Grass Type Comparison

It's important to pick the best grass species for your lawn's specific needs. Here we compare our three types of lawn grasses and the pros and cons of each. We go into more detail on each attribute if you scroll past the table.


All three grasses have similar genetic color. Color is primarily determined by soil nitrogen content, which can be controlled by fertilizing. Generally, the more you fertilize (up to a point), the greener the grass will be assuming proper moisture and environmental conditions.

All three grasses will turn yellow in the winter after the first or second hard frost, and remain that way until the weather warms in the Spring.  The further north and colder your location is, the longer the winter dormancy will be.


Zoysia and Centipede has a "medium" texture, with blades of grass typically about 3/16" of an inch wide.  Bermuda is slightly more fine, with blades of grass about 1/8" inch in thickness.  These are all pretty grasses, with Zoysia and Centipede matching the texture of Kentucky Bluegrass, while Bermuda looks more "carpet-like".  

The texture will vary with mowing height.  If you mow Zoysia closer to 3/4 of an inch, it will be finer than if you mow it at 2" inches.


Bermuda and Centipede are Full-Sun grasses, meaning they must get direct sunlight in the middle of the day.  It is ok if they are partially shaded during morning or evening but generally must get at least 5-6 hours when the sun is most overhead.

Zoysia will better tolerate some partial shade, requiring about 4 hours of sunlight to do well at a minimum.

Grasses that do not receive enough sunlight will spread very slowly or not at all.  We encourage you to do a test planting to evaluate how shaded a given area is before committing to planting a large amount in shade.

Water Requirements

Note: it is important to water new plugs daily for the first 2-3 weeks regardless of the variety.  

Zoysia and Bermuda are extremely well adapted to drought conditions once established, usually requiring water only in an extended drought.  Centipede requires more frequent watering in hot and dry conditions.  

While all three are relatively drought tolerant compared to other grasses such as Kentucky Bluegrass or Tall Fescue, they do spread faster if they can access moisture more readily.  We recommend you water 2-3 times a week during the grow in period just to encourage lateral growth.

Fertilizer Requirements

Zoysia and Centipede are slow growing and lower maintenance lawn grasses and require very little fertilizer.  Even fertilizing an established lawn just once each Spring will generally give great results.

Bermuda grows more aggressively and therefore has a higher nutrient demand.  We recommend fertilizing established Bermuda at least once every 6-8 weeks during the growing season. 

Mowing Frequency

Mowing is the most maintenance intensive lawn activity by far, so selecting a slower growing variety will save many hours of mowing! Some people like mowing though so make your own decision 😉

Centipede is the slowest growing and will require the most infrequent mowing, followed by Zoysia which grows slightly faster than centipede.  Bermuda grows quite quickly so will require the most frequent mowing of the bunch.

Mowing Height

Zoysia is generally maintained as the highest of the three, with a range of 1" inch to 2.5" inches, with 2-2.5" being most common.

Centipede is typically maintained at 1.5", while bermuda is maintained anywhere from half an inch to 1.5" inches.

Generally, maintaining turf at a higher height will reduce the frequency of mowing.  Mowing grass lower than 1" will require a reel mower (which requires more maintenance) and a very smooth grade free of bumps and holes.

Cold Tolerance

While all three grasses will turn brown in the winter, its important to consider cold tolerance and resistance to winter kill.  Our Zoysia and Bermuda varieties were selected for their excellent resistance to cold, and we have successful customers in places from Florida all the way to New England, Illinois, and Colorado.

Centipede is less cold tolerant and is recommended only for USDA Zone 7 or higher. This corresponds the the Mid-Atlantic south on the east coast and all of the west coast. 

Traffic Tolerance

Depending on how often you use your lawn, traffic tolerance may be a factor.  Centipede is the most intolerant of traffic but can handle light use throughout the week.

Zoysia is much more traffic tolerant and does great under heavier use.  Patches that are damaged will fill back in within a couple weeks.

Bermuda is about the same as Zoysia, and has the added benefit of its rapid growth, and will self repair within days during the growing season.  

Growth Speed

Bermuda grass is the fastest growing grass, and will spread multiple feet in each direction each year.  Zoysia spreads 6" - 1' foot each year, while centipede spreads about 6".

The actual rate of spread will be higher or lower and will depend on environmental factors (sunlight, fertility, and moisture), but generally Bermuda is much faster than Zoysia which is faster than Centipede. 

And the Winner is 🎇🎉

Zoysia (usually) - Zoysia tends to be the best all-around grass for most customers since it does well in part and full sun, requires little maintenance, looks great, and requires little water.

Bermuda - Bermuda is a great choice if the area is very high traffic (like a sports field) or if you want to mow it very short (for golf, or if you like the aesthetics of very short turf)

Centipede - is best for low traffic southern lawns; its best attributes are that it is the lowest maintenance of all grasses.