Caring for Your Centipede
Grass Lawn

Centipede Grass

Centipede grass is a warm-season turf grass indigenous to China and Southeast Asia. It can be found throughout the southeastern states, but performs best in the most southern regions. It’s popular in South Carolina, along the Gulf Coast and as far west as Texas.

Conditions

Centipede grass is a low-growing grass of medium coarseness. It is typically a pale-green and will not achieve the darker green color of Bermuda grass or Zoysia. While it is a spreading grass type, it spreads slowly and can be slow to establish. Centipede grass spreads exclusively through surface roots called stolons. Because these surface roots are unprotected, they are susceptible to freezing. During winters with cycles of hard freezing and re-warming, entire lawns may die as the grass depletes its energy reserves in a cycle of freezing and re-growing. For this reason, we only treat Centipede grass in the most southern regions of our service area.

Maintenance

Centipede grass has been referred to as “The Lazy Man’s Grass” due to its relatively low maintenance requirements. Once established, Centipede grass forms a thick, dense mat which provides a natural weed barrier. Centipede grass also requires less fertilization than other turf grasses. Combined with its slow growth rate and decent drought tolerance, Centipede grass is a relatively low-maintenance turf selection. However, it is not “maintenance free”.

Threats

Besides the cold, the biggest natural threat to Centipede grass is nematode damage. Nematodes are microscopic worms that feed on roots. Affected turf will appear weak and thin. Centipede grass also suffers from a phenomenon called “Centipede decline”. While the exact cause is not known, certain cultural practices have been shown to improve resistance to Centipede decline:

  • Establish Centipede grass on well-drained soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.0.
  • Choose a location with full sun.
  • Aerate Centipede grass annually.
  • Maintain a grass height between 1-1.5”
  • Avoid heavy nitrogen applications, especially in the late summer and fall.

Watering

Provide 1” of water per week, especially in times of drought, to your Centipede grass for best results.

Should you decide to care for a Centipede lawn yourself, always read and follow the label directions for all lawn care products. Be sure that the label clearly states that it is safe for use on Centipede grass. Using products that are not listed for use on Centipede grass may damage or destroy your Centipede lawn.

Still have questions about your Centipede Grass lawn or want to learn more about how we can help?

Contact Us

770-659-7362