Zoysia vs centipede is a question of comparison between two grass varieties that grow in warmer climates. You would expect both of them to have similar characteristics but trust us; no two grass species could be more different. In this article, we bring you the most straightforward comparison between these two. If you have been struggling to decide which one to go for, this article will help clear all the confusion.

Zoysia Vs Centipede Grass

Zoysia vs Centipede Grass Comparison Table

Zoysia Grass Centipede Grass
Scientific Name  Zoysia Eremochloa ophiuroides
Native Australia China and South East Asia
Uses Landscape grass, home lawns, and turfs, tennis courts and golf courses Low-traffic areas, ornamental areas
Appearance
  • Very fine, long and slender blades of grass
  • Quite soft-textured on touch
  • Grass blades grow in thick bunches 
  • Medium green colored grass
  • Grass give off stolons above the soil. 
  • Each stolon then grows multiple grass blades along its length, giving it a centipede-like appearance.
  • The grass is a bright dark green color
Germination Rate It takes 14 to 21 days for Zoysia to germinate Centipede germinates within 10 to 28 days
Temperature Requirements 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit More than 70 degrees Fahrenheit
Soil Requirements
  • Needs rich and moist soil
  • Soil should be rapidly draining
  • Slightly acidic with 6.5 to 7.0 pH
  • Needs acidic soil 
  • pH needs to be between 5 to 6
  • Does not need rich or moist soil
Mowing Needs Mow at one-inch height Mow at one to one and a half inch
Dethatching Needs
  • Frequent dethatching will be required
  • As much as four times a year
No need for dethatching

What Is The Difference Between Zoysia vs Centipede Grass?

The difference between Zoysia and centipede is that Zoysia is very durable and able to withstand traffic. It takes at least three seasons to establish itself fully, whereas a centipede takes only one season. Both are drought tolerant, but Zoysia retains its colors during dormancy, while Centipede loses its color.

What Are The Characteristics of Zoysia Grass?

Zoysia is a warm-season grass that grows very thickly like a carpet if taken good care of. It is drought tolerant and very easy to take care of, even if you are someone with a rather busy lifestyle.

Australian Zoysia Medium Green Grass

 

– A Warm Season Grass That Might Survive Mild Winters

Naturally, types of grass that need high temperatures to germinate and grow cannot tolerate cold at all. Zoysia is an exception because it can tolerate temperatures as low as 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a hot region, your grass might stay lush and green all year round.

As is typical of warm-growing grass, it typically grows dormant in the winter. It is perennial grass and self-seeds itself in early spring. The grass seeds take approximately two to three weeks to germinate into new grass blades. By late spring, the entire lawn and turf turn green with Zoysia.

You can grow this grass healthily only in warm regions. Even if temperatures fall in winter, this grass will only undergo germination. Exposure to sub-zero freezing temperatures will kill grassroots and will not return in the spring.

– Zoysia Is Among The Most Durable Grass Types

Zoysia grass blades grow very close together, making it one of the thickest grass varieties. It is a bit slow growing but will grow thicker with each passing growth season. You will have thick carpet and soft grass covering your lawn within a few years.

Being thick makes it a very durable grass to grow at home or in parks. Kids can play around in it; you can play golf or tennis on it, and pets can run around all they want. This grass will tolerate such a high level of use without sustaining any damage.

The ability to repair itself further contributes to its durability. Provided the grass has access to regular water and nutrients, it will spread over and regrow in areas that might somehow get damaged.

– It Has The Easiest Lawn Maintenance

If you are someone who does not have a lot of time for lawn care, then this is the perfect grass for you. It will thrive with the most basic level of maintenance on your part. 

First, it thrives on barely an inch of water every week. There might be no need to water it if it frequently rains in your neighborhood. It grows a long and extensive network of roots with rhizomes underground, keeping it hydrated even if you don’t.

Weed management is usually a big headache with lawn maintenance. Zoysia will save you from this because it is an effective weed killer by itself. Its supremely dense growth habit will not allow any other grass, weed, or plant to grow alongside it naturally.

– The Unique Ability To Stay Green In Dormancy

This grass is unique because it has the ability to stay green even when it is undergoing periods of dormancy. Its leaves might lose some freshness of color but will not turn yellow or brown, at least.

This is a sought-after property because no one likes their lawn to lose its esthetic during tough times. This is also not grass that turns dormant very frequently. It is quite tough and sturdy and able to withstand most unfortunate conditions.

A Zoysia usually becomes dormant when the mercury falls below 50 degrees during winters. It might also become dormant when drought conditions persist for more than five weeks. 

– You Cannot Grow It Properly In Shade

Zoysia should ideally be grown someplace that receives direct sunlight all day long. However, it is also slightly shade-tolerant and will carry on growing under 40 percent shade.

Even if your lawn is partially shaded, you can still enjoy planting this grass there. Another option you have is to overseed and mix Zoysia with shade-loving grass. 

Under usual circumstances, Zoysia grass never lets any other grass varieties grow alongside it, choosing it quickly. However, in areas of shade where Zoysia is struggling to grow, the grass of your choice will fill the gaps. Go for either Bermuda grass or St Augustine grass for seed mixing.

What Are The Characteristics of Centipede Grass?

The main characteristics of this grass are that it tolerates drought and does not allow weeds to grow all over it. However, it is also very sensitive when it comes to foot traffic and will not react well to it.

Chinese Centipede Bright Dark Green Grass

– Centipede Has High Drought Tolerance

A Centipede grass lawn loves a lot of water, but at the same time, it has the ability to tolerate drought as well. It quickly loses its bright green color and turns dull or yellow. It will survive several weeks of drought before it finally dies off.

If your neighborhood is experiencing a period of heat and drought, you can rest assured that your grass will survive. Yes, it will soon undergo dormancy and require a lot of water to revive again. Typically you need to provide it with at least an inch of water a week to keep it from dormancy.

– It Has Effective Weed Control

The Centipede is a type of grass that grows very thickly above and under the soil. It grows so thickly that it gives no other plant space to establish roots and grow. 

Its root system establishes relatively quickly and aggressively underground. These roots compete aggressively with weeds growing alongside them and completely choke them by taking away their nutrients

This means you will not have to spend the majority of your time taking care of uprooting weeds from the lawn. You will not have to expose the grass to harmful chemicals meant to kill weeds. It grows rather quickly, leaving no opportunity for thatch growing.

– Will Grow in Sandy Soils  

This grass grows well even if the soil is sandy, loose, and poor in nutrients. For the record, it cannot tolerate compact and clumpy soil. It needs loose soil with lots of free space to grow and expand its roots.

Even if the soil is poor in nutrients, the Centipede will still manage to find its footing and spread forward unimpeded. You will have to keep the soil fertilized with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer regularly.

You must fertilize the soil at the time of germination of seeds in early spring. Any good-quality nitrogen-rich formula bought from a gardening store will work for it.

– This Grass Is Not Good With Foot Traffic

Centipede grass is not good with foot traffic at all. Its upright vertical growth is not strong, and that is why its blades get easily damaged when walked or run over. 

That is why it is not common to see various empty spots over this grass, even with occasional moderate-level use. Because of its slow-growing nature, these spots take a while to become filled in. 

Keep this grass for the more ornamental sections of your lawn and turf. At least make sure it is out of bounds for kids and pets. Don’t move heavy stuff across it either, and take good care of it so that it can repair itself.

– Be Ready To Water It a Lot

To keep this grass at its best, you must water it frequently with one-inch water every week. If your neighborhood receives a lot of rainfall, you will not have to worry much about watering every other day.

A grass that loves to be watered a lot needs its soil to be loose. It absolutely cannot tolerate soil that stores and retains water in it. Root rot is the most common problem you might face growing on the lawn in case of overwatering.

– Will Not Tolerate Shade

Only plant centipede grass on a lawn that receives bright direct light for most of the day. The light needs of this grass specify a minimum of seven hours of direct sunlight daily. Any less than that, the grass will lose its color and turn a sickly yellow. 

The loss of chlorophyll from the leaves naturally causes a stunting of the growth of the grass blades. It will lose its characteristic carpet thick growth and might become susceptible to a weed eruption

Zoysia vs Centipede Grass Major Differences

Conclusion

You now have an in-depth idea of how zoysia grass differs from Centipede even though both need warm temperatures and tend to be drought tolerant. Both of them are very thick-growing grass varieties that compete with weeds. Still, while Centipede establishes itself within just one season, it takes Zoysia at least three consecutive seasons to grow as thick.

On the other hand, Zoysia is able to tolerate regular traffic and can even be planted on golf courses and tennis courts. It also can stay green even while undergoing a period of dormancy due to drought or any other adverse condition.

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