Choosing the type of grass for your lawn might not be as easy as it sounds.
There are several options in terms of grass seeds, which require different maintenance levels and that are better suited to certain environments and conditions. Among the different grass types, one of the most popular ones is Centipede grass.
Centipede grass is often the lawn of choice for residential yards and commercial landscapes because of its perfect aesthetics and durability, especially in warmer climates.
It is a type of grass that tends to grow low but that produces a dense and good looking turf. It is also rather aggressive, meaning that you’ll have to pay attention to the mowing if you decide to plant it.
To help you have a better idea of whether Centipede grass is suited for you, we put together this essential guide about all of the Centipede grass pros and cons.
In fact, before planting grass seed, you should be aware of everything that comes with that particular grass type. Only with that information on hand, you’ll be able to take proper care of the grass and to ensure it grows healthily and beautifully.
What Are The Pros Of Centipede Grass?
Centipede grass is the favorite choice of many homeowners and business owners in warmer climates because of the several advantages that come with it. This grass type is rather flexible as it doesn’t require complex maintenance, it can adapt to different soils and easily tolerates warm climates (including droughts) and pests.
- Centipede Grass Is Rather Easy To Maintain
Many homeowners tend to pick centipede grass for their lawns because it is a low maintenance grass type.
On top of that, contrary to other low-maintenance grass types, Centipede grass grows relatively slow, which reduces mowing and the amount of fertilizer applied to the lawn. This also means lower costs and less time spent taking care of your lawn.
- It Can Withstand Tough Climate Conditions
Centipede grass is characterized by a rough texture which makes it quite durable and tough, even under harsh climate conditions. For example, it won’t suffer from heavy rain or extremely hot temperatures.
Keep in mind, however, that centipede grass isn’t very tolerant of the cold.
- It Can Adapt To Different Soils
While centipede grass can adapt to different soils, even sandy ones, making it suitable for various conditions and environments, it is a grass variety that tolerates even the overly acidic soils. This means that if you need to plant your lawn in a soil with a pH of less than 7, you’ll be safe choosing Centipede grass.
But, keep in mind that centipede grass doesn’t do very good on salty soil.
- In Case Of Droughts, You Won’t Have To Worry
Another great advantage of planting centipede grass in warmer climates is that it can withstand even the harshest conditions and will be fine even when water is scarce.
To deal with water scarcity, centipede grass simply goes temporarily dormant without water (meaning that it turns brown and stiff) and quickly comes back to its natural conditions as soon as it gets water again. Still, if drought conditions are forecasted, make sure you water your lawn appropriately.
Also, if you note that your footprints remain marked when walking on the grass, it is a sign your lawn is not getting enough water. This characteristic comes extremely handy if you are living in a warm place.
- It Can Tolerate Low Fertility Soils
It is not an exaggeration to say that centipede grass can adapt to nearly all types of soils. For example, it is a grass type that will tolerate even low fertility levels and it can thrive in soils with only moderate levels of fertility.
- Not A Lot Of Problems With Weeds and Pests
One of the main perks of choosing to plant centipede grass is its resistance. This grass variety is not affected by pests that chew and bite other types of grass and it also resits well weeds, as it grows in a thick carpet with entwined roots.
Still, some pests might cause problems to centipede grass. Mole crickets and crabgrass are the most common issues in the summer. They can be easily avoided using pesticides.
However, it is safe to say that in general, this type of grass is less prone to attacks and it can withstand it better most varieties of grass.
Sounds all great, right? Well, despite all of these advantages, centipede grass is not perfect. Before thinking you’ve made a choice, make sure you pay close attention to the next section on the drawbacks of centipede grass.
What Are The Cons Of Centipede Grass?
Centipede grass might not be suitable for everyone. Indeed, to thrive, it requires certain conditions that might not make it the preferable choice for some homeowners or even business owners looking to create a better-looking landscape.
- You Might Have To Deal With Iron Chlorosis
Centipede grass is prone to discoloration due to iron chlorosis.
Even if it doesn’t affect the health of the grass, the discoloration does look weird and it simply doesn’t go along with
the idea of the typical healthy and lush grass most of us have. The problem with iron chlorosis is often caused by over-fertilization.
Try to prevent that from happening as once the problem is set, the only thing you can do is to replace the grass.
- Centipede Grass Does Not Tolerate Salt
If you are planning to plant your lawn on a salty soil, Centipede grass is not your best choice. Various varieties of grass perform better in such conditions and centipede grass is not one of those.
If you are living in an area close to the sea or the ocean, better plant Bermuda or Augustine grass.
- It Requires Plenty Of Sunlight
To have good results, you should ensure centipede grass receives enough sunlight.
Even shadow from trees can affect the health of this grass type, so make sure that your lawn receives constant direct sunlight if you are planning to plant centipede grass.
- Be Careful With Centipede Grass Decline
A common fungal disease that attacks centipede grass is grass decline. To avoid it, you should put the right effort to keep your lawn in an excellent state throughout the year.
Inspect for dead patches frequently and clean them up once they appear, to avoid worsening the issue.
- It Is Not Suitable To Heavy Traffic
Even if we mentioned that centipede grass is highly resistant and rather tough, this grass type is not suitable for heavy foot traffic.
This is arguably one of the most significant drawbacks for many homeowners. If you like with kids, pets or you have to deal with heavy foot traffic for different reasons, consider choosing another type of grass.
What Should You Know About Centipede Grass?
Centipede grass is a type of perennial grass originally from China. Introduced in the early 20th century in the United States, it can be found today in South America and some African locations on the west coast.
It still better adapts to colder weathers compared to Bermuda or Augustine grass, but it does prefer warmer climates.
It is important to note that watering should be well managed, because of the shallow rooting that characterizes this grass type. For this reason, you need to ensure you have the right climate conditions before deciding to plant a centipede grass lawn.
Also, if you are aware that a draught is coming, make sure you water your lawn. Furthermore, keep in mind that even if this grass type requires less maintenance than others, that doesn’t mean that it suits everyone. If you like to work on your lawn, you might want to choose a different type of grass.
The Bottom Line
Centipede grass is a suitable grass type for residential lawns, golf courses, and some parks, as long as it doesn’t have to deal with heavy traffic. With that in mind, it is a resistant and rather tough grass that will withstand different soil and weather conditions.
Even if it doesn’t tolerate cold weather as well as other types, centipede grass can do very well in extremely warm climates. On top of that, it is a perennial plant, that doesn’t require replanting each year. Ofter referred to as the “lazy man’s grass”, centipede grass is often chosen because it requires little to no maintenance.
Essentially, you’ll need to worry about the amount of sunlight it receives and the kind of foot traffic.
If you can ensure that your lawn will not get heavy traffic and that it will receive the right amount of sunlight, centipede grass is the right choice for you. Be aware that this grass type is not suitable to colder climates and hard freezes especially, but it does better than Augustine and Bermuda grass.
All in all, to select the right grass type for you, it is important to make sure you can provide the appropriate care and maintenance, but also that you live in the right climatic conditions. If you feel that you tick all of the boxes, go on with planting centipede grass!