Centipede vs Bermuda Grass – What is the Difference

Centipede vs Bermuda grass

With the correct sod, your landscape will have years of beauty and toughness. Some types of grass, such as Bermuda and Centipede grass, do well in warmer regions, these grasses are best for south florida region which is considered to be warmest.

But which of these two sod types is best for your yard to get the desired beauty and durability? To choose the ideal grass for your lawn project, use this guide to help you recognize the differences and advantages of each variety of sod. Your sod expert will assist you in choosing the best sod for your yard’s soil characteristics and other variables.

Comparison of Bermuda Vs Centipede Grass

The following table shows the comparison between Bermuda grass and Centipede grass:

                Basis  BermudaCentipede
Growing regionsThe South, Kansas, Missouri(Plant hardiness zones 7 – 10)The South East 
(Plant hardiness zones 7 – 10)
Soil typeMildly acidic, neutral clay or sandy soilMildly acidic sandy, loamy soil
Soil pH5.8 – 74.5 – 6
Cold toleranceLow (50° Fahrenheit (10° Celsius))Low(65° Fahrenheit (18° Celsius))
Heat toleranceHigh(75° – 100° Fahrenheit (24° – 38° Celsius))High  (80° – 95° Fahrenheit (27°- 35° Celsius))
Shade toleranceExtremely lowLow
Drought toleranceLowLow
Footfall toleranceLowHigh
Growth rateRapidSlow
Level of maintenanceMedium (Weekly watering, frequent mowing required)Low (Frequent watering required)

Bermuda Grass

One of the most common forms of turf in the US is Bermuda Grass, a warm-season perennial bunchgrass. Colonial settlers looking for an alternative to fescue for their lawns brought it to America. Bermuda grass may thrive in a variety of soil types and environmental settings. It spreads by stolons, which are plant stems that root at nodes and cause new shoots to develop over time. Bermuda grass thrives in hot, dry areas with daytime highs of 50°F and 90°F and low relative humidity. It works well in direct sunlight and requires little water to survive.

 Pros and Cons of Bermuda Grass


  • Tough to kill
  • Well-suited to seed growth
  • Spreads with thick roots and stolons to prevent erosion
  • Does well with drought and rarely needs watering
  • Tolerates traffic and withstands walking very well
  • Has excellent heat tolerance.


  • It grows quickly and needs a lot of care
  • Does not flourish in gloomy regions
  • Does not tolerate winter temperatures

Centipede Grass

Another warm-season perennial bunchgrass that grows all over the Southeast United States is centipede grass. It comes from China and has broad, long, and slender leaves. The rhizomes and stolons that centipede grass produces allow it to spread and form thick, wide patches.

Centipede grass is a great option for places with heavy foot traffic, wear, or other damage since, like Bermuda, it can eventually heal itself. Bermuda, though, is the more robust kind. Centipede grass is a great option for lawns that receive minimal rainfall because it is reasonably drought-tolerant, low care, and cold-hardy.

Pros and Cons of Centipede Grass


  • Very simple to cultivate from seed
  • Thrives in sandy soils
  • Requires less mowing because it grows slowly
  • Contains a gorgeous apple-green color.
  • Accepts warm climates
  • Doesn’t hibernate throughout the winter


  • Has weak roots that struggle to prevent erosion
  • Not every patient with traffic
  • Poorly grows in cold temperatures
  • Has a low drought tolerance, so you might need to water it frequently.

 Difference Between Bermuda and Centipede Grass

Difference between centipede and bermuda grass

Warm-season grasses like centipede and Bermuda have varying tolerances for things like heat, drought, traffic, cold, and shadow. While Bermuda grass grows swiftly and needs more frequent mowing, centipede grass is easier to maintain and prefers sandy soil. With weak roots and a high water requirement, centipede grass grows slowly and does well in sandy soil. Because it can grow in practically any soil, Bermuda grass is particularly hard in heavy traffic.

1. The Appearance of Centipede vs Bermuda

What distinguishes Centipede grass from Bermuda grass in terms of appearance? Near the leaf sheaths on each stolon, the centipede grass is fine and light green without any hairs (above-ground root). Near the base of each leaf sheath, Bermuda grass has fine hairs that range in color from medium to dark green. Even though centipede grass is significantly finer than Bermuda grass, it is also categorized as a coarse grass.

2. Uses of Centipede Grass vs Bermuda Grass

Centipede grass grows best as a lawn in areas with a low pH and sandy, poor soil. This grass variety will thrive with just 0.5 inches of water every week. For a good reason, this grass variety is known as the best low-maintenance grass. A low-traffic and extremely low-maintenance lawn are best suited for centipede grass.

On the other hand, Bermuda grass can grow well in sandy soil as well, but it needs considerably more nutrient-rich soil. It needs 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, which is typically slightly above average. More traffic may be tolerated by Bermuda grass than by centipede grass. On a rich, sandy foundation, Bermuda is often suited for most normal lawn needs.

3. Water Requirement of Bermuda Grass vs Centipede Grass

Only 0.5″ to 1″ inches of water each week is needed for centipede grass. It might be only five minutes per week of sprinkler operation. Centipede grass is considered particularly “water clever” in terms of grasses. An average week’s worth of water is used by Bermuda grass, which uses between 1 to 1.5 inches. Bermuda grass and centipede grass can develop root rot, fungal infections, and mold if overwatered. Avoid damaging the grass if standing water is on a lawn since it will recover more slowly in wet weather.

4. The Durability of Centipede or Bermuda Grass  

Both Bermuda grass and centipede grass produce stolons. All grass species with stolons grow far more slowly than grass that generally spreads by seed or rhizomes. After they have done so, the lawn could feel slightly different because it is more of a “mat” of grass than typical sod varieties.

A Bermuda grass or centipede lawn should take two to three years to establish completely. As long as it is healthy and the soil is rich and well-drained, Bermuda grass has a respectable level of resilience once it has taken root. Bermuda makes a good grass variety for most normal lawns, but it is not excellent for pets or areas with a lot of foot traffic.

5. Sunlight and Temperature Requirement of Bermuda and Centipede Grass

Bermuda grass and centipede grass need full sun to grow at their best. Centipede grass won’t live in the partial, intermittent shade, but Bermuda grass may, even if it only receives shade for a portion of the day. For centipede grass to survive, it needs extremely warm temperatures. If the temperature falls below 50°F, it can start to suffer harm, and if it freezes, it could perish entirely. If Bermuda grass freezes, it will not perish but instead go entirely dormant.

Unlike other warm-season grass varieties, Bermuda grass may continue to seem healthy and green in temperatures as low as 45F and 55F, even when it has entirely ceased growing. If you want to worry yourself with low temperature killing your grass, you can opt for kentucky and fescue grass which are best for colder regions and temperature.

6. Mowing Needs of Bermuda and Centipede Grass

In the summer seasons and once temperatures drop below 70F, both centipede grass and Bermuda grass will likely only require weekly mowing of lawn. Neither Bermuda grass nor Centipede grass will require frequent dethatching because they are low-growing stolon-producing grass forms; this procedure will only need to be carried out once a year or every other year.

7. Pets and Disease Affecting Bermuda and Centipede Grass

Bermuda grass and Centipede grass lawn owners contend with similar pests and diseases, such as digging animals, grubs, and other insects that kill lawns and cause holes in lawn overnight, mold, and fungus. Centipede grass lawns need to be guarded against weeds as they are established, so they don’t readily trample on the slower-growing clumps of the grass. On the other hand, Bermuda grass is better at maintaining its position and displacing tiny, low-growing weeds.

8. Grass Related to Bermuda and Centipede Grass  

If you check into different strains of centipede grass, you will find that although it doesn’t have many near relatives, it does have some benefits. The traditional variety is available and has many well-documented benefits and drawbacks. Still, the patented genotype cultivars available in your area might have a better texture, cold resilience, density, and other qualities.

A very few relatives of Bermuda grass also share some of its traits. Some of the available cultivated kinds can enhance the texture of the grass and even increase root depth and hardiness, reducing the risk of injury or death from wear and tear.


Bermuda grass and centipede grass make great choices for those who desire a lawn that takes minimal care and effort. Centipede grass is great for front yards in shady locations or mild climates because it can thrive in shade, moisture, or temperatures lower than 50°F. Bermuda grass does well in sunny areas and can withstand heavy foot activity and wear and tear. For those looking for a lawn that requires little maintenance and looks amazing all year round, Bermuda grass is a great option!

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