Centipede Grass is the “Lazy Man’s Grass”
Originally from Southeastern China, Centipede Grass (also known as Centipedegrass) was first brought to America in 1916. Since then, it’s become one of the most popular grass species in the U.S., particularly in the Southeastern states as well as Hawaii, due in large part to its low maintenance requirements.
Centipede grass is bright green – brighter than many other home lawn species – and features “flowering” blades expanding from a node in the center of each pod. Its root system is quite shallow which is part of the reason why this particular species doesn’t need to be mowed very often.
Pros and Cons of Centipede Grass
Many homeowners choose Centipede Grass because of its high-tolerance for, well, inattention. A few of the benefits of planting Centipedegrass in your home lawn include:
- Infrequent need for mowing
- No read requirement for fertilization
- Aggressive root structure chokes out invasive weed species
- Can grow in sandy or coarse soil beds
On the flip side, there are many reasons to carefully consider whether or not Centipede grass is a good choice for your lawn. While the species certainly has its plusses, it has a few minuses as well:
- The grass is very draught-intolerant and needs a lot of water at once
- Too much shade can easily kill the grass
- It can only handle limited traffic
- Too many hard freezes can easily kill the root systems
Is Centipede grass a weed?
In some places, centipede grass is considered a weed. It grows very aggressively when seeded and can sometime spread faster than intended. Although Centipede grass is certainly more attractive than other aggressive grass species such as Crabgrass, it’s similarly invasive.
If you’ve noticed Centipedegrass is your lawn and you don’t want it there, contact a lawn professional immediately. Centipede grass can be notoriously hard to remove once rooted and it’s often difficult to discern it from other invasive species.
If you’ve been searching for a low maintenance lawn solution for an infrequently-traveled part of your lawn, Centipede Grass may be the perfect fit. From Florida to Louisiana and all the way up to the Carolinas, Centipede grass tends to grow heartily. Hawaii’s more moderate climate zones also support the healthy growth of Centipede grass.
How to plant Centipedegrass
Planting Centipede grass is relatively simple. The species is usually sold as seed but can be found in sod squares as well – although proper application of Centipedegrass sod is best left to the professionals. Be sure to follow the seeding directions carefully if you plan on planting your Centipede Grass yourself, and beware overwatering. This species should only be watered when it is on the brink of dormancy, and then watered aggressively.
Questions about whether or not Centipede Grass is right for your yard? Call your local expert for advice and consultation regarding the right solutions for your lawn.