How To Identify Buffalo Grass?

The first step in caring for or dealing with problems with your lawn is determining what type it is. Although Buffalo grass is one of the most prevalent types of grass, understanding how to identify it can be tough for beginners.

This article will go through every detail of common Buffalo grass identification. By accurately recognizing your turf variety, you can better care for your lawn and keep it looking fantastic!

What Does Buffalo Grass Look Like?

How To Identify Buffalo Grass?

Here are the characteristics to look out for when trying to identify Buffalo grass:

Leaf Blade

The leaf blades are large and narrow, with a midrib running down the center.


Depending on the variety of Buffalo you have the color of the blade could be anything from bright green to dark green. The blade on the popular Sir Walter Buffalo grass is deep green in color.

The leaves of this warm-season grass don’t have any red or yellow coloring, but the colder months may cause a slight discoloration.


Grasses are spread through two different types of runners: rhizomes and stolons. While both propagate new grass blades, rhizomes are underground and stolons are above ground.

Buffalo grasses have solely aboveground runners. (stolons). The stolons have a dark reddish/brown color and spread flat across the soil surface.

The Common Types Of Buffalo Grass

If you enjoy Buffalo grass, you’ll be pleased to discover that there are numerous variations. Unfortunately, this also means that distinguishing between them can be difficult!

Buffalo grass comes in various types, some more common than others. The most frequent kinds in Australia include

  • Sir Walter
  • Matilda
  • Prestige
  • Sapphire
  • Shademaster
  • Palmetto

In the United States, Buffalo grass is called St Augustine. Some of these kinds are more popular in specific areas than others because to their various characteristics and adaptation to varied weather in different locales (Sir Walter is particularly popular along Australia’s east coast).

How Buffalo Grass Has Changed Over The Years

The traditional, scratchy Buffalo grass of the past has been vastly improved over time.

Buffalo grass is no longer spiky and scratchy, but it has been altered to be far less bothersome for allergy sufferers. The popular Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo is one of the new “soft-leaf” varietals.

Does Buffalo Grass Spread Quickly?

Buffalo grass is a fast-growing turf species. It does not, however, have the issues associated with invasive grasses such as Kikuyu.

In comparison to other kinds, buffalo tolerates shade exceptionally well. It should be able to thrive in environments with as little as 40% sunshine, or around 3 hours each day.

Is Buffalo Grass Better Than Kikuyu?

The short answer is yes! This is primarily due to the fact that buffalo grass is much easier to manage.

For instance, it grows at a relatively gradual rate, making it easier to control. Kikuyu has a tendency to extend beyond the bounds of your lawn over time. This includes your garden beds, your driveway, and possibly your neighbor’s grass.

Kikuyu also requires more mowing than Buffalo. Buffalo grows quickly, but not as vigorously as Kikuyu. To keep your Kikuyu grass at its best during the summer, you should mow it once a week. Buffalo, on the other hand, need only mowing every 2-3 weeks.

Buffalo is also more shade tolerant than Kikuyu.

Kikuyu has the advantage of being able to repair damage significantly faster. This is due to the fact that Buffalo solely possesses above-ground stolons, but Kikuyu also has underground rhizomes. They are, however, both extremely tough turfs.

Which Is The Best Buffalo Grass?

When evaluating Buffalo turf grasses, evaluate which one will be best for your space, needs, and climate.

Dna Certified Sir Walter

For good reason, DNA Certified Sir Walter lawns are Australia’s favorite grass variety! They are drought, shade, and frost tolerant, as well as quick recovery and low allergenic.


While Sir Walter lawns perform better in high-traffic locations, Sapphire Buffalo grass is a suitable choice in low-traffic areas for shade tolerance. They also require mowing less frequently.


Palmetto Buffalo grass, an alternative to Sir Walter, retains its winter color in full light, has a low level of thatch, and is resistant to a variety of weather situations.


Matilda is another buffalo type that may keep its green winter color in full sun. Buffalo turf prefers sunlight yet can sustain heavy wear and tear.

Is Carpet Grass A Buffalo Grass?

Carpet grass and buffalo grass are two distinct species.

Carpet grass, often known as mat grass, grows in a creeping, stoloniferous manner. It is the best choice for low-maintenance lawns because it requires the least amount of mowing and fertilization of any lawn grass.

Carpet grass grows well in shade, making it a suitable alternative for locations with little sunlight, but it prefers warm, subtropical temperatures over Buffalo’s more temperate climate range.

Buffalo Lawn Repair

Minor damage to your Buffalo grass will most likely heal itself. In more serious circumstances, you may be required to take action. Brown Patch can be an issue for Buffalo grasses (as it is for all warm-season grasses) in more humid areas of the country.

The best solution is prevention, but if Brown Patch emerges on your lawn, try minimizing watering. In the morning, I only drank water. Never water at night since the fungus spreads through water.

Remove any grass clippings or other leaf litter that may raise humidity and decrease ventilation. You should also cut any shrubs or trees that shade the lawn to improve airflow. In exceptionally severe infestations, fungicides may be required, but as with all toxins, use caution.

It may take several months for the lawn to recover, particularly after a severe infestation. To keep weeds at bay, you may need to reseed any dead patches in your grass. This is true whether the condition is caused by a fungus, a lack of water, or neglect.

African Black beetles and Armyworms can cause damage to your lawn. If the infestation is severe, you may wish to use a pesticide to treat it.

Buffalo Grass FAQ

Why Is My Buffalo Grass Yellow?

You may be mowing your Buffalo grass too short or too frequently. Buffalo grass is a warm-season grass that is dormant in the winter and green in the summer, so if you’ve been experiencing lower weather, this could be the reason of the discoloration.

What Soil Ph Level Is Good For Buffalo Grass?

Buffalo grass grows in soil with a PH level of 5 to 8.5, depending on the variety.

What’S The Best Growing Season?

Buffalo lawn, like most warm-season grasses, grows best in the spring and summer. You will need to start mowing more frequently during these seasons, but your grass will grow.

How Long Does It Take To Grow?

One of the primary advantages of using turf rather than seeds is that DNA Certified Sir Walter Buffalo turf will be largely developed before it gets at your door.

However, depending on the weather, your new lawn should be established after 4 weeks after installing turf.

Does It Grow In The Shade?

Sir Walter lawn is well-known for its shade tolerance, making it an excellent choice for tiny yards where the fence or house produces a shadow throughout the day.

How To Tell The Difference Between Buffalo And Kikuyu Grass?

Buffalo Grass has a larger leaf blade and a richer green color, whereas Kikuyu Grass has a coarser, wiry texture with narrower blades.

Does It Grow In The Winter?

While Sir Walter Buffalo Grass does not actively grow in the winter, it is noted for its ability to retain its green tint for the majority of the season.

Can I Grow Buffalo Lawns From Runners?

Surprisingly, buffalo lawns can be grown from runners. While this is not advised for a whole lawn, it is an excellent method for repairing bare sections.

How Do I Plant Buffalo Grass?

Buffalo grass can be grown from seeds, sod, or plugs. When planting from seed, prepare the soil by removing any weeds and adding compost or fertilizer. Plant the seeds in the spring or early summer and keep them moist until they germinate. When using sod or plugs, the soil should be prepared in the same manner and the sod or plugs planted in the same season.

How Often Should I Water Buffalo Grass?

Buffalo grass is drought resistant and requires less water than other species of grass. It should be deeply watered once a week during the summer and once every two weeks during the fall and spring. Overwatering may result in disease and lead to shallow root systems.

How Do I Maintain My Buffalo Grass Lawn?

To keep a healthy Buffalo grass lawn, mow it periodically and don’t remove more than one-third of the blade height at once. It should be fertilized in the spring and fall, and any weeds should be removed by hand or with a Buffalo grass-safe weed killer.

What Pests And Diseases Affect Buffalo Grass?

Buffalo grass is largely pest and disease resistant, but it can be harmed by grubs, chinch bugs, and other insects. Buffalo grass can be affected by diseases such as rust, powdery mildew, and brown patch. These problems can be avoided with regular care and sufficient watering.

Is Buffalo Grass A Good Choice For My Lawn?

Buffalo grass is an excellent choice for those seeking a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant lawn that seems lush and green. It is also suitable for locations with hot, dry summers. However, because it does not handle hard use as well as some other species of grass, it may not be the ideal choice for places with high foot traffic.

How To Fix Dead Patches

In addition to runners, you can cover dead patches with fresh grass or by adding topsoil and encouraging your existing lawn to fill in. In order for these solutions to function, you must first address the underlying cause of the dead patch.