What is Palmetto Buffalo Grass?

Palmetto is soft-leaf buffalo grass that is both hard-wearing and low-maintenance.

If you’re in the market for new lawn, you’ve likely come across Palmetto Buffalo.

Not only is this turf variety popular around Australia, but it’s the most popular and biggest-selling species of buffalo grass around the world.

What is Palmetto buffalo grass?

Palmetto Buffalo grass is soft-leaf buffalo with a wide blade. It has a rich dark emerald colour and is one of the toughest buffalo grasses available today. 

This buffalo species holds its colour well in winter and has a deep root system. Therefore, it requires less watering than other grass species.

Benefits of Palmetto buffalo

Palmetto Buffalo grass has numerous benefits over other grass species.

It’s a lovely soft grass which makes it a pleasure to walk and play on. It’s also hard-wearing and low-maintenance.

This has made it a popular choice for families with children and pets.

Here are a few other benefits of this buffalo grass variety:

Shade Tolerance

Palmetto has a higher shade tolerance than other grass species.

While it will also grow happily in full sun, it will perform quite well in areas that only receive around 2 to 4 hours of sunlight daily.

Drought Tolerance

Palmetto requires less water than other species which means it has medium drought tolerance.

Colour Retention

Palmetto Buffalo maintains its beautiful dark green colour even in winter.

Fewer Seed Heads

Palmetto also produces fewer seed heads than other species.


Its slower growth means that it requires less mowing than other buffalo species.

This also means that Palmetto Buffalo grass is much less invasive than other grass varieties.

Plus, you’ll find that it has less thatch build-up which means less dethatching is required.

Discourages Weed Growth

Thanks to its dense growth habit, you’ll have fewer weeds that you’ll have to remove and control.

You’ll also find that this lawn variety will put on some growth during winter which means that the weeds have less chance to germinate and grow through the grass.

Common Palmetto grass problems

Palmetto Buffalo has been bred to be relatively pest and disease-resistant.

However, you might find your lawn infected with Brown Patch if you live in an area that has a high level of humidity.

This is a fungal disease and can be effectively treated with a good lawn fungicide.

Palmetto care and maintenance

Lawn mower 1 | Lawn care

Palmetto Buffalo requires less maintenance than many other species. In the warmer months, it only requires mowing every 7 to 10 days. This is because it will be in active growth.

However, during winter, your Palmetto lawn will only require mowing every 3 to 6 weeks because this is when it produces less growth.

Palmetto also requires less watering than other buffalo varieties. However, you should water consistently until your turf has established a good root system.

Once established, your Palmetto Buffalo lawn should only require watering once every 7 to 10 days in summer and far less in the colder months. 

To keep your lawn nice and healthy, you should apply a good slow-release lawn fertiliser twice a year, in April and again in September. 

Palmetto vs Sir Walter

There are a few notable differences between Palmetto and Sir Walter.

This is because Sir Walter Buffalo has been around for many years and since then, new varieties have been bred to improve the qualities of the species.

Here are a few measured differences to consider:

  • Palmetto Buffalo is slower growing so it needs 14.3% less mowing than Sir Walter
  • Palmetto Buffalo has been shown to hold its winter colour 55% better than Sir Walter Buffalo
  • Sir Walter also produces more thatch than Palmetto
  • Although Palmetto has a high level of shade tolerance, it also performs much better when grown in full sun than Sir Walter buffalo

How much does Palmetto buffalo grass cost?

The cost of a Palmetto Buffalo grass lawn will depend on where you buy it. On average, you should budget for between $13 and $20 per square metre.

This variance in cost will likely depend on how far your supplier is from the actual turf farm as transportation costs can be quite expensive.

Is Palmetto the right lawn for you?

If you want a great-looking lawn that requires less maintenance, then you should definitely consider Palmetto Buffalo. It’s also ideal if you have shady areas where other grasses are unlikely to grow well.

Palmetto Buffalo puts on more horizontal growth than vertical growth. This means it’s nice and dense but requires less mowing.

So, if you prefer to spend your weekends having fun with the family rather than mowing your lawn, then Palmetto Buffalo might be the right choice for you.

Because Palmetto has better drought resistance than other varieties thanks to its deep root system, you won’t have to worry about excessive water bills. Therefore, if you are always looking for ways to cut your utility bills, then Palmetto Buffalo is a great choice for you.

Thanks to its hard-wearing features, Palmetto Buffalo grass is also the best choice for homeowners who have kids and pets that like to romp around on the lawn.

If you don’t like messing with chemicals such as herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides, you’ll appreciate that Palmetto Buffalo has greater pest and disease resistance. Its dense growth habit also inhibits a lot of weed growth.

Therefore, if your property is surrounded by bushland or natural waterways, you won’t have to worry about chemical runoffs when you install a Palmetto Buffalo lawn.

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Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.


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