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How to Water Centipede Grass

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017
Centipede grass requires very little water.

Few grass varieties are as low maintenance as centipede grass. It grows well in sun or light shade, requires infrequent mowing and fertilization and little irrigation. Not only is this good news for no-fuss gardeners, but for the environment and your water bill as well. Centipede grass' water requirements are highest when it is freshly laid and during the hot, dry months of summer. But outside of these times, a centipede lawn only needs to be watered when it shows signs of drought stress.

Water newly-laid centipede grass with 2 inches of water early in the morning, every other day until it is firmly rooted to the soil and producing new growth. It takes roughly 620 gallons of water to apply 1 inch of water to 1,000 square feet of lawn.

Give your centipede grass 1 to 2 inches of water whenever it shows signs of drought during the mild months of spring and summer. Signs of drought stressed centipede grass include dark blue-gray blades, foot-printing, and curled, folded or wilted blades.

Water your centipede grass more frequently in summer when it is hot and dry. Use a screwdriver, your finger or other implement to dig 4 to 6 inches down into the soil. Whenever the soil is dry to this depth, give your centipede grass lawn 1 to 1.5 inches of water. It takes between 3 and 5 hours to give a lawn 1 inch of water via the average sprinkler system.

Stop watering your lawn between December and February when it is dormant, unless it shows signs of drought stress. Place a rain gauge on your lawn to keep track of how many inches you are giving it.


Things You Will Need

  • Hose
  • Sprinkler
  • Rain gauge


  • Sandy soils hold less water. You will have to water centipede grass grown on sandy soil more frequently and more deeply, so that the top 6 to 8 inches of the soil are moist after each irrigation.
  • Clay soil absorbs water soil. Stop watering whenever you notice runoff. Then resume in 1/2 hour or so when the excess water has absorbed into the soil.
  • Watering your lawn deeply and infrequently (once weekly) encourages a healthier lawn with deeper roots than watering shallowly every few days.
  • The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning - between 4 and 9 a.m.
  • Water your lawn a few days before you mow during the hottest months to avoid cutting a drought-stressed lawn.
  • Always water your lawn after applying fertilizer.


  • Over-watering your centipede grass lawn can lead to diseases like brown patch.

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.