Types of Bermuda Grass | The Best Variety for your Lawn

Many lawn owners know about the benefits of growing Bermuda grass, but it can be difficult to know which variety of this grass that will be good for your lawn. However, we’re about to share with you the different types of Bermuda grass that exist so that you can choose the one that best suits you:

There are over 50 different types of Bermuda grass. These are classified as:
Common Bermuda Grassthe original variety, found in nature and used for feed or as a filler.
Improved Common Varieties – these can be seeded and require little maintenance.
Hybrid Varieties – these are typically high maintenance, used on golf courses and sports fields, and can only be planted by sod.

Most types of Bermuda are generally low maintenance, tolerant to foot traffic & shade, and are relatively fast spreading. Bermuda grass comes in several varieties with specific purposes, ranging from roadsides to lawns to sports fields. Read on, and let us help you discover which type of Bermuda grass is best for you and your lawn.

New types of Bermuda grass get developed all the time, and some seeded varieties disappear from the market because they tend to revert to their original, more hay-like structure. Universities and colleges play a big part in the development of new and improved grass varieties.

Common Bermuda Grass for Lawns

Common Bermuda Grass Seed head

Common Bermuda grass is not the best choice for lawns. Although it is drought resistant, hardy, and spreads quickly, it is coarse and grows sparsely with a pale light green color. For most lawn owners that care about appearance, this type of Bermuda is a pest. It also produces rather unsightly seed heads, though this is usually not a problem if the lawn is mowed regularly. The nutritional value in common Bermuda is higher than other types, making it ideal for livestock feed.

If you have a lawn that is required to withstand a lot of foot traffic from kids and pets, Common Bermuda grass could be a fine choice if aesthetics is not your top priority. It does best in full sun, is hardy, and can grow in almost any kind of soil.

You can buy common Bermuda grass seed from Scotts on Amazon.

If you have a lawn that is required to withstand a lot of foot traffic from kids and pets, Common Bermuda grass could be a fine choice if aesthetics is not your top priority. It does best in full sun, is hardy, and can grow in almost any kind of soil.

You can buy common Bermuda grass seed from Scotts on Amazon. This one pound bag will seed up to 1,000 square feet, and the seeds are coated to help retain moisture.

Improved Common Bermuda Grass

Only some varieties of Bermuda grass can be planted traditionally by seeding. These varieties are known as Improved Common Bermuda grass. Compared to regular Common Bermuda grass, the improved varieties are deeper in color, with a medium-fine texture, and have deeper roots. The grass also tends to grow more densely, giving the illusion of a more carpeted turf. The resistance to cold is not always the best in these seeded varieties, but they are often developed with a certain aspect that is enhanced, giving you a better quality seed than regular common.

These varieties (some of which are listed below) are a great middle-ground for those who want an attractive lawn that doesn’t require too much extra maintenance. They are also clearly a more affordable option, as seeding is less costly than sodding, and the upkeep is less expensive than with hybrids.

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List of Improved Common Bermuda Grass Varieties

  • OKS91-11 – This variety is specially developed by Oklahoma State University to have a high cold tolerance. The color is medium-dark-green and is an attractive lawn turf that is for fairways as well as for home lawns.
  • Princess 77 – A newer, high-quality variety of Bermuda that grows dense and low with an attractive green color – a popular choice for sports fields, lawns, and decorative turf.

Princess 77 seed can be bought in 1 pound bags on from the brand Pennington on Amazon! Great color retention in the fall, and most reviewers in the Southern States were pleased with the results.

  • Blackjack – Often a choice for golf greens, this variety grows thick and sturdy and can withstand heavy foot traffic. A lovely deep green when encouraged with Nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Riviera – This variety is great at withstanding cold weather and will not result in spring dead spot. In the spring, it greens up and spreads quickly.
  • Sahara (SR-9554) – This is an economic Bermuda seed that is drought and traffic tolerant, very low maintenance. It is often used for parks and is a good choice for an effortless lawn
  • Yuma – an excellent choice for those looking for a bright green color from a seed that is quick and easy to grow. Given the proper care and fertilizer, this Bermuda grass will give you a lush, durable lawn enviable of golf courses.

Hybrid Bermuda Grass

Hybrid varieties, as the name may suggest, are created by combining several different types of improved Bermuda grass and cross-breeding them. This can give specific and desired results; however, it means the seeds produced by these varieties are sterile. Therefore, Hybrid varieties are only available as sod, not seed. There are three methods you can use to propagate Hybrid Bermuda grass onto your lawn:

  1. Sprigs: the smallest of seedlings are planted close together throughout the lawn
  2. Plugs: seedlings are grown in trays of soil and then planted apart, so they can eventually spread and fill in the lawn
  3. Sod: whole patches of grass are laid to create a lawn that will eventually take root. Bermuda sod can cost anywhere from $0.35 -$0.75 per square foot.
hybrid bermuda grass

This usually means that Hybrid varieties of Bermuda are a little more expensive than Improved. Not only because installation is costly, but Hybrid varieties require more maintenance and care – also resulting in a high-quality turf, with high resistance to diseases. You’ll see Hybrid varieties on golf courses, sports fields, and other turfs that can be highly maintained.

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Under the hybrid category is several ‘Tif’ varieties of Bermuda grass. Tifway, Tifsport, Tiflawn and are more popular types of turf known for their dark, deep green, and high quality. Many Bermuda hybrids are also bred to function as ‘dwarf’ or ‘ultra-dwarf’ grasses. These low growing grasses often require expensive mowing equipment and particularly in-depth knowledge of pest management control

List of Hybrid Bermuda Grass Varieties

  • GN-1 – Aggressive lateral growth from this variety makes it one of the best Bermudas to ‘bounce back.’ It has a wide leaf, rather than fine, and a dark green color.
  • Tiflawn – This variety, specially developed for lawns, has a perfect medium green color and medium wide leaf texture. It grows densely but low and has been popular since its invention in 1952.
  • Midway/Midfield – A great option for those who want an option that is better at withstanding cold weather. This dark green variety eliminates the issue of winterkill.
  • Tifgrand – A much finer textured blade than other Tif varieties, Tifgrand maintains its deep color, even while nitrogen is deficient, and is shade tolerant. It likes to be mowed short and has good tolerance towards pests.
  • Tifsport – This Bermuda variety was developed at the University of Georgia in 1997, derives from the Midiron variety, with improved resistance to cold. As the name suggests, it commonly used for fairways, greens, or sporting fields.
  • Ormond – Popular on golf courses or other areas that can handle high maintenance and irrigation. Not as drought tolerant as other varieties, Ormond does withstand cold and is disease resistant. It is popular because of its dense growth habit and dark blue-green color.

The Best Types of Bermuda Grass Seed

Princess 77 is the best quality Bermuda that is available as a seed. It has a finer texture, short growth pattern, is cold resistant, and spreads quickly. At the same time, it keeps all the classic traits of Bermuda, like durability and drought resistance. Tifway or Tifgrand are considered the very best Bermuda grass varieties for high-quality lawns. However, it can only be planted from sod, as seed is not possible for hybrid varieties. These types require extra care and maintenance, usually from the help of professional equipment.

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But What About Triangle Bermuda Seed?

Triangle is a well known, popular blend of Bermuda seed. It is called triangle because it is a mix of three improved varieties – usually Sultan, Sydney, and Mohawk. By blending the seeds and sowing them together on your lawn, you can get the benefits of all three varieties. For example, Mohawk is highly resistant to cold and will keep your lawn healthy even in the winter. Sultan will keep a good texture and consistently deep color, while Sydney has the most turf density. Choosing a blend is a great way to avoid all of the typical issues your lawn faces at once.

What Types of Bermuda Grass are used on Golf Greens?

Now you might be wondering which type of Bermuda grass will give you that perfectly manicured golf course look. Blackjack is most commonly used on golf greens, where the grass needs to be of the highest quality. Tifsport is also a popular choice for golf courses. Both boast a lush green color, dense growth pattern, and hardiness to foot traffic. However, these varieties require a lot of maintenance in order to look their best. A strict watering, fertilizing, and mowing schedule are all musts if you want to achieve golf-like standards for your lawn.

Buyer’s Guide: The Right Bermuda Variety for You

We have experience with Bermuda grass lawns and would like to share our knowledge with you! Below you can find the best type of Bermuda grass for you and your lawn, based on your environment or preference.

Bermuda Seed (improved)Bermuda Sod (hybrid)
Cold resistantRivieraMidway
Drought resistantDel SolFloraTex
Dense growthSydneyOrmond
High tolerance to trafficBlackjackTexTurf 10
Best for decorativeYukonTifsport
EconomicalSahara
Practical use (hay)RusselCoastal Bermuda
Overall best for lawnsLa PalomaTifway Grand
Best types of Bermuda grass in different conditions

The type of Bermuda grass variety you choose is up to the amount of effort you are willing to put into your lawn. Hybrids varieties are typically more attractive, more likely to recover quickly, and in some cases, more resistant to diseases and pests. However, purchasing and propagating sprigs, plugs, or sod is more costly than planting seed. Not to mention, your upkeep of hybrid Bermuda varieties will be much more demanding than the improved. Some types require industrial quality mowers, the very best fertilizers for Bermuda, and around the clock care.

If you are not ready to prioritize your lawn this season, it might be wiser to go with an improved Bermuda variety. The seed is less expensive, and because Bermuda grass has a relatively short germination period, you won’t be waiting too long before the turf begins to establish itself. Many seeded types are also known for their low maintenance and tolerability – this is why Bermuda is so highly recommended for those of you with lawns in the southern states.

So pick a variety or a blend that suits your needs best – with over 50 different types out there (and counting), you are sure to find the right type of Bermuda grass for your lawn!