Bermuda Grass vs Centipede Grass (Which is best for a lawn?)

Bermuda grass and Centipede grass are often pitted against each other when it comes to selecting the ideal grass for a lawn. Both warm-season types of grass have their own unique set of characteristics, so let’s explore Bermuda Grass vs Centipede Grass.

Comparing Bermuda grass and Centipede grass, Bermuda has a higher drought tolerance and can withstand heavy foot traffic, but requires more maintenance. Centipede grass is low maintenance and adapts well to acidic soils, but has poor drought tolerance and can’t handle heavy foot traffic.

Ultimately, choose Bermuda grass for sports fields, golf courses, or high-traffic areas, and Centipede grass for low-maintenance lawns or acidic soil.

In this article, I will jump into the main differences between these two popular turfgrass options.

I’ll evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of Centipede and Bermuda grass, assisting you in choosing which one is most suitable for your particular needs. Additionally, we’ll discuss how each type performs in sandy soil conditions as well as on golf courses.

Water requirements play a significant role in lawn care, so I’ll also compare the water needs of these two types of grasses. Finally, I’ll provide insights into where they grow best and when it’s ideal to plant Bermuda or Centipede grass seeds.

By understanding the intricacies of Bermuda grass vs Centipede grass, you can make an informed decision about which option is perfect for creating a lush green oasis at your home or property.

Table of Contents:

What Is the Difference Between Centipede and Bermuda Grass?

The main difference between Centipede and Bermuda grass lies in their appearance, growth habits, and tolerance levels. Centipede grass is lighter in color with a finer texture but has poor tolerance for foot traffic and requires nutrient-poor, sandy soil. On the other hand, Bermuda grass spreads quickly and can become invasive if not managed properly.

  • Centipede grass: Lighter green color; fine texture; low-traffic tolerance; prefers sandy soil.
  • Bermuda grass: Darker green color; coarser texture; high-traffic tolerance; adaptable to various soils.

Selecting the ideal turf for your lawn requires knowledge of the distinctions between centipede and bermuda grass. As we move on to discuss the pros and cons of centipede grass, it’s important to keep in mind that every lawn has different needs.

Centipede vs Bermuda Chart

Centipede Grass Bermuda Grass
Scientific Name Eremochloa ophiuroides Cynodon dactylon
Country of Origin China and South East Asia East Africa
  • Centipede grass has a light-green color
  • It has long, fine blades with no hair on them.
  • It grows in very thick bunches
  • Bermuda has a medium to dark green in color
  • Has fine hair at the base of each leaf sheath
  • It is a coarse type
Foot Feel Coarse but finer than Bermuda Coarse feeling on toes
  • Germinates in early spring
  • Takes 10 to 28 days
  • Germinates in early to late spring
  • Takes three to seven days
Best Used For Low-traffic areas only Residential lawns and turfs
Soil Requirements
  • Ideal soil pH of 5.0 to 6.0
  • Needs sandy, well-draining, and fertilizer-poor soil
  • Soil pH needs to be 6 to 7
  • Needs well-draining soil that is rich in important nutrients
Ideal Temperatures More than 70° Fahrenheit 95 to 100° Fahrenheit
Watering Needs Half an inch to 1 inch per week 1 to 1,5 inches per week
Durability Not as durable as Bermuda More durable than Centipede
Mower Blade Heights Mow from 1 to 1,5-inch height Mow it 2 to 3 inches tall

What Are the Pros and Cons of Centipede Grass?

Centipede grass is known for its low-maintenance requirements, making it a popular choice among homeowners. Nevertheless, selecting this kind of grass for your lawn involves taking into account both its positives and negatives.

  • Pros:
    • Low maintenance: Centipede grass requires less mowing, fertilization, and watering compared to other types of grasses.
    • Drought-tolerant: It can survive in dry conditions with minimal water supply.
    • Pest-resistant: This type of grass is less susceptible to common pests like chinch bugs or sod webworms.
  • Cons:
    • Shade intolerance: Centipede grass does not grow well in shady areas; it needs full sun exposure for optimal growth.
    • Traffic sensitivity: Heavy foot traffic may damage centipede lawns due to their shallow root system.

When comparing centipede grass and Bermuda grass, it’s important to note that Bermuda grass is another popular warm-season grass. Unlike centipede grass, Bermuda grass requires more maintenance like aeration  but is more tolerant of foot traffic and can grow in a wider range of soil types.

Bermuda grass lawns are also more drought-resistant than centipede grass lawns.

Other warm-season grasses to consider include St. Augustine grass, zoysia grass, and perennial grass. It’s important to choose a grass type that is well-suited for your climate and soil type to ensure a healthy and low-maintenance lawn.

Centipede grass has many benefits and drawbacks, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference. When comparing the pros and cons of Bermuda Grass, consider its ability to withstand heat better than Centipede grass as well as its resistance against pests.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Bermuda Grass?

Bermuda grass is a popular choice for homeowners due to its affordability and ease of maintenance.

It can tolerate drought conditions, making it an excellent option for areas with limited water resources. However, it does not fare well in shaded environments or under heavy foot traffic. Some key pros and cons include:

  • Pros: Affordable, low-maintenance, heat- and drought-tolerant.
  • Cons: Poor shade tolerance, not suitable for high-traffic areas.

Overall, Bermuda grass is a great choice for homeowners looking to maintain an attractive lawn with minimal effort. Before settling on a grass type, it’s essential to consider the soil type and climate of your yard.

With that said, let’s explore what kind of grass does better in sandy soils – Bermuda Grass or Centipede Grass?

What Kind of Grass Does Better in Sandy Soil – Bermuda Grass or Centipede Grass?

If you have sandy soil, Bermuda grass is an excellent choice for your lawn. This type of grass has a deep root system that can access water and nutrients even in poor soils. Its ability to thrive in sandy conditions makes it a popular option for coastal areas and regions with nutrient-poor soil.

In contrast, centipede grass may struggle to establish itself in sandy soil due to its preference for slightly acidic conditions. While both types of grass are heat-tolerant, Bermuda’s drought tolerance gives it the edge when it comes to growing well on sandy terrain.

When it comes to sandy soil, Bermuda grass has a greater capacity for arid climates than centipede grass. Let’s now explore which type of grass is more suitable for golf courses – Bermuda or Centipede.

Bermuda Grass vs Centipede Grass: Which is Better for Your Lawn?

When it comes to choosing the right grass for your lawn, two popular warm-season types of grass are Bermuda grass and centipede grass. While both are great options, there are some key differences to consider.

Centipede grass is a low-maintenance lawn option that can handle foot traffic well. It has a fine texture that provides a smooth playing surface, making it a popular choice for golf courses. Unlike centipede grass, Bermuda grass requires more maintenance and does not tolerate shade well.

However, some hybrid varieties of Bermuda grass have been developed specifically for use on golf courses with improved tolerance to shade and traffic.

One of the main differences between the two grass types is their growth patterns. Centipede grass grows slowly and requires less mowing than Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass, on the other hand, grows quickly and needs to be mowed more frequently. Additionally, centipede grass is drought-resistant and can grow well in sandy soils, while Bermuda grass prefers well-drained soil types.

Another factor to consider is the appearance of the grass blades. Centipede grass has a light green color and a coarse texture, while Bermuda grass has a darker green color and a finer texture. Both grass types can be grown from seeds or sod, but Bermuda grass seeds can be more expensive than centipede grass seeds.

In summary, if you are looking for a low-maintenance lawn that can handle foot traffic well, centipede grass may be the best option for you. If you are willing to put in more effort to maintain your lawn and prefer a finer texture, Bermuda grass may be the better choice. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preferences and the specific needs of your lawn.

When it comes to golf courses, Bermuda grass has a greater tolerance for wear and tear than centipede grass. However, when considering water requirements, the answer is not so clear cut; both types of grass need different amounts of water depending on the climate they are in.

What Kind of Grass Needs More Water – Centipede Grass or Bermuda Grass?

When it comes to water requirements, Bermuda grass is highly heat and drought-tolerant, making it an excellent choice for areas with limited rainfall. It can survive in almost any soil conditions as long as there is full sun exposure. In contrast, centipede grass has specific soil preferences and requires regular watering to thrive.

While it tolerates heat well, centipede grass does not handle drought conditions effectively.

  • Bermuda grass: Heat and drought-tolerant; survives in various soil types.
  • Centipede grass: Heat tolerant but not drought-resistant; prefers acidic soils.

In conclusion, Bermuda grass needs more water than Centipede grass to stay healthy and green. However, the next question is where do these two types of grasses grow best.

Where Do Bermuda Grass and Centipede Grass Grow Best?

Centipede grass thrives in the southeastern coastal areas of America, where sandy soil and acidic pH are prevalent.

It flourishes in regions with winters no colder than 5º F (-15º C) and at least 40 inches (101.6 cm) of annual rainfall. On the other hand, Bermuda grass grows best in warm southern states that don’t experience temperatures below 10º F (-12.2º C) during winter, ranging from North Carolina’s Atlantic coast to Southern California’s Pacific Coast.

This drought-resistant grass can adapt to both dry or humid climates, making it highly versatile.

Bermuda grass and centipede grass both have different growing conditions, so it is important to research where they will grow best before planting. When looking to establish which type of grass is suitable for your lawn, the following step should be determining when to sow them so as to obtain ideal development outcomes.

What Time of Year is Best to Plant Bermuda Grass or Centipede Grass?

The ideal time to plant both Bermuda grass and Centipede grass is during the late spring or early summer months when soil temperatures are consistently above 65°F (18°C). This allows for optimal germination and establishment before cooler weather sets in. To ensure successful growth, follow these steps:

  • Choose a well-draining location with full sun exposure.
  • Dig the soil to a depth of at least 4 inches (10 cm ).
  • Sow seeds evenly according to recommended rates, then lightly rake them into the soil surface.


Will Bermuda Grass Overtake Centipede?

Yes, Bermuda grass can overtake centipede grass due to its aggressive growth habit and ability to spread quickly. To prevent this from happening, maintain proper mowing heights and fertilization schedules for each type of grass.

What Are the Downsides of Bermuda Grass?

Some downsides of Bermuda grass include its invasive nature, high maintenance requirements such as frequent mowing and watering, susceptibility to cold temperatures, and potential allergenic properties. Additionally, it may not be suitable for shaded areas or poorly drained soils.

What Kills Bermuda Grass but Not Centipede?

Selective herbicides from Amazon like Ornamec or Fusilade II can effectively control Bermuda grass without harming centipede lawns when applied according to label instructions. Always read the product label carefully before use.

Is Centipede or Bermuda More Drought Tolerant?

Bermuda is generally considered more drought-tolerant than centipede because it has a deeper root system that allows it access to water at greater depths during dry periods. However, both types of turfgrass exhibit some level of drought tolerance with proper care.


After reading this post, you now know the differences between centipede and Bermuda grass.

Centipede grass is easier to maintain but doesn’t do well in colder climates, while Bermuda grass requires more maintenance but can withstand droughts better. If you have sandy soil, Bermuda grass may be a better choice for you, while centipede grass needs less water overall.

Bermuda is also a good choice for attracting wildlife such as deer.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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