Sod Comparison & Differences
Centipede vs. Zoysia

Let's dive into a side-by-side comparison of these two grasses. We're looking at everything from cost and looks to how well they stand up to drought, shade, and foot traffic. Stick around to see which one comes out on top!

Close up photo of Centipede sod
Close up photo of Zoysia sod


Which grass is typically more expensive, Centipede or Zoysia?

Between these two, Zoysia is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.73. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $362.50 per pallet.

Centipede on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.73 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $362.50 per pallet.

CentipedeBudget Friendly
from$0.50 / sq ft
to$0.95 / sq ft
from$0.55 / sq ft
to$0.90 / sq ft

Editor's note: It's important to remember that both of these are averages based on data from around the country so cost can vary depending on your location. Keep in mind this doesn't include other fees like delivery or installation.

See our sod calculator to get a comprehensive sod estimate.

Shade Tolerance

Which grass grows better in the shade?

Centipede Grass requires about 4 to 6 hours of sunlight but can handle light shade, surviving with slightly less sun if needed.

Shade Tolerance5 / 10
Shade Tolerance6 / 10

Similarly, Zoysia Grass is versatile, withstanding shaded areas quite well; it stays healthy with about 4 to 5 hours of sun but prefers a bit more light when possible.


Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like Centipede (pictured top) and Zoysia (pictured bottom), personal preference plays a significant role, but understanding the nuances of each type's appearance can guide your decision. Here's what to consider:

Centipede close up imageZoysia close up image

Centipede Grass, with its unique light green shade and soft leaves, creates a laid-back, low-growing lawn that feels easy underfoot and is fuss-free to maintain.

Zoysia Grass is thick and lush, sporting a deep green color and finer blades that cushion your steps, making for a plush, inviting lawn to walk and play on.

Drought Tolerance

Which one needs more water?

Centipede Grass offers above average but not great drought tolerance, often bouncing back from dry conditions once regular watering is resumed.

Drought Tolerance6 / 10
Drought Tolerance8 / 10

On the other hand, Zoysia Grass is quite drought tolerant, able to stay green with less water and recover well when conditions improve.

Takeaway: If you're located in a somewhat dry and arid geographic region and are looking for a grass that can handle drought-like conditions, Zoysia is the better option between Centipede and Zoysia.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Centipede is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Centipede sod is between 70°F and 85°F.

warm zones
warm zones
transition zones

Zoysia is well-suited for growth in warm or moderate climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Zoysia is also between 70°F and 90°F. If you choose to lay outside of the ideal range, you can still have success, but it may take a longer time to esablish and require a bit more maintenance.

As you may have noticed, both Centipede and Zoysia thrive under pretty similar climatic conditions!

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

Centipede Grass has moderate foot traffic tolerance and is best for lower-use areas, but it can handle occasional gatherings and games in the yard.

Traffic Tolerance4 / 10
Traffic Tolerance8 / 10

On the other hand, Zoysia Grass is a champion of foot traffic tolerance, withstanding heavy use and bouncing back well from wear, making it ideal for busy yards and public spaces.

Takeaway: If you're looking for a grass that can handle heavy foot traffic, Zoysia is the better option between Centipede and Zoysia.

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

Centipede grass is a slow-growing, low-fertility requirement grass that gradually establishes to form a low-maintenance, dense carpet ideal for acidic soils in warm climates.

Establishment Rate5 / 10
Establishment Rate4 / 10

Zoysia grass, characterized by its fine texture and high drought tolerance, establishes slowly but creates a dense, wear-resistant turf ideal for warm, temperate areas.

Net, net - if you're looking for a grass that establishes quickly, Centipede is the way to go.

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

Centipede Grass has moderate resistance to pests and some fungal diseases, but it can be susceptible to nematodes and needs care to prevent issues.

Resistance6 / 10
Resistance7 / 10

Zoysia Grass is well-regarded for its pest resistance, particularly to chinch bugs and grubs, but can occasionally suffer from diseases like brown patch in humid conditions.

TLDR - if you're looking for a grass that wards off pests and disease, Zoysia edges out the competition.

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Centipede or Zoysia?

Alright it's time to count the scores up.

Most blogs or articles are going to give you a wishy washy "it's up to you" speil. That is definitely true. You'll need to choose based on your geographic conditions and what you like most looks-wise.

That being said, if we just compare the scores based on the following measures. Higher is better in this case.

  • Average Cost: 4 for Centipede, 4 for Zoysia
  • Shade Tolerance: 5 for Centipede, 6 for Zoysia
  • Drought Tolerance: 6 for Centipede, 8 for Zoysia
  • Traffic Tolerance: 4 for Centipede, 8 for Zoysia
  • Establishment Rate: 5 for Centipede, 4 for Zoysia
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 6 for Centipede, 7 for Zoysia

Drumroll please...

All in all, Zoysia comes out on top with a score of 37/60 versus 30/60 for Centipede.

Thanks for reading! If you have any feedback or corrections for us, please email our editor at