Selecting Appropriate Turfgrass Species

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape November 11, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF


Turf grass species and maintenance for Florida
Video source: Your Florida Lawn - North Florida Lawns


Somewhat water-wise turfgrasses, such as Zoysia, can contribute to a lush-looking landscape in hot humid climates. Photo credit: Dinesh Valke Flickr  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Buffalo grass is a good water-wise choice for hot dry climates. It can be kept mowed or un-mowed for a more natural look.

Photo credit: colorado art studio Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0




The lawn is generally a significant and permanent part of the home landscape; therefore, selecting the appropriate turfgrass species for the landscape is an important decision.  Remember that regional differences exist in wear, drought, heat, and cold tolerance.

Turf species are often planted in mixes. Blends of cultivars or species increase genetic diversity which improves resistance to disease and pest problems.

When selecting turfgrass species, consider the following qualities:

  • Winter hardiness
  • Heat tolerance
  • Amount of sunlight
  • Water requirements
  • Fertilizer needs
  • Mowing requirements
  • Weed control
  • Diseases and pests
  • Soil conditions and type
  • Invasive qualities (spread into surrounding areas)

Additional Turfgrass Selection Resources:


Idaho: Types of Grass


Ohio: Turfgrass Species Selection
Ohio: Lawn Grass Cultivar Selection
Missouri: Managing Lawns and Turfgrass


Arkansas: Choosing a Grass for Arkansas Lawns
Florida: Selecting a Turfgrass for Florida Lawns
Florida: Turfgrass Selection
South Carolina: Selecting a Lawn Grass


Texas: Zoysiagrass
Texas: St. Augustine Grass


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.