How to Care for Pensacola Bahia Grass


Pensacola Bahia grass is a warm-season grass commonly used in lawns in regions that have warm winters. Pensacola is the most popular Bahia grass variety, mostly due to its resiliency and tolerance of insects and drought. Pensacola Bahia grass has narrow blades and deep, vigorous root systems that grow as deep as 7 to 10 feet. Pensacola Bahia grass can grow in both shade and sun, making it a versatile lawn grass.

Step 1

Water your Pensacola Bahia grass twice a week for the first growing season after the grass seed or sod is planted, providing about ¾ to 1 inch of water. Afterward, water your Bahia grass only during times of drought or prolonged dry spells to provide about 1 inch of water per week.

Step 2

Mow your Pensacola Bahia grass once every one to two weeks. Maintain a grass height of 3 to 4 inches and cut no more than one-third of the grass length at a time.

Step 3

Fertilize your Pensacola Bahia grass once in March and again in August or September with a 16-4-8 NPK (Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium) lawn fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer at a rate of 1 pound of slow-release nitrogen and ½ pound water-soluble nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn.

Step 4

Supplement the lawn fertilizer with a dose of ammonium sulfate once each year in July to combat iron deficiencies, if your fertilizer doesn't contain soluble iron. Apply up to 5 pounds of ammonium sulfate per 1,000 square feet of lawn.

Step 5

Control weeds by applying a pre-emergent herbicide, such as benefin, bensulide, oryzalin, prodiamine, dithiopyr, pendimethalin or dacthal, in February or early March. Apply a post-emergent herbicide, such as DSMA, dicamba, MSMA or MCPP, in May to control weeds that are already growing in the grass.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for pests invading your Pensacola Bahia grass. Although this type of grass is less susceptible to lawn insects, you'll still need to treat the grass for any grubs or other pests, using an appropriate insecticide. Wear gloves, eye protection and a respiratory mask when applying herbicides or insecticides. Always follow the instructions on the label exactly.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Spray nozzle attachment or sprinkler
  • Lawnmower
  • 16-4-8 NPK lawn fertilizer
  • Ammonium sulfate (optional)
  • Herbicide (optional)
  • Insecticide (optional)


  • University of Florida Extension: Bahia Grass for Florida Lawns
  • Bahia Maintenance Practices

Who Can Help

  • Lawn Care Guide: Bahia Grass
  • BahiaGrass Variety: Pensacola
Keywords: Pensacola bahia care, Pensacola bahia grass lawn, Pensacola bahia maintenance

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.