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Zoysia Grass vs Centipede

Zoysia Grass vs Centipede: Comparison

Getting the best grass for your garden isn’t as simple as it seems. If you are trying to find grass suitable for low-maintenance lawns then you have to choose between Zoysia vs Centipede grass.

The Zoysia grass withstands heavy traffic easily and also provides a dense and attractive lawn. It is slow to grow but doesn’t allow any weed to grow thus requiring less lawn care in this aspect. Centipede grass just like the Zoysia is also heat tolerant and generally grows in warm areas.

As you can see grass has its pros and cons but we have to dig a bit deeper and determine the right grass for your lawn.

Comparing Zoysia Grass vs Centipede Grass:

Zoysia grass has deep roots, but it still requires lots of water. Centipede grass doesn’t require that much watering.

Zoysia grows ideally in areas with dry weather while Centipede prefers areas with a lot of rainfall.

Out of the two grass types, Zoysia is much more tolerant towards high traffic while Centipede is not.

Differences Between Zoysia and Centipede Grass:

Parameters

Zoysia  Grass

Centipede Grass

Drought Tolerance

Strong

Weak

Maintenance Needs

Normal

Super Low

Traffic Tolerance

Really Good

Weak

Shade Tolerance

Medium to High

Average

Cold Resistant

Medium to High

Strong

Heat Resistant

Strong

Excellent

What is Zoysia grass?

What-is-Zoysia-grass

It is a warm-season grass that is famous for being heat tolerant, performing well against heavy foot traffic, and surviving in drought conditions. In ideal conditions, Zoysia grass is one of the toughest and most beautiful grass.

Identifying Zoysia grass:

Some of the identifiable features of Zoysia grass are:

  • It has a dark green color with a nice texture
  • Blades are close to each other
  • Allows for a tough surface
  • Bare patches during growth
Pros
  • Tolerates cold
  • Excellent foot traffic resistance
  • Excellent drought resistant
  • Ability to remain lush green even during drought conditions
  • Needs very less maintenance
Cons
  • The germination phase is very tough
  • Dulls the blades of the mower very frequently
  • Slow growing shade sensitive grass

What is Centipede?

Centipede Grass

Centipede grass is a slow-growing grass that prefers sandy soil. It is considered one of the best grasses for your lawn. And we assure you that once you have grown this grass then no other can compete with it.

Identifying Centipede grass:

Some of the identifiable features of centipede grass are:

  • Green blades are present but they are more vibrant and with a coarse texture
  • Spreads easily and on a wide area
  • Low height when it grows
  • Grass clumps closer to make a thick grass mat
Pros
  • Requires very less maintenance
  • Need very few nutrients to grow
  • It is highly tolerant to heat
  • Can survive in full sun with ease
  • Recovers from stress easily
  • It has an excellent shallow root system
  • Chokes out weeds easily
Cons
  • Standing water is not suitable for it
  • Cannot tolerate shade conditions
  • Does not withstand high traffic

Comparing Zoysia vs Centipede Lawn

Zoysia Grass vs Centipede. Comparison

Both of these grasses are in complete contrast to each other when it comes to different factors. Zoysia is a much more durable grass but is hard to maintain. It is also quite pricey. Centipede on the other hand has a rough texture, and low durability but is really easy to maintain. It is also quite cheap when compared to Zoysia.

We have gone into more detail down below so that you can get a clearer picture of which one is better for you.

Appearance

Zoysia is dark green with a fine texture, and the blades are closer to each other. Establishment takes up to 3 years. It provides a tough mat.

Centipede doesn’t have a long establishment time and grows bright green. It has a quite widespread and is also low to the ground. The blades are also rough. Centipede grass lawns are quite dense.

Weeds, growth, and sod formation

The blades are closer in Zoysia so there is a formation of tough sod but this process takes up to 3 years. You will see bare spots on the ground. Once established, it is tough and doesn’t allow weed to grow.

Centipede lawn is the same and has a really strong sod. Its establishment is possible in one summer and grows close to the ground. It provides a tough green lawn that prevents the growth of weeds.

Best Uses for Zoysia vs Centipede

During the growing season, you need to take more care of Zoysia grass. It daily watering needs and you will also need to mow it once a week. Zoysia lawn is best for golf courses mainly in the teeing and fairway areas. Humid climates can also help with growth and allow it to stay green.

Centipede green lawns are more suitable in areas where there is low traffic. This is because the water requirement of a centipede lawn is not that high. You don’t need to regularly look after it.

Soil Types and pH Needs

Zoysia is best suited in soil with a lot of moisture. You don’t necessarily need a rich lawn but doing so will help improve the grass color. Even though a neutral pH works fine but it is ideal to have an acidic pH of somewhere around 6 to 6.5.

Centipede grasses like acidic soils with a 5 to 6 pH. Sandy soil is best for maintaining a green lawn with centipede grass. It is also good in dryer regions as it doesn’t have high water needs.

Both of the grasses grow best at normal pH ranges and cannot tolerate extremely acidic soils at all.

Water Requirements

The water requirement for these grasses is quite different. Zoysia is quite heavy on the water and you need 1″ of water per week. If the weather is really hot then you should use 2″ of water per week.

Centipede has lower water requirements than the two warm season grasses and you need as low as 0.5″ of water. It can easily survive hot weather without much trouble.

Fertilizer Needs

Zoysia grass requires very light or moderate fertilization at best in the summer season. Centipede grass on the other hand requires very low fertilization after it is established.

Sun, Shade, and Temperature Requirements

Both of the grasses prefer full sun and don’t cope well with shade. Both kinds of grass can tolerate light shade but not much. They are highly suitable for hot weather and can withstand for a long time if the water requirements are fulfilled.

Zoysia grass is not suitable for extreme cold weather. If it drops below 55F then it will start to suffer. Centipede grass can survive cold weather a bit better. Both of them do survive in mild winters.

Durability

Due to its deep roots, Zoysia grass is quite durable after it is established. It is also important to take care of zoysia plugs from the weed. Centipede grass is not as strong as Zoysia but grows quickly. It also fairs a bit better in low-nutrient areas. It allows for a low maintenance lawn.

Common Pests and Diseases

Fungus and mildew are the common things that affect Centipede and Zoysia grass. Due to higher thatch buildup, Zoysia grass will get affected earlier. Insects like grubs, thrips, and beetles affect both kinds of grass in the same way.

Zoysia grass after being established is hard to dig up so animals can’t dig it up. Centipede grass is more susceptible to animal digging but it has a quick recovery time.

Mowing Needs

Zoysia lawn is very troublesome when it comes to mowing. You need to mow evenly it once per week. It grows fast and develops a lot of thatch so it also requires much more mowing than any other warm season grasses.

Centipede grass requires much less maintenance and thus is mown after a week. This is more prevalent in hot weather where the growth is slowed down. Both of these grasses have a dense lawn and are mown to 1″.

Maintenance Cost

Zoysia, a warm season grass, is more expensive than centipede grass. It requires a lot more maintenance but due to the heavy sod, forms a dense turf. You can’t propagate the Zoysia seeds. It also needs frequent mowing.

Centipede grass needs very little mowing and lawn care is easier. It is also cold tolerant and the seeds can be propagated as well. So, the cost of maintaining a zoysia lawn is much higher than a centipede one.

Zoysia vs Centipede grass: Which is best for you?

Both of these grasses have their pros and cons. If you are looking for a beautiful lawn that is durable then Zoysia grass is more suitable. But it is also harder to maintain and the cost is also high.

If you are looking for a low maintenance lawn then the centipede grass is more suitable for you. It is drought tolerant and has higher cold tolerance. Lawn care is easier with centipede grass. It is not as durable as Zoysia but is cheaper.

Choosing the Best Option for Climate and growth conditions

Both grasses are good in full sun and can tolerate partial shade. Centipede is a bit more drought resistant than Zoysia. But Zoysia can survive salty water which the centipede doesn’t.

Growing zones

Zoysia grows excellently in 6 to 11 USDA planting zones. The best time to plant is late spring or early summer. Centipede grass grows best in 7 to 10 planting zones. Bloom time is from summer to fall.

Summary: Both are quite good but the Zoysia comes out on top when it comes to climate.

Choosing the Best Option Based on Maintenance

Zoysia grass is hard to maintain as it needs lots of water and regular mowing as well.

Centipede grass is great when it comes to maintenance. You can also call it a poor man’s grass as it is cheaper but requires little maintenance.

Summary: Centipede grass is the better choice when it comes to maintenance.

Choosing the Best Option Based on Susceptibility to Pests and Disease

Mildew and fungus affect zoysia grass a bit more but animals can’t dig it up like centipede grass. Insects have a similar effect on both types of grass. Weed affects centipede grass more than zoysia.

Summary: In our opinion, Zoysia is the clear winner due to its deep root system that allows for higher durability.

Similarities Between Zoysia & Centipede Grass

Even though Zoysia and Centipede grasses are quite different, they have a few similarities between them:

Prefer Full Sun

Zoysia as well as Centipede grass prefer full sun. They grow best when there is a lot of sunlight.

Low Shade Tolerance

Both the grasses can’t tolerate a lot of shade. It is necessary they get a good amount of sunlight for the best growth.

Warm Season Grasses

Zoysia and Centipede are warm-season grasses. They like hot weather and grow best in such areas.

FAQ

Will centipede take over Zoysia?

Yes. Centipede grass already grows longer than Zoysia grass. Thus, it will overtake it without any effort.

What is the closest grass to centipede?

St. Augustine grass is very much similar to it.

What grass mixes well with zoysia?

The best grasses to mix with it are Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue grass.

Can I mix Zoysia with Centipede grass?

Both of them can be mixed but they both end up with undesirable results. And leave a patchy lawn.

Can I overseed centipede grass with zoysia seed?

Yes. It will greatly improve the appearance of your lawn.

Conclusion

If you are someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money and wants lawn grass that requires low maintenance then Centipede grass is best for you. Zoysia is best for people who want more durability and higher tolerance.

In the end, it boils down to your budget and how much are you willing to spend on your lawn.

So, which grass are you going to choose for your lawn? Let us know in the comments!

References

Zoysia Grass: How to Overseed and Maintain It – Today’s Homeowner (todayshomeowner.com)

All About Centipede Sod and Seed | Sod University | Sod Solutions

Zoysia Vs. Centipede Grass (sfgate.com)

Zoysia vs Centipede grass: The Ultimate Comparison Guide – GFL Outdoors

EMPIRE Zoysia vs. Centipede Grass | Sod University | Sod Solutions

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