Referring to Texas weather as “temperamental” may be the understatement of the year! No matter where you live in the Lone Star State, it is difficult to know what Mother Nature has in store on any given day. Homeowners should definitely take climate into consideration when deciding on a type of grass.
Read on to find out which option is right for you!
Which Grasses Grow & Thrive in Texas?
Use this variety if you live in the south-central region, westward to El Paso, or north toward the High Plains and Rolling Plains. It performs at its best in temperatures between 60̊-80̊F.
Buffalograss is low maintenance and thrives in both full sun and shade. It also grows extremely fast. During the peak of summer, it grows up to a foot high every 4 weeks.
Buffalograss can control soil erosion in hilly areas. It also tolerates both cool and hot temperatures. It is also drought tolerant.
If overtaken by weeds, conventional weed killers can be used safely. It is pollinator friendly and is a larval host plant for green skipper butterflies!
Potential Drawbacks to Consider When Using Buffalograss in Texas
- Buffalograss does not tolerate high traffic, so this is not a great choice in recreational areas
- It takes longer to green than other varieties after the winter months
- It requires regular fertilizing to stay healthy, particularly in areas with sandy soil
- It is an aggressive spreader that can become weedy
- Buffalograss seeds are more expensive than other options
If you live in north, south, west, or coastal Texas, then Zoysia may be an option. The look and feel of Zoysia make it very popular. It is found on the most famous golf courses around the world!
It has a slow growth rate and is thick, so it needs to be mowed less often than other species. Also, it is not prone to weeds. It is salt tolerant and handles moderate traffic.
It’s water efficient and drought tolerant, responding best to infrequent deep waterings. Zoysia thrives in full sun but also handles moderate shade.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider When Using Zoysia in Texas
- Zoysia can be difficult to establish – your best choice is to use sod or plugs
- Zoysia browns in winter and its best during the warmer months
- It is a bit more costly than other options
- Zoysia tends to get weedy if left unattended and is also more vulnerable to fungi than other varieties
- It is prone to thatch and requires core aerifying to flourish
Use this variety in the acidic soils found in East Texas. It performs well in low-fertility conditions and has low maintenance requirements.
It is heat and drought tolerant and its slow growth rate means less mowing.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider When Using Centipede in Texas
- Its slow growth makes it not a good choice for high-traffic areas
- Centipede browns in winter and can be sent into “shock” by rapidly changing temperatures
Kentucky Bluegrass is a viable option for the cooler temperatures of North Texas. It can be used in the Panhandle but requires more irrigation in that area. It is not a good choice for humid areas, where it is prone to heat stress and a variety of diseases.
Kentucky Bluegrass is very tolerant of traffic, making it a good choice for areas that sees a lot of use.
It has a quick bloom period when temperatures start to warm up, and it is drought tolerant.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider When Using Kentucky Bluegrass in Texas
- There are no growers of Kentucky Bluegrass sod in Texas, so your lawn will have to be grown from seed
- Bluegrass needs a lot of water and is not shade tolerant, making it higher maintenance than other varieties
Use this variety in East Texas, particularly in areas that are inhospitable to other types of grass. Carpetgrass has a low salt tolerance, making it a poor choice for homeowners on the coast. Some people consider it a weed, but that really depends on if you planted it on purpose!
Carpetgrass is an easy, versatile option that can save you a lot of time and money. It thrives in low-fertility, wet, or acidic soils. And it has a high shade tolerance.
Carpetgrass requires little-to-no fertilizer, which is why you will often see it in parks, medians, and other areas that need some greenery that does not need a lot of maintenance. If you see thin or sparse growth and decide to add fertilizer, you’ll only need about a pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of grass.
The grass forms a dense mat and spreads to fill gaps, leaving little space for weeds. That density also helps prevent soil erosion. If you have a hilly yard, carpetgrass may be your best choice.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider When Using Carpetgrass in Texas
- Carpetgrass is sensitive to many herbicides, which can make weed management challenging
- It produces tall seed stalks during the warmest month that can make your lawn look messy or weedy if it goes unmowed
- Carpetgrass is not drought tolerant and will need frequent irrigation
- Carpetgrass browns earlier in the fall than some other varieties
- It is susceptible to harmful lawn pests and fungi and can experience severe damage as a result of infestation
These drawbacks cause many homeowners to shy away from using carpetgrass. However, if you don’t mind watering frequently, mowing frequently, and aren’t afraid to apply fungicides and pesticides, carpetgrass is a viable option.
Bermuda is the easiest grass to grow in Texas. You know it because it is the most frequently used grass on golf courses. It is popular for lawns and recreational areas in the state of Texas. The grass is drought tolerant, which comes in handy in certain regions of Texas. It also grows spreads quickly.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider When Using Bermuda in Texas
- Bermuda is not shade-tolerant
- Its aggressive growth rate may not be desirable for some