What Type of Grass Do I Have? A Lawn Grass Identification Guide

Many homeowners like yourself take great pride in their lawn. After all, it’s the first thing that people see when they drive or walk up to your house. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your lawn is healthy and looks its best. One way to do that is by knowing what type of grass you have and then taking care of it accordingly.

There are a variety of types of grasses you can install in your lawn, each with its own specific benefits and drawbacks. Introduced to North America by the English settlers, cool season turf-grasses (like Kentucky Bluegrass) are now the most widely used in the United States.

Warm season grasses, such as St. Augustine Grass and Bermuda Grass, perform best in southern climates. So what type of grass do you have? Knowing the answer is key to choosing the right grass seed for overseeding or new planting.  

In this blog post, we’ll provide a guide on how to identify the different types of grasses used in residential lawns. We’ll also offer tips on how to care for each type. So, whether you’re a homeowner with a green thumb or just want to take better care of your lawn, continue reading to learn more about the different types of lawn grasses and how to identify them!

How to Identify Your Lawn Grass

Grasses make up approximately 20% of the Earth’s surface. And they do more than just look nice. A lawn or field made of healthy grass helps to oxygenate the atmosphere, as well as absorb noise and can help to keep your home cool.

There are over 12,000 different kinds of grass worldwide, and most people don’t give much thought to the grass in their lawn. However, if you’re a gardener or you’re looking to seed a new lawn, it’s important to choose the right type of grass for your climate and soil.

If you’re looking to identify the grass in your lawn, there are a few things you’ll want to keep an eye out for. First, take a look at the blades of grass. Are they narrow or wide? This can be a helpful clue in determining what kind of grass you have. Another thing to look at is the color of the grass. Is it green, blue-green, or yellow-green?

Lastly, you’ll want to pay attention to the texture of the grass. Is it coarse or fine? Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you should have a good idea of what kind of grass is in your lawn. If you’re still not sure, you can always consult a professional or take a sample of your grass to a local nursery or gardening center.

Why Do You Need To Know Your Grass Type?

So, why is it helpful to know your grass type at all? Well, for one thing, the climate and soil conditions where you live can help some species of grass to grow and might damage or even kill other species.

To make things simple, there are two primary types of grasses: warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses. Warm-season grasses grow best in temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and go dormant in cooler weather. Cool-season grasses, on the other hand, thrive in temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and can tolerate cooler weather and potential frost conditions over the winter.

Know Your Grass Growing Region

One of the most important things to know when it comes to grass is what region you live in. This will determine what kind of grass will grow best in your yard.

For example, in the United States there are four different grass growing regions: the region best for cool-season grasses, the transition zone, warm-season grass, and the desert. Each region has its own climate, so it’s important to choose grass that can adapt to the conditions in your area.

For example, grasses that do well in warmer climates won’t survive in cooler climates. Similarly, cool-season grasses can burn and wither in the hot sun of the Southern US.

The area best suited to cool-season grasses is most of the Northern USA, from the Northeast down to the mid-Atlantic, and across the Midwest and to the Northwest into California.

The transitional grass growth region extends from Maryland to northern Texas and includes parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Missouri, even as far down as northern Georgia and Alabama. The climate in this region is characterized by hot summers and moderate winters. Bermuda grass and zoysia grass are two common types of grasses in this region.

Warm-Season grass best grow in the tropical Southeastern USA, such as Florida, Georgia, and over to Texas, and even places in Arizona and New Mexico.

Types of Warm-Season Grasses

As mentioned above, there are over 12,000 species of grass. However, the majority of home lawns are covered with just a handful of species. Here are the most common warm-season grasses to be on the lookout for in your yard.

Warm-season grasses are those that begin growing when the temperature reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 C), and they flourish best in temperatures ranging from 77 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (25 – 35 C).

They go dormant in the winter and become brown. Many warm-season grasses are drought-resistant and able to withstand significant summer heat. The three most common warm-season lawn grasses are Zoysia Grass, St. Augustine Grass, and Bermuda Grass.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass is a type of turf grass that may be found in the Southern and Southeastern United States since the 1950s when it became a very popular grass to use on one’s lawn. It’s simple to maintain, weed, and is known for its longevity, tolerance to drought and shade, as well as resistance to pests and disease.

Zoysia grass is one of the most popular types of lawn grass since it has a fine texture, delicate feel, and slow growth pattern. It can create dense mats and mounds that develop on top of low features.

It’s a form of grass with tiny blades that is used to make carpet-like or cushioned surfaces/turf. It doesn’t require much fertilizer to help it grow, and is unlikely to be damaged by fungus or invading insects. However, it needs a lot of water, and can take a long time to develop and requires quite a lot of mowing.

St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine Grass, commonly known as buffalo turf, buffalo grass, or stenotaphrum secundatum, is a warm season grass that thrives in tropical and sub-tropical areas like the southern United States. Although it may be found in many states, it flourishes best in humid conditions with hot summers.

It flourishes in full sunshine and is suitable for lawns, golf courses, and parks. It’s often found in lagoons and marshes, as well as along coastlines, and among other places with a high level of moisture.

It has dark green blades that grow taller than most other kinds of grass. The blades are flat and typically quite broad. It spreads via above-ground stolons, also known as runners, and creates a thick and dense carpet layer of grass directly over the dirt.

A thick, deep green color is essential for a healthy lawn. If your St. Augustine grass is yellowing, browning, or has dead areas, you should fertilize it.


Bermuda Grass, also known as Cynodon dactylon, Scutch Grass, and Devil’s Grass, is a warm-weather grass that thrives in areas with enough rainfall. It is most common in the southern United States. It won’t grow below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and it prefers temperatures ranging from 75 and 99 degrees.

Bermuda grass is a short, grey-green grass that has rough edges and grows anywhere from 2-15 centimeters, or 1-6 inches, in length. The stems may reach a height of up to 30 centimeters, or 12 inches, and are flattened and tinged purple at the root. It develops faster in the sun and slower in the shade. It becomes dormant and turns a brownish color during the winter months.

Bermuda grass can endure in a variety of situations, but it needs some care and attention to keep healthy all year; you will need to fertilize your lawn on a regular basis if you want to grow Bermuda Grass.

Centipede Grass

Centipede grass is a lush green lawn grass found primarily in the southeastern United States. Centipede grass develops dense sod that thrives in hot weather and requires little upkeep. This robust turf grass grows well under full sun but can also tolerate a fair amount of shade.

The blades of the Centipede Grass are medium to light green in color, as well as medium-length, thin, and lanceolate shaped. This grass may be grown in lesser soil conditions, such as acidic or sandy soil. If you live near a coast, however, St. Augustine or Bermuda grass are preferable because they are more salt tolerant than Centipede Grass.

Because it is simple to maintain, it has been dubbed the “lazy man’s grass.” Basically all it needs is mowing and watering on a regular basis, although it has a less vibrant green color than other types of lawn grass.


Bahiagrass is primarily found in lawns and gardens in the Southeastern USA and on the Gulf States’ coastlines. It has a naturally deep root system that makes it drought tolerant.

It has a light-to-medium green color, coarse blades, with some types that are immediately recognizable by their V-shaped seed heads when overgrown. It can thrive in difficult circumstances and even under low pH levels.

Bahiagrass is an excellent choice for homeowners who are having trouble growing grass in unfavorable environments because to its low upkeep requirements. Despite the fact that it isn’t the most visually attractive grass, it thrives best in lawns with plenty of sunshine, poor soil, and no irrigation system.


Dichondra is a low-growing perennial ground-cover plant that thrives in warm, dry regions. It can be mowed like grass and develops a lovely, dense ground cover. The leaves grow along the creepers at right angles to each other. It requires regular fertilizer application, and it is susceptible to insects and diseases.

Dichondra has round grass blades that are pale to bright green in color and grow in dense mat-like patterns. The flowers are typically white, yellow, or green, and approximately 2-3 millimeters in diameter. It prefers soil that is loose, free of clods, and well-drained, as well as partial shade rather than full sun.

Cool-Season Grasses

So, we’ve gone through all of the warm-season grasses that grow in the southern, more tropical areas of the US. But what if you live further north? If this is the case, you will most likely have cool-season grass growing in your yard.

The majority of cool-season grasses flourish in areas with more mild summers, and they have two spikes of rapid development in the spring and fall. Therefore, if you’re thinking of planting new seed of a cool-season grass, the fall is your best option.

These grasses begin to germinate at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 C) and will reach their maximum growth rate between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (10 – 25 C).

Cool-season grasses grow so that they are dense, green, and carpetlike. They can endure low temperatures and develop into lush lawns with little thatch. Bluegrass, Ryegrass, Bentgrass, and Fescues are examples of cool-season grasses.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass is the preferred option if you want a well-kept lawn. This lawn grass develops into lush, green thick turf with long-lasting properties. So, even though it says “blue” in the name, it is one of the most green grasses you can find.

Because it was a popular perennial lawn and pasture grass in Kentucky, it gets its name from the state; you’ll often find sod or grass seed marketed just with its initials of KBG.

Kentucky Bluegrass is one of the easiest grasses to grow. It is also ideal for growing in the transition zone because to its tolerance of some heat.

It is distinguishable from other grasses due to its narrow blades and boat-shaped tips. The grass blades reach a length of up to 8 inches (20 cm) and are around 0.12” wide, with a smooth texture.

KBG is a slow-growing grass, with higher maintenance needs than other cool-season grasses. However, the depth of green in lush Kentucky Bluegrass lawns is well worth the effort.

Tall Fescue

Tall Fescue is highly popular since it is well-adaptable to a wide range of conditions. This versatile grass is commonly used by homeowners in the northern part of the United States and the transition zone because to its ability to withstand heat, drought, and shade. Tall Fescue also takes less water than many other grasses due to its deeper root system.

Tall Fescue is also an excellent choice for sports fields or homeowners with children and pets, as it can endure a lot of foot traffic. It does, however, have its limits and may take some time for the grass to fully recover if subjected to a lot of stress. Tall Fescue may be used to produce a hardy and long-lasting lawn if properly maintained.

Fine Fescue

Fine Fescues are grasses that come from the genus Festuca. They’re also known as Chewings Fescue, Hard Fescue, Creeping Red Fescue, and Sheep Fescue. They have small, needle-like blades.

Fine fescues have a high shade tolerance due to their delicate texture, and can be grown in both cool-season regions and the transition zone. However, they cannot endure stressful or high-traffic conditions.

The blades of Fine Fescue grass are like hair; they have an extremely fine tip and grow vertically. Their color is a dull, grayish green, and they often grow quit quickly. Fine Fescues need a fair amount of maintenance in terms of watering and mowing.

Perennial Ryegrass

This grass, also known as winter grass or English ryegrass, is characterized by its resilience in the cold season. Additionally, it is a perennial grass, so it grows all year and does not need to be replaced. Perennial ryegrass is a fast-growing grass that blooms within months of planting.

Perennial ryegrass thrives in a climate with mild summers and cold winters, which makes it one of the most popular lawn grasses in the Midwest. Ryegrass is also a preferred seed to cultivate together with Bermuda grass for year-round lush yards in southern states, as it will stay green and alive during the winter months.

The grass blades have fine ribs which run the full length of them, and the blades are flat and gradually taper to a point. Perennial lawn grass has another identifying feature in that it grows in bunches or clusters.

This exquisite lawn grass is excellent for putting greens where sports are played since it has a nice texture. As a result, this is frequently the grass used in tennis courts and golf course greens.


Most golf courses in the Northern United States have Bentgrass on them. It can be mown as low as 1/10″ and is ideal for putting greens and fairways because it produces a dense turf with a fine-textured feel even when mowed very low.

The upkeep of a bentgrass lawn can be prohibitively expensive, owing to the fungicides, insecticides, fertilizers, and costly mowing equipment that is required. It also requires almost daily watering as opposed to other Northern types (which grow primarily by means of underground stems). The blades are narrow and flat, and their texture is typically dense and quite soft.


So, what kind of lawn grass do you have? Knowing the answer to this question is essential for taking care of your lawn and garden properly. With our lawn grass identification guide, it’s easy to find out which type of grass you have and learn how to take care of it.

It’s important to know the type of grass you have in your lawn because different types of grass require different care. Whether you live in a warm climate or a more temperate region will affect both the grass you plant, when you plant, and how you maintain and look after it.

We hope that this lawn identification guide has helped you to identify the specific grass type that you have in your yard. No matter what type of grass you have, make sure to water it regularly and mow it at the right height. Following these simple steps will keep your lawn lush and vibrant; you’ll be the envy of your whole neighborhood!

If you’re not sure which type of grass you have or need help taking care of it, we’re here to help. The best way to do this locally is by doing some research and talking with a professional. Contact us today for more information on our lawn services!

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Written by Linda Chan
Linda Chan is a passionate gardener and writer with a background in horticulture and landscape design. She has over 10 years of experience working in the lawn care industry and has a deep understanding of the science and art of keeping a lawn healthy and beautiful.