Bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.)-Hort Answers - University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers


Cynodon spp.

Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon)
Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon)
Life Cycle and Growth Habit
Warm-season perennial with stolons and rhizomes. 
Regional Adaptation
Warm humid
Transition zone
Tolerates wide range of soils, performs best in pH of 5.5 to 7.5. Very poor shade tolerance. Poor cold tolerance. Excellent drought and heat tolerance. Tolerates saline conditions relatively well.


Light Requirements
Requires full sunlight
Best Suited for These Uses/Sites

Improved types of bermudagrass are used for home lawns, commercial sites, and other areas requiring attractive turf. It is also used on golf course fairways, tees, and rough areas, and in other athletic settings because of its wear tolerance, recuperative potential, and appearance. Seed varieties are becoming more available and can produce a durable play surface for summer recreation activities.


Moderate to high maintenance. Irrigate as needed. Mow at 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches. Requires 4 to 8 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year. Produces much thatch, so periodic dethatching is usually required.



Seeding (1 lb/1000 sq.ft.), sodding, plugs, sprigs, and stolons (2 - 4 bushels of stolons/1000 sq. ft.)



Refer to the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) website ( for additional varieties and performance data atvarious locations. Look for trial sites and maintenance levels most similar to your own.


Pests and Problems
Additional Notes
Select cold-tolerant types for the southern portions of the Midwest. In contrast to zoysiagrass, it can be established quickly, usually in 6 weeks; bermudagrass has poor cold and shade tolerance; it may periodically be damaged or killed during cold winters throughout the Midwest.


Related Resources
General Lawn Maintenance
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
Illinois Commercial Landscape and Turfgrass Pest Management Handbook
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic