How to Fertilize Centipede Grass


Centipede grass, known botanically as Eremochloa ophiuroides Hack, is a perennial grass with a coarse blade texture and a light greenish-yellow hue. It propagates itself vegetatively by creeping segmented stolons reminiscent of a centipede, hence its name. It is relatively slow growing compared to other turf grasses, and is considered low maintenance as mowing needs are lessened due to the slow rate of growth. It does not go dormant in the winter and is damaged or killed by freezing temperatures so it is found growing almost exclusively in warm or temperate climates.

Step 1

Feed your centipede grass lawn twice a year in the spring and fall and a third time in summer, if needed, using a high nitrogen and low phosphorous complete lawn fertilizer. Look for a product with a guaranteed analysis ratio of 3-1-2 or 2-1-2. Keeping phosphorous applications low will help prevent iron chlorosis and yellowing of the blades.

Step 2

Apply the fertilizer according to the recommended dose on the fertilizer product label. Do not exceed one pound of actual nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet of lawn expanse in the two recommended feedings nor for the optional third summer application.

Step 3

Water your centipede grass deeply after each fertilizing session. Ensure that the soil is wet 6 to 8 inches down after each watering. This ensures percolation of the nutrients to the root zone and wards off drought stress, which can discolor the lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn fertilizer with a guaranteed analysis ratio of 3-1-2 or 2-1-2
  • Water


  • Texas A&M University: Centipede Grass
Keywords: fertilizing centipede grass, feeding perennial lawn grass, caring for centipede grass turf

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.