In very warm climates with mild winters, Bermuda grass will stay green all year. However, Bermuda grass is warm-season grass that does not tolerate cold well. Even a relatively minor cold snap can cause Bermuda grass to enter dormancy. In regions with temperate winters, Bermuda grass dormancy lasts only a few weeks. In areas with colder winters, Bermuda grass may go dormant in late fall and remain brown until late spring.
What Time of Year Does Bermuda Grass Go Dormant?
Rather than time of year, the exact time when Bermuda grass goes dormant is controlled by soil temperature. Once average soil temperatures dip down to 55℉ (12℃) in fall, Bermuda grass begins to enter dormancy and turn brown.
- Bermuda grass enters dormancy based on soil temperature, not time of year.
- Your Bermuda grass will go dormant once soil temperatures consistently dip below 55℉ (12℃).
- In Florida, Arizona, and California, the soil may never get cold enough to cause bermuda dormancy.
- In most of the South and Lower Midwest, Bermuda lawns go dormant by December.
Because Bermuda grass dormancy is determined by soil temperature, not time of year, the exact time your Bermuda lawn loses its green color depends on weather patterns in your region. In South Florida, Arizona, and some regions of Southern California, Bermuda grass lawns stay green year-round. This is simply because soil temperatures typically don’t dip down low enough to trigger dormancy. In areas of the South, Lower Midwest, and West Coast with colder winters, Bermuda may go dormant in fall or early winter.
Does All Bermuda Grass Go Dormant?
All cultivars (varieties) of Bermuda grass will go dormant if soil temperatures drop low enough. In fact, all species of grass enter dormancy during periods of extreme cold. Although there are some varieties of Bermuda grass, such as Mohawk, that are designed to handle colder temperatures, no Bermuda cultivar will be as winter-hardy as cool-season grass.
When Does Bermuda Grass Exit Dormancy?
The exact time when Bermuda grass turns green depends on soil temperature. After a period of dormancy, Bermuda grass will begin to green up again once average soil temperatures reach 60℉ (16℃) for several days.
- Bermuda grass comes out of dormancy in spring when soil temperatures consistently rise to 60℉ (16℃).
- Bermuda grass lawns begin to green up in early spring.
Typically, you will begin to see green lawns again in March after a period of Bermuda dormancy. By scalping Bermuda grass at the right time and providing adequate water you can even encourage your lawn to green up faster.
How Do You Keep Bermuda Grass Green All Year Long?
Unless you can control the weather, it may not be possible to keep your Bermuda lawn green year-round. Once soil temperatures reach that 55-degree mark, it sends a biological trigger that causes Bermuda grass to cease photosynthesis and enter hibernation. This is a necessary process that prevents cold weather from damaging or killing the grass plant.
- Regardless of cultivation practices, Bermuda will enter dormancy if soil temperatures dip low enough.
- If your Bermuda grass does not go dormant, continue to provide water and fertilizer through winter.
If you live in a region where the winter months don’t get cold enough to send Bermuda grass into dormancy, keep it green by following a beneficial Bermuda grass watering schedule. Additionally, Bermuda grass that does not enter dormancy needs year-round fertilization in order to continue that thick, lush, green growth.
What Grass Will Stay Green Year-Round?
Unfortunately, there is no perfect grass that will stay green all year. Warm-season grasses like Bermuda thrive during the summer months but are quick to go dormant once temperatures drop. Cool-season grass varieties, on the other hand, tolerate moderate cold well but wilt in the summer heat. Plus, even cold-hardy grasses will go dormant once temperatures hit freezing.
- All grasses are subject to dormancy.
- Warm-season grasses do well during hot summers but go dormant once temperatures drop slightly.
- Cool-season grasses stay green down to near-freezing temperatures, but they often enter dormancy when exposed to summer heat.
- To get the best of both worlds, seed your Bermuda lawn with Annual Ryegrass in fall. This grass will remain green all winter.
If you live in a region where your Bermuda lawn goes dormant for long periods during the winter, consider overseeding your lawn with Annual Ryegrass in the fall. This cool-season grass will sprout in fall and remain green throughout the relatively moderate winters where Bermuda is grown. Then, as temperatures rise in spring, the Ryegrass will die off as your Bermuda comes back to life. This is one of the best ways to cultivate a green lawn year-round.
Does Bermuda Stay Green Year Round?
Whether or not your Bermuda lawn stays green all year round depends on the weather you experience during the winter. Here are the quick rules for the Bermuda grass life cycle:
- Bermuda grass goes dormant once soil temperatures drop to 55℉ (12℃).
- In the Southeast, Southwest, and Southern California, Bermuda grass may stay green all year.
- In most of the South and Lower Midwest, temperatures drop low enough to send Bermuda grass into winter dormancy.
- Bermuda grass will green up in spring once soil temperatures rise to 60℉ (16℃).
Although you can’t control your Bermuda’s period of winter dormancy, you can keep your lawn green by overseeding Bermuda with Annual Ryegrass in the fall. This grass will remain green even when low nighttime temperatures bring frost. Then, it will die off in spring once temperatures rise and your Bermuda greens up again.