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.

Learn more about this grass type.


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 or Zoysia grass. While it is a spreading grass type, it spreads slowly through surface roots called stolons and can be slow to establish. 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 this type of grass in the most southern regions of our service area.


Centipede grass has been referred to as “The Lazy Man’s Grass” due to its relatively low maintenance requirements. Once established, it forms a thick, dense mat which provides a natural weed barrier. It 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”.


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. It 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 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.


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

Should you decide to care for your 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?

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