the grass in its entirety, you wish to spread out seed equally over your existing grass. Usage double the amount of seed as you would certainly when growing a brand-new lawn.

Overseeding Centipede Grass

Mow your existing yard reduced before overseeding, as well as if you can aerate and/or dethatch in advance of the time you’ll get better dirt contact as well as improved germination with your new seed.

Spread your new seed across your lawn in 2 passes. The second pass needs to be vertical to the initial. After that use the rear of a fallen leave rake as well as go over the yard to help the seed fall as well as making contact with the soil. Apply a starter fertilizer, sand, as well as compost to improve your soil and cover the seed. Whatever you place on top ought to have to do with 1/4 ″ thick.

Water gently for a number of weeks, so as not to clean away the turf seed. As the turf sprouts, water much less frequently with enhanced quantities of water up until it’s well established. After it gets to an elevation of up to 2 1/2- inches, it’s secure to trim your newly replenished lawn. I like to bag the cuttings the initial few times I trim after overseeding (so there’s no opportunity of surrounding your brand-new yard plants).

How to Maintain a Centipede Grass Lawn

Centipede turf is an unbelievably low upkeep alternative when grown in appropriate problems.

Because it expands so gradually, it won’t require to be cut as frequently. It also does not require substantial fertilization. You can apply fertilizer as rarely as 1 to 2 times each year (when in the springtime and also once again in the fall) as well as appreciate a fantastic looking lawn.

How to Maintain a Centipede Grass Lawn

Don’ t be mislead by its light environment-friendly shade or feel that you need to use iron.

Most cultivars of vermin lawn do not turn a dark environment-friendly and also will not benefit from added nitrogen or iron used on a monthly basis the way some other turfgrass might. As a matter of fact, this can in fact damage your yard, causing it to shed out and make it a lot more vulnerable to disease.

Watering Centipede Grass

Throughout the season, centipede grass requires 1-inch of water weekly. During the completely dry seasons, it calls for extra water to maintain it healthy and balanced.

However, since it grows in rainy areas, you can manage only sprinkling it when it begins to reveal issues with dehydration.

If it looks flat or faded in shade, it’s time to water.

It’s Best to water your yard in the early mornings for appropriate absorption. The afternoon heat will certainly create the water to dry up prior to it’s soaked up. Watering in the night will trigger water to pool and also can create fungal issues.

Mowing Centipede Grass

Centipede lawn does not expand tall and does Best when maintained at a mowing elevation in between 1 1/2- inches and also 2 1/2- inches.

Mowing Centipede Grass

Make certain your lawn mower blades is kept sharp for a clean cut.

The guideline is to trim frequently adequate that you are just reducing 1/3 of the elevation of the lawn at each trim. Cutting even more of the turf fallen leave after it has actually expanded much longer places the yard under significant stress than can damage your lawn over time.

Final Thoughts About Centipede Grass Lawns

Centipede grass is an amazing lawn turf, however one that only expands within minimal locations. It’s Best fit to warm areas that have substantial rainfall. Consequently, it’s discovered virtually exclusively in the southeastern areas of the U.S., from the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast of Texas.

If you aren’t in the appropriate region, don’t attempt to grow this in your lawn.

As a homeowner with a vermin yard lawn, you’ll find that your yard needs little to no job to keep it looking great. It’s practically completely self-dependent, though there are some important caveats.

While it does not call for substantial watering or fertilizer, as well as it does not need to be trimmed on a regular basis as regularly as Fescue yard, it does have problems.

About Centipede Grass

Centipede grass will not hold up under heavy foot traffic from youngsters or canines, is not forgiving to salt, as well as it is not drought tolerant.

New cultivars with enhanced growth behaviors and also pigmentation have actually been released and also more are under review to supply a much better top-quality yard with the exact same reduced initiative as standard Centipede turf.

If you’re in the right place, a vermin turf lawn will certainly make your life a great deal much easier while maintaining your yard looking fantastic year-round.


Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.