What Type of Grass Turns Brown in Winter?

Published Categorized as Lawn Grass

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We all enjoy it when our lawns look lush and greener. But it’s traumatic to see a healthy and emerald property in the summer turn brown in the winter. Most homeowners in the United States experience this as their grass goes dormant in winter. But what type of grass turns brown in winter and why? Let’s learn more in this blog post.

The type of grass that turns brown in winter include Zoysia, St. Augustine, Buffalo grass, Bahia, Kikuyu, Couch, and Bermuda grass. They are all warm-season grasses and flourish in summer when temperatures exceed 65 degrees. Once the temperatures drop below this level, these turfs will slow their growth, become dormant, and turn brown.

What Grass Turns Brown in the Winter?

What Type of Grass Turns Brown in Winter

If you’re wondering what grass turns brown in winter, here they are;

1. Zoysia

Zoysia is an excellent warm-season grass which is heat and drought-tolerant. It looks fantastic and well-maintained during the summer. However, this grass turns brown in winter as it is native to warmer climates.

2. St. Augustine

This is another warm-season grass that goes dormant in winter as it cannot tolerate cold. It is a coarse-textured, heat and drought-tolerant grass that thrives in the warmer Southern United States regions.

3. Buffalo grass

Buffalo lawns look fabulous in all warmer months. However, they bunker down, grow slowly, and conserve energy in cold months. This means your yard will go dormant and turn less aesthetic until the following summer.

4. Bermuda grass

Bermuda grass discolors and goes dormant in cold winters as it is native to warmer regions. So, if you’re wondering why your grass turned brown in winter, it is normal for warm-season grasses. The turf’s crowns stay alive and green again after dormancy.

5. Bahia grass

My friend who resides in a warm-season turf hardiness zone asked me why his Bahia grass died in winter. This turf may seem dead during cold weather, but it’s just dormant. It thrives during drought, hot climate, and full sun as it has a deep root system.

However, the grass enters a degree of stasis in winter and fall and revives with watering in summer.

Why is My Grass Turning Brown in Winter?

What Type of Grass Turns Brown in Winter

Grass turns brown when it lacks essential nutrients or due to drought, extreme cold, extreme heat, too much watering, and flooding.

Generally, grass that turns brown in winter is warm-season grass types like St. Augustine, Bahia grass, Bermuda, and Zoysia. They flourish in summer as their growing season is from early spring until fall. During this hot period, these grasses use moisture efficiently, grow aggressively, and display a great green color.

Nevertheless, in winter, or when the temperatures drop below 65 degrees, these warm-season turfs slow in growth and become dormant. They then turn brown because they are accustomed to summer’s warmer weather.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why is my grass brown in the winter?

A: The main reason why grass turns brown during the winter is because of the long period of coldness, during which, warm-season grass cannot thrive. In other words, the yard literally ‘sleeps’ during the cold season but ‘wakes’ up during the warm or hot season, which is a normal process in the grass growing cycle, where grass goes dormant during the cold season but thrives when the weather turns warm or hot.

Q: What turns grass brown?

A: There is no single reason why grass turns brown. Some of the main reasons why you have brown grass winter include stress due to drought, soil compaction, and insects feeding on the grass among others. With the weakened state, your grass is vulnerable to attacks by insects, pests, and weeds, making it hard to control.

Q: What happens to grass in winter?

A: In winter, the days are shorter, and the temperatures colder, slowing down grass growth. The older grass leaves die in prolonged cold weather, and the lawn turns brown. This occurs in all warm-season grass varieties, including Zoysia and St. Augustine.

Q: Can grass come back after turning brown?

A: Grass that turns brown in winter will naturally revive once it rains. However, insufficient rainfall may not resuscitate the grass. Watering the yard deeply and consistently will help your dormant turf spring back to green.

Final Thoughts

Lawn dormancy in winter is normal, especially for warm-season grasses. Therefore, if you see brown grass winter, don’t stress yourself; it will revive in spring.

If you need to know what type of grass turns brown in winter, they include Zoysia, St. Augustine, and Bermuda. Bahia and Buffalo grass also goes dormant when the temperatures drop below 60 degrees for prolonged periods.

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By Wycliffe Magara

Hi, my name’s Wycliffe Magara, a professional landscaper, journalist, published author, photographer, and lawn attendant. Apart from this site, I also own LawnAffection, Grasstology, and TheScholarshipTipster. I specialize in creating informational content to help you grow a Lifelong Lush Lawn and find the ideal scholarship opportunities no one ever talks about.