Can You Plant Rye Grass Over Centipede?

Centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides) and ryegrass (Lolium spp.) are two popular grass species used in lawns. While overseeding with ryegrass is a common practice for some grass types, it is generally not recommended for centipedegrass lawns. This article will explore the reasons why overseeding centipedegrass with ryegrass may not be advisable and provide potential solutions for those who have already overseeded.

The Disadvantages of Overseeding Centipedegrass with Ryegrass

  1. Incompatibility of Growth Habits: Centipedegrass and ryegrass have different growth habits and requirements. Centipedegrass is a warm-season grass that thrives in temperatures between 80 and 95 °F. In contrast, ryegrass is a cool-season grass that grows best in temperatures between 60 and 70 °F. The conflicting growth patterns and temperature preferences make it challenging to establish a harmonious coexistence between the two grasses.
  2. Fertilizer Sensitivity: Centipedegrass is known for its low nutrient requirements, while ryegrass typically requires higher levels of fertilization. When overseeding with ryegrass, the fertilizers applied to promote its growth can stimulate the centipedegrass as well. This stimulation can make the centipedegrass more susceptible to freezing temperatures, potentially leading to winter damage.
  3. Moisture Retention and Disease Risk: Ryegrass growing on top of centipedegrass can create a layer that holds winter moisture. This excessive moisture can increase the risk of disease development, particularly fungal diseases, on the underlying centipedegrass. Additionally, ryegrass competes with centipedegrass during spring green-up, hindering its growth and recovery.

Solutions for Dealing with Overseeded Ryegrass on Centipedegrass Lawns

If you have already overseeded your centipedegrass lawn with winter ryegrass and it is causing issues, there are potential solutions to address the situation without harming the centipedegrass. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Selective Herbicides: Products such as Rescue and Certainty are mentioned as potential herbicides that can selectively kill ryegrass without harming centipedegrass. However, it is essential to follow the product instructions carefully and consult with a local expert or professional before using any herbicides.


Based on the information gathered from various sources, overseeding centipedegrass with ryegrass is generally not recommended. The incompatibility of growth habits, fertilizer sensitivity, increased disease risk, and competition between the two grasses make it challenging to achieve desirable results. If you have already overseeded and are facing issues, selective herbicides may be an option to remove the ryegrass while preserving the centipedegrass. However, it is always advisable to consult with local experts or professionals for specific advice tailored to your lawn’s unique conditions.



Is it recommended to overseed centipedegrass with rye grass?

No, most experts recommend against overseeding a centipede lawn with winter ryegrass. The growth habits and temperature preferences of these grasses are not compatible, making it challenging to establish a healthy coexistence.

What issues can arise from overseeding centipedegrass with rye grass?

Overseeding centipedegrass with rye grass can lead to several issues. The fertilizers applied to encourage rye grass growth can stimulate the centipedegrass and make it more susceptible to freezing. Additionally, the layer of rye grass can retain moisture, increasing the risk of disease development, and compete with centipedegrass during spring green-up.

Can overseeded rye grass be removed without harming centipedegrass?

Yes, there are selective herbicides available that can target and kill rye grass while minimizing harm to centipedegrass. However, it is crucial to follow the product instructions carefully and consult with experts or professionals before using herbicides.

Are there any alternative options to overseeding centipedegrass with rye grass?

Yes, instead of overseeding with rye grass, it is recommended to focus on maintaining and promoting the health of the centipedegrass. This includes proper watering, mowing, and fertilization practices tailored to centipedegrass’s specific needs.

Can centipedegrass and rye grass coexist in the same lawn?

Centipedegrass and rye grass have different growth habits and temperature preferences, making it challenging for them to coexist harmoniously in the same lawn. It is generally best to choose one grass type that suits the climate and conditions of the area.

What should I consider before overseeding my centipedegrass lawn with rye grass?

Before considering overseeding, it is important to assess the compatibility of the grasses, the climate and weather conditions, and the specific needs of centipedegrass. It is recommended to consult with local experts or professionals for personalized advice based on your lawn’s unique characteristics.

Can centipedegrass and rye grass be grown in separate areas of the lawn?

Yes, it is possible to have separate areas of centipedegrass and rye grass in the same lawn. This approach allows each grass type to thrive in its preferred conditions without competing with or affecting the other.

What is the best course of action if I have already overseeded my centipedegrass lawn with rye grass?

If you have already overseeded with rye grass and are experiencing issues, such as competition or disease, it is advisable to consider removing the rye grass without harming the centipedegrass. Selective herbicides or seeking professional assistance can help address this situation effectively.