What Type of Grass Do I Have?


Proper lawn maintenance begins with accurately identifying the type of grass you have. However, this can be challenging, particularly for homeowners who have moved into a new home with existing grass and are unsure about its type.

More than knowing its name, identifying your grass type allows you to provide care tailored to your specific grass to ensure optimal health. It also helps you make informed decisions on whether to maintain your existing grass or replace it with a more fitting variety for your specific conditions. Additionally, your lawn may have a mix of different grass varieties, each with specific preferences and requiring different care.

As a trusted provider of grass plugs for sale, SodPods® is committed to helping you cultivate a lush, healthy lawn. It all begins with helping you identify your grass type so you can provide the proper care for your lawn.

How to Identify Grass on Your Lawn

The first step in identifying your grass type often depends on your location. For example, if you're in Florida, you're most likely to have warm-season grass, which immediately narrows the possibilities to about half, excluding cool-season grasses.

Warm-season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, and Centipede are well-adapted to warmer regions. They experience peak growth from late spring through early summer when temperatures range between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. They become dormant in winter when temperatures drop to 65 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.


On a visual level, you can identify grass based on its physical features, including the width and shape of its blades. For example, St Augustine grass has wide blades, easily distinguishable from the fine blades of Bermuda grass plugs. Grass tips can also vary, ranging from pointed to rounded or boat-shaped ends, providing further clues to the grass type.

Other factors that may provide hints on the grass type are the vernation and auricles. Vernation refers to the arrangement of young leaves within the bud. Some grasses have rolled vernation, where the leaves are rolled up in the bud, while others have folded vernation, where the leaves are folded like a fan. Meanwhile, auricles are small, ear-like projections where the leaf blade meets the leaf sheath. These can be long or short, depending on the grass variety.

Growth Habits

Different grasses exhibit varying methods of growing. Some spread through rhizomes, underground stems that extend horizontally and give rise to new shoots and roots. Others spread through stolons, above-ground stems that grow horizontally along the soil surface, producing new plants from nodes. Some grow from rhizomes and stolons to spread, while others may grow in clumps or bunch-like patterns, resulting in compact, isolated patches of grass.

Bermuda grass spreads aggressively through rhizomes and stolons, forming a dense, carpet-like lawn. This growth habit contributes to its high traffic tolerance and rapid wear recovery. Zoysia grass also grows through rhizomes and stolons, although more slowly than Bermuda grass. Nevertheless, it forms a thicker, more uniform green cover.

St. Augustine grass spreads mainly through stolons, forming a dense, green turf with great tolerance to shade and heat. Centipede grass also creeps through stolons, and while it grows slowly, it establishes a full, lush lawn with a tight carpet-like pattern.


The Most Common Warm-Season Grasses and How to Identify Them

If you're still unsure about the type of grass in your lawn, let's explore further the distinct characteristics of the most common warm-season grasses.

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass, known for its resilience and adaptability, is characterized by its thin blades that range from 2 to 16 cm long with pointed tips. Its color varies from light to dark green, with a texture that ranges from fine to medium, depending on the specific variety.

This warm-season grass has folded vernation and lacks auricles. While it thrives in warm climates, advancements in turf cultivation have resulted in hybrid and improved varieties that can withstand lower temperatures, extending its range into the transition zone. Some varieties, like BIMINI® Bermudagrass, are cultivated to have heightened fall/winter cold tolerance.

St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine grass is more shade-tolerant than other warm-season varieties, making it ideal for partially shaded lawns. Depending on the cultivar, it features a medium to dark green color and coarse-textured leaves.

The blades of this warm-season grass are usually rounded at the tip and are approximately 8-9 mm wide. Like Bermuda grass, St. Augustine also has folded vernation and lacks auricles—the small extensions at the base of the leaf. Among the common St. Augustine varieties are Palmetto, Seville, and Floratam. Palmetto is known for its cold tolerance and dense, lush growth, while Seville is a dwarf variety known for its finer texture and low-growth habit. Floratam, on the other hand, is a vigorous and durable variety resistant to chinchbugs and other pests.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass is distinguished by its medium-thick blades that vary in texture, ranging from fine to coarse, depending on the cultivar. This grass features rolled vernation, which means the emerging leaf is tightly rolled. Similar to Bermuda and St. Augustine, Zoysia grass lacks auricles.

As a warm-season variety, Zoysia grass has remarkable tolerance to drought, heat, and relatively cold temperatures. While it is slow to grow and recover from damage, it eventually forms a healthy, lush lawn that can effectively crowd out weeds and withstand various environmental stresses. Other key features include its early green-up in the spring and ability to adapt to different soil conditions, further adding to its appeal.

Centipede Grass

Centipede grass is easily recognizable for its yellow-green flat blades, coarse texture, and rounded tips. The blades reach about 30mm long and 2-4 mm wide, with folded vernation.

This warm-season grass is celebrated for its low-maintenance nature, thriving in acidic soils with relatively low water and fertilizer requirements. This makes it a drought-tolerant option for lawns in warmer climates.


Identifying Your Grass and Why It Matters

These common warm-season grasses perform best when maintained at a height of 2-2.5 inches, as regular mowing encourages healthier and denser growth. These grasses are known for their heat and drought tolerance, requiring about 1-1.5 inches of water per week, including rainfall and irrigation. Understanding your grass type allows you to tailor your maintenance practices to your lawn's specific needs, ensuring a lush, healthy lawn.

Additionally, when slow growth is a concern, establishing grass from grass plugs can be a practical solution. Grass plugs are small patches of mature grass with developed roots that you can transplant into your lawn. This method bypasses the lengthy process of traditional seeding techniques, providing a green cover in a shorter period. Grass plugs also require less water during establishment and spread faster, increasing the likelihood of a successful lawn.

At SodPods®, we offer a wide range of high-quality, warm-season grass plugs to help you cultivate a healthy, dense landscape you can enjoy. Visit our website today.


Jamie Tedder

Jamie surrently serve as Vice President on the board for Turfgrass Producers of Florida. He currently oversees the production of all grasses throughout all farms in Florida at Bethel Farms. He is actively working with top grass breeders, researchers, producers and end users from public and private institutions around the country to stay up to date on current industry developments. Being a University of Florida graduate, he has applied that knowledge to over 22 years of experience growing spectacular grass!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published