How much do you know about warm-season grasses?

If you’re like most residents of the Palmetto State, the answer is probably not a lot. Yet getting to know your grass and what it needs to look its best is one of the most advisable things you can do if you have your heart set on a healthy green lawn.

Out of all the grass types in South Carolina, five stand out as being the most popular. Common bermudagrass, hybrid bermudagrass, centipede grass, St. Augustine grass, and zoysia grass line many of the gardens across the state.

But all of these grass types vary when it comes to maintenance, shade tolerance, water needs, and general upkeep. Read on to discover what type of grass you have, and how to keep it looking its very best.

Common Bermudagrass

Common bermudagrass is believed to be the most popular type of grass growing throughout the South.

Originating in the Middle East, it’s versatile, disease-resistant, and easy to grow.

Its medium texture means it’s an easy type of grass to maintain, but this, however, can also be its downfall. With poor shade tolerance, this grass craves sunshine and will struggle to thrive without it.

To keep common bermudagrass looking its best, water it weekly. Consider cutting it when it reaches 0.5-2 inches in height.

common bermudagrass
hybrid bermudagrass

Hybrid Bermudagrass

In many parts of the world, such as Australia, hybrid bermudagrass is slowly replacing the common type. Why? Better turf quality, greater resistance to weeds, and a favorable color make it a more attractive option for home owners.

The downside with hybrid bermudagrass, however, is it requires slightly more maintenance.

Close mowing and de-thatching need to be performed regularly or the grass can begin to look unkempt. If the idea of frequent fertilization and seeding management techniques doesn’t appeal to you, it’s worth opting for a different grass, or employing lawn care specialists to help out.

As with common bermudagrass, this type doesn’t thrive in the shade.

To keep it looking its best appearance-wise, don’t let the blades grow over an inch in height.

Centipede Grass

Centipede grass gets its name from its coarse texture. Pick a blade and hold it up to the light and you’ll see it resembles the hundred-legged creature.

It arrived in America in 1916, and has since become one of the country’s most popular types of grass.

Centipede grass is arguably the easiest to maintain out of all the warm-season grasses. Its light-green color and uniformed growth mean it’s capable of surviving in the sun, naturally, as well as in the shade, at least for short periods of time, such as half a day.

This slow-growing grass needs to be cut less frequently than most other types. Once it reaches 1.5-2 inches, it’s usually time to start maintenance on it.

For centipede grass to look its best, it needs on average an inch of water per week. During the summer months when there’s very little rain, you’ll need to apply half an inch of water every three days.

st augustine grass

St. Augustine Grass

This tough, fast-growing grass is another favorite among those in South Carolina. In coastal areas especially, it grows abundantly.

Unfortunately, St. Augustine grass can be tricky to maintain. It’s nowhere near as disease-resistant as the bermuda types. It also needs regular maintenance to avoid becoming clumpy.

Sometimes referred to as Charleston grass, this particular type is rich in color and luscious to touch.

Those living in shaded areas or near traffic are advised to avoid planting St. Augustine grass due to its sensitive nature.

It’s likely that a St. Augustine grass lawn will require regular anti-fungal treatments and iron treatment. It will also need cutting more frequently than the other types of grass on this list.

A lawn care specialist will be able to carry out any needed work for you. If you plan to do it yourself, however, keep in mind that this grass looks its best when it’s cut at around 2.5-3 inches in height. This works out to every 10-15 days.

Zoysia Grass

The final grass type on this list is the zoysia grass. Common in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific, this lawn type is now a firm favorite in America’s South, too.

It’s often called “the beginner’s grass,” mostly because of it’s easy-to-maintain nature. While zoysia grass’ appearance is usually easy to recognize, it’s its growing traits that give it away. If your lawn is invasive, difficult to remove, and grows into your neighbour’s garden, it’s likely made up of zoysia grass.

As it survives in the blistering heat as well as the icy cold, it’s developed a well-earned reputation for being extremely resilient. Not only is it that, though. It’s also soft to the touch, dense, and beautiful to look at.

While the grass is fairly tolerant to shade, it needs at least 4 hours of direct sunlight every day to thrive. If your garden doesn’t receive much direct sunlight, it’ll need to receive at least eight-hours’ worth of reflected light if you want your zoysia grass lawn to be at its healthiest.

When it comes to watering and mowing this grass type, you’ll be able to get away with less than you would if you had another type of lawn. Anywhere between 0.5-1 inch of water a week is perfect. And as far as cutting your grass is concerned, you’ll want to mow it when it reaches 2 inches.

zoysia grass

The Benefits of Understanding Your Lawn Type

The more you know about your lawn, the better you’ll be able to care for it.

Hopefully, while reading this article, you were able to work out what type of lawn you have. If you didn’t manage to, don’t worry, a lawn care expert will be able to tell you for sure.

Now, the question you need to ask yourself is how you plan to care for your grass to make sure it stays looking green and healthy. If you want, you can do all of the maintenance work yourself. Of course, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, though, you can always call in a professional serving company to do all the hard work for you. Contact If It’s Landscaping today if you need help determining your type of turf. We will be happy to help you!