Southern lawn with spanish moss best fertilizer for centipede

How to Grow a Beautiful and Healthy Centipede Lawn

Centipede grass is a popular lawn grass used for high traffic areas, but it can be hard to grow.

The problem with centipede lawns is that they tend to get patchy and thin over time, which makes them look bad. This leads many homeowners to give up on their centipede lawns and switch back to another type of turf, like Bermuda or St Augustine.

Fertilizer application can help you keep your centipede looking good all year round. So let’s take a look at the best fertilizers for centipede grass.

What Is The Best Fertilizer For Centipede Grass?

Our Top Pick – Ferti-Lome Centipede Grass Fertilizer

Ferti-Lome was established in 1950 and has been providing quality fertilizer products on the market ever since. They are dedicated to producing the best results obtained from foliar feeding, soil conditioning, hydroponic applications as well as a number of other types of solutions. Their lawn fertilizers offer all-natural ingredients which won’t harm your lawn underneath those beautiful green leaves!

This product, designed specifically for Centipede grass has an N-P-K ratio of 15-0-15. It can not only maintain lush and healthy lawns but it can also be used to treat other common issues such as sparse patches, or yellowing grass.

The slow-release formula allows this fertilizer to be released over time when it is most needed. This is ideal for your centipede lawns because they require only small doses of nutrients that are provided at key intervals during the growing season (spring & fall). It is also certified by the International Plant Nutrition Institute and can be used on both sandy and clay soils.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a slow-release granular fertilizer that can also be applied in hydroponics applications, this is the one we recommend.

Simple Lawn Solutions Superior Nitrogen & Potash Grass Food

This liquid fertilizer by Simple Lawn Solutions is a new and improved formula, that is the best product for the health of your lawn, no matter if you have Bermuda, Centipede, or any other type of grass.

This perfectly balanced 15-0-15 fertilizer will give your Centipede lawn a boost in both growth and color because of its added Nitrogen content. The phosphorus-free formula is perfect to use over regular waterings to help keep weeds from growing while adding extra nutrients to the soil as well. You can also use this fertilizer for all types of grasses including Bermuda grass, centipede grass, and many more.

This low-cost fertilizer will last for up to 3 applications, depending on the size of your lawn and how often you water. The product can also be used by homeowners with children or pets because it is safe and non-toxic, but please keep away from dog and cat areas so that they do not eat too much at once.

This is a nitrogen-based liquid feed program designed to help get the best results out of your Centipede lawn, which will make it look great without having to use harmful pesticides or herbicides. If you want to improve the growth rate of your grass and give it a boost in color while helping it become healthier overall then this 15-0-15 is for you.

Ferti-Lome Grass Weed And Feed

Ferti-Lome Grass Weed And Feed is an ideal choice for people who are looking for a product that both fertilizes and controls weeds. With this amazing formula, you will be able to have the most beautiful lawn without having to do all of the work!

This product will eliminate and prevent weeds while giving your lawn the nutrients it needs to be a healthy, beautiful place. The secret is in its two-part formula, which provides a slow-release Nitrogen along with a high iron content to help feed stressed grasses. Second, Ferti-Lome’s Grass Weed and Feed provides Post Emergent broadleaf weed control.

You should not, however, take this product lightly as it is very powerful. It controls weeds like dandelions, chickweed, knotweed, and spurge, but use this product sparingly. A small amount goes a long way, and using too much will damage your lawn instead of fertilizing it.

The best part about Ferti-Lome Grass Weed And Feed is that comes complete with other ingredients that will also help your grass grow faster and in better health such as Iron chelate, Niacin, and Zinc Sulfate meaning you do not have to spend additional money on separate products.

Scotts Turf Builder Southern Lawn Food

Scotts Turf Builder Southern Lawn Food is designed specifically for warm weather lawns such as Centipede. It is fortified with nutrients and features Scotts All-in-One Particles which release feed when watered.

Scott’s Southern Lawn Food allows you to easily provide your lawn with the nutrients it needs at any time of the year. Fully rooted grasses will naturally absorb the nutrients over time. The fertilizer also protects against drought by improving your lawn’s ability to absorb and store water.

Scotts Turf Builder Southern Lawn Food is an all-season food that can be used during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. You should apply every 2 weeks for best results, and no need to worry about lawn traffic either. You can immediately re-enter your lawn after the product is applied.

Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S Southern Weed and Feed

This is another great product from Scott’s that made our list.

Scott’s Turf Builder Bonus S Southern Weed and Feed helps your lawn in multiple ways. It kills weeds, feeds your grass to help crowd out future weeds, and builds strong deep roots to strengthen against heat and drought. This product is not for use on bermuda grass but can be safely used on St. Augustinegrass (including Floratam), centipede, zoysia, and carpetgrass lawns.

Scott’s Turf Builder Bonus Southern Weed Feed not only kills dollarweed, clover, and other listed lawn weeds, but it also feeds your grass, giving it the ability to crowd out future weeds. The result is a strong, deep root system that stands up to both heat and drought.

Scott’s Bonus S Southern Weed and Feed is only available in TX, FL (except Panhandle region), LA, AL, GA, MS, NC, and SC.

Safer Brand Lawn Restore Fertilizer

Safer Brand Lawn Restore Fertilizer is a great organic option for fertilizing your Centipede grass. It’s made with a high carbon source, which will green up your Centipede grass and make it look fantastic.

This organic fertilizer is an easy-to-use granule formula that can be sprinkled over your lawn, and the nitrogen in this product is non-burning, so you’ll never have to worry about damaging or killing off any of your plants. Simply sprinkle it around on your grass each time you mow and watch as it turns a lush dark green color in no time!

The Safer Brand Lawn Restore Fertilizer helps keep your Centipede grass looking good while helping it grow better by including nutrients and probiotics that encourage new growth. It works well by itself but also pairs well with the Safer Brand Weed Preventer for an extra boost of nutrients that help to keep your lawn looking great.

General Information About Centipede Grass

Centipede grass is a popular lawn grass used for high traffic areas in the Southern United States. It is an attractive grass that grows in a wide range of conditions and requires little maintenance. It grows best between USDA zones 6 through 11 in full sun to partial shade, but it will tolerate drought conditions well. Centipede is also tolerant of salty soils and will thrive in warm climates.

Centipede grass naturally grows to a height of 2 ½ to 3 ½ feet, but it can be slowed down if you mow the lawn short (to approximately 2 inches). It has narrow blades that grow close to the ground on both sides of the center rib. The blades are dark green and glossy in appearance and form an open, fine-textured canopy that lets sunlight filter through to the soil.

The grass gets its name from the way its seed heads look when they appear on the plant in the fall like a large wheel of centipedes. It is most often cut before this happens, so people don’t have to deal with the seed heads. They will last all winter and are not a problem for most people.

This grass is extremely low maintenance once you get it established in your lawn; however, there are several things you can do early on to ensure its success in your yard.

Soil Requirements

Centipede grass prefers alkaline soils with a pH level greater than 7 and works best if it is sandy. However, it will grow in all types of soil except for clay and other poorly drained areas. It also will not tolerate heavy shade or acidic soils so make sure your area receives plenty of sunlight and that the soil drains well.

If your lawn has poor drainage problems, consider aerating the lawn a few times per year to help improve the problem.

Maintenance Requirements

Centipede grass is generally not a high-maintenance type of grass once it has grown in for a year or so, but you should make sure to cut it at least twice per month during the first season. You can mow the lawn as short as one-and-a-half inches.

Centipede grass usually does not require much fertilizer. ¼ cup of nitrogen per 1000 square feet is sufficient for the first year. If you follow this recommendation, do not fertilize the lawn again until March of the second growing season. Once your lawn is established, it will need very little care.

Watering Frequency

Centipede grass does not require a lot of water to thrive in the first year, but over-watering may cause the plants to die or grow less vigorously. Excessive watering can also lead to thatch accumulation.

If you live in an area with milder temperatures and consistent rainfall, watering may not be necessary at all. It will, however, need to be watered once a week during a drought.


Centipede grass is low maintenance but does need to be fertilized occasionally. How often you need to fertilize it depends on several factors, but generally speaking, it should be fertilized every three to four weeks.  

One pound per 1000 square feet of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer is adequate for most lawns. If your yard has heavy clay soil, you may need to alternate between fertilizers that have different release rates.

Choosing A Fertilizer For Centipede Grass

Centipede Grass prefers a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. You can find these in almost any brand that you buy for your lawn, and they are normally made from natural ingredients.

When choosing a fertilizer, you will also need to decide if it is important for it not to have any weed killer chemicals in the composition. Basically, centipede grass doesn’t compete well with weeds because of its slow growth rate, but there are certain types that are more resistant than others.

If you have a lot of weeds in your area, consider Scotts Bonus S Southern Lawn Weed and Feed or Ferti-Lome Grass Weed & Feed. These are both products that will kill all types of weeds without hurting centipede grass.

Types of Fertilizers

Fertilizers come in a variety of types, including granular, water-based liquid fertilizers, and premeasured spikes.

Granular fertilizers are slow-release and the best option for centipede grass, but these can be more expensive.

Some water-based liquid fertilizers also have a slow-release quality to them, but many of these products are formulated for different types of plants. It may be better to stick with a fertilizer that is made specifically for centipede grass.

N-P-K Ratio

The N-P-K ratio refers to the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in the fertilizer.

Different grasses require different levels of these nutrients to thrive. Centipede grass has a low tolerance for nitrogen but a high demand for phosphorus. This means that your fertilizer should contain less than 20% nitrogen and more than 8% or 9% phosphate if you want it to be effective.

Applying Fertilizer

Fertilizers will tell you on the label how much it is appropriate to use based on the size of your lawn.

If applying granular fertilizer, it is best to use a spreader to distribute the product evenly. You should apply the fertilizer to your lawn’s roots and not on the surface of the soil because that is where it will be most effective.

If possible, you should calibrate your spreader to deliver that exact amount when applying fertilizer to your yard.   That will help to ensure that you are applying the right amount with every application, and it will also make sure that your lawn gets exactly enough of what it needs.

Most fertilizers require you to water them in after applying so they have time to soak into the soil. Fertilizers should also be applied when it isn’t wet outside, so you may have to wait several days before applying.  This will prevent fertilizer from running off of the soil later in a rainstorm and causing damage to your yard’s infrastructure or your plants.

How do You Encourage Your CentipedesTo Spread?

To encourage your Centipede grass to spread more freely throughout your yard, you can overseed it with a different type of grass. Centipede grass doesn’t compete well with other types of grass for resources and nutrients, so you should consider using Kentucky bluegrass in combination with centipede lawns.   They will grow well together but you will find that the centipede grass begins to creep in between the other grass and take over.

It may take several years for centipede grass to spread throughout your yard, but you can encourage it quickly by applying fertilizer and using the right types of seeds. If you plant new grass seed in your yard, it is important to water it often so that the seeds have enough moisture to germinate.  They should emerge from the ground within a week or two of planting if you keep your soil healthy and moist.

You can also create an environment where your centipede grass actively spreads by watering it regularly and allowing the grass to grow long, thereby creating more seeds. If you want to create a new section of centipede lawn or plant more than one seed, be sure to thin the plants after they have established themselves so that there is enough room for each of them. You don’t want your new seedlings to start competing for resources or nutrients.

Centipede Grass Maintenance Calendar

Centipede grass as with all other grasses needs certain types of maintenance depending on the time of year.

In spring you will need to prepare the soil for new growth and remove any grass that did not survive during the winter. You should also cut your centipede lawn if it has started growing out of control or become too long. It is important to apply fertilizer and a weed killer in early spring as well so that your centipede grass can start growing quickly.

If you have a lot of centipede grass, you may want to invest in a lawnmower that is designed for large yards.  It will make your job easier and it will ensure that your yard looks good at all times.

In the hot summer months, centipede grass will naturally slow down its growth and you don’t have to worry about any type of upkeep unless your grass becomes too long or there is a problem with weeds.

In the fall, centipede grass will naturally become dormant for the winter months as temperatures drop.  You can choose to cut it if you like but most people do not find it necessary especially if you live in a temperate area where it won’t get too cold.

You can also fertilize again in the fall. By fertilizing your yard in the fall when it’s cool outside (and not so windy) and watering regularly during dry spells you will prevent thatch from building up in the soil. Thatch is what causes weak spots in your lawn – if these patches are left untreated they’ll turn brown, making your entire yard look dead even though some parts may still be green!

If you keep your lawn healthy and well-fertilized, centipede grass should take care of itself throughout the year.  You only need to care for it when emergencies arise or once every few weeks to ensure that your yard is in good condition.


Centipede grass is a great choice for anyone looking to add some greenery and natural beauty to their home. Whether you’re just getting started with Centipede or are an old pro, it’s important that you have the right fertilizer on hand to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful. We hope this article has given you all of the information necessary to make a decision about which type of fertilizer would work best in your situation!