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Learn Your Lawn: Centipedegrass Decline

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What Is Centipedegrass?

Centipedegrass is a warm-season grass species commonly found in lawns in the southeastern US because of its tolerance to heat and drought. It has a slow growth habit and forms a light green, dense, medium-textured turf, which is low growing and requires relatively low maintenance compared to some other varieties of grasses.


Centipedegrass Decline is a condition where lawns primarily composed of Centipedegrass show symptoms of yellowing, thinning, and stunted growth. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including improper mowing, pest infestations, drought, and soil compaction. You will often find an increase of Centipede Decline when there is a significant cool down at night for an extended period of time. These cool temperatures will often prevent green-up, and the turf will look chlorotic or yellowish and may eventually die.


What Can I Do If Centipedegrass Decline Is Affecting My Lawn?

The predominant causes of Centipedegrass Decline are soil compaction, poor soil drainage, drought stress, and poor soil pH. Once diagnosed, preventive and corrective actions must be taken as soon as possible.


A thick, healthy, well-maintained lawn is always the best line of defense. This can be achieved through beneficial cultural practices, which include:

  • Core Aeration: Aerating your lawn can improve soil drainage and help reduce the likelihood of lawn diseases. This will also alleviate soil compaction and allow water and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil.

  • Fertilize Regularly: Regular applications of Weed Man’s specially formulated, slow-release granular fertilizer will help provide your lawn with adequate nutrients. These applications are timed specifically to avoid over fertilizing the lawn.

  • Watering: Under normal circumstances, you should be watering your lawn a few times per week for 30-45 minutes in each area. During hot and dry periods, most lawns should be watered as much as required to maintain its desired green color. Always water in the early morning so the turf has time to dry by nightfall.

  • Mowing: Maintain a regular mowing schedule with a razor sharp blade. Never remove more than a ⅓ of the grass blade at each mowing.


Recommended Mowing Height

Common Bermudagrass - ¾ to 1¼ inches

Hybrid Bermudagrass - ½ to 1½  inches

Centipedegrass - 1 to 2 inches

Zoysiagrass - 1 to 2½ inches

St. Augustine - 3 to 4 inches

Fescue - 3 to 4 inches


Your local Weed Man professional will be able to offer other solutions and recommend the best form of treatment that is suitable to improve the conditions of your lawn.