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Crabgrass vs Centipede Grass

Crabgrass vs Centipede Grass

Centipede grass and crabgrass are two very similar-looking grasses that can sometimes be difficult to tell apart at first glance. 

Though it may not always be clear which one you’re dealing with, one will prove to be better suited for your lawn than the other, so understanding the differences between the two is important if you want your lawn to grow to its fullest potential. 

In this blog post, we’ll break down the many similarities and differences between centipede grass and crabgrass, discussing their strengths and weaknesses and why one might be better than the other depending on your specific needs.

What Are Crabgrass And Centipede Grass?

Crabgrass: A type of grass that grows in lawns and gardens. It has a shallow root system, which means it can easily be pulled out by hand. However, crabgrass often returns after being removed, so you may need to use chemicals to get rid of it. 

While crabgrass can be difficult to remove from your lawn, there are some ways you can prevent it from growing in your yard. You should also consider using centipede grass instead of crabgrass if you’re looking for an alternative.

Centipede grass: A type of warm-season grass that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10. It can grow to be about 4 feet tall and has a deep root system, which means it’s difficult to remove by hand. 

However, you can use chemicals to kill centipede grass if you want to get rid of it permanently. While centipede grass isn’t as common as crabgrass, there are some advantages to using it instead.

How Do Crabgrass And Centipedes Differ?

Centipede grass and crabgrass both look very similar in appearance and are often confused with one another. They can both be a pain to deal with as they often creep into lawns, creating a natural-looking turf area in your yard that you never intended. 

Both of these pests tend to grow when conditions are right. This can be affected by not enough water or too much water, so it’s important to maintain healthy soil that doesn’t get too dry or wet. 

If you do notice these types of weeds growing on your lawn you need to take action quickly before they start spreading out of control. 

Here are some differences between centipede grass and crabgrass so you can figure out which one is causing your problem and you know how to fix it.

  1. The growth patterns of crabgrass and centipede grass are different. Crabgrass will form patches that are about six inches wide and usually grow in areas where there has been a lot of foot traffic or compacted soil, such as between driveways or sidewalks.
  2. The grass blades will be more upright than centipede grass, which tends to have flat blades with a more vertical growth pattern that makes it easy to spot your lawn from above.
  3. Crabgrass and centipede grass have different colorations. Crabgrass has a lighter green color than centipede grass, which tends to be darker green in appearance and doesn’t turn brown when it starts to die off as crabgrass does.
  4. The flowers on crabgrass are white while those of centipede grass are yellow or light orange in color.
  5. This can help you distinguish between them if you see them growing side by side in your lawn area, but they will grow differently as well, so make sure you check out both growth patterns before deciding which one is causing your problem area in your lawn.
  6. The textures of crabgrass and centipede grass are different. Crabgrass has a rough texture that feels like sandpaper, while centipedegrass has a soft texture that feels more like velvet to touch.
  7. This can help you distinguish between them if you need to feel them in order to tell which one is growing in your lawn area.
  8. Crabgrass and centipede grass have different leaf widths, with crabgrass having wider leaves than those of centipede grass, which tend to be thinner and more narrow than those of crabgrass when compared side by side on your lawn area where they are growing together.

What Conditions Do They Thrive In Most?

Crabgrass and centipede grass have similar requirements, but crabgrass is much more prevalent in warm areas like Florida or Hawaii. If you live in one of these climates, crabgrass will be a better option. 

However, if you live anywhere with mild winters, opt for centipede grass. It’s harder than crabgrass and can survive light frosts. Both types are fairly drought-tolerant, so your watering schedule won’t make too much of a difference either way. 

In general, it’s best to choose whichever type is native to your area; centipede grass tends to do well in warmer regions while crabgrass thrives in cooler ones.


The answer to that question depends on your location and what sort of lawn you’re trying to create. 

In some parts of the country, centipede grass might be better at staying green during times of drought, while crabgrass may out-compete it if there’s a lot of rain. 

However, in many areas crabgrass isn’t even an option because it isn’t native to those areas; instead, you have centipede grass as your primary choice.

William Kirkwood

William Kirkwood

Hi, I'm William K, an avid gardener, and outdoor enthusiast. I help busy people get into gardening, create natural and good-looking home decorations, and suggest outdoor activities and tools explore nature.