5 Best Grass Types for El Paso, TX

El Paso Museum of History

Are you searching for the best grass types for El Paso, TX? Look no further! Nestled in the Chihuahuan Desert, El Paso is known for its dry and warm climate, desert landscape, and water conservation rules that make maintaining a lush lawn a challenge. However, with the right type of grass, you can still enjoy a green and healthy yard.

This article will explore the top grass types best suited for El Paso’s unique climate and terrain. So whether you prefer Bermuda or Zoysiagrass, we’ll provide the information you need to choose the perfect turf for your lawn.

And later, we’ll explain how to choose the best grass type for your El Paso lawn.


Bermudagrass grown in a lawn
Photo Credit: Pexels

Bermudagrass is a popular choice for lawns in El Paso, and it’s easy to see why. As one of the most heat- and drought-tolerant grass types available, Bermuda can withstand extreme conditions that other grasses cannot. In addition, it establishes itself quickly and recovers well from high foot traffic, making it perfect for active families. 

However, one downside is its aggressive spread rate, which can lead to it being treated as a weed since it can invade flower beds. Bermudagrass also requires frequent mowing, dethatching, and regular fertilization to keep it looking its best. 

To keep your Bermudagrass lawn looking green year-round, it’s common to overseed with perennial ryegrass during your El Paso fall lawn care routine.

Classification: Warm-season grass

Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes

Shade tolerance: Low; thrives in full sun

Drought tolerance: High 

Foot traffic tolerance: High 

Maintenance needs: Needs frequent mowing due to fast growth rate; develops thatch easily; needs regular fertilization 

Mowing height: Set the mowing height between 0.5 and 1.5 inches for hybrid Bermudagrass cultivars. Mow common Bermudagrass down to 1.5 to 2.5 inches.

Potential for disease: Good resistance to disease, although diseases are common; low resistance to insects

Soil pH: 6-6.5

Soil type: Tolerates most soil types

Other notes: There are many hybrid Bermuda varieties available, with different textures, colors, and recommended mowing heights. However, they’re more high-maintenance than common Bermuda.

Grass Seed Options:

Scotts Turf Builder Bermudagrass (10-lb. bag)
Hancock Seed Co. Bermudagrass (50-lb. bag)


close-up of zoysiagrass
Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0 US

With its moderate drought and shade tolerance, Zoysiagrass is another popular choice for El Paso lawns. While it may not be as drought-tolerant as Bermuda, Zoysia still holds up well in periods of drought, though it may turn brown sooner. 

Additionally, Zoysiagrass has more shade tolerance than Bermuda, making it an excellent option if you have trees in your yard. 

It’s important to note that some finer textured Zoysia species have shallow roots, which results in less drought tolerance, so be sure to water more, especially during the dry months of El Paso’s spring. Zoysiagrass is also prone to thatch build-up and will require dethatching. In addition, it establishes more slowly than Bermudagrass.

Classification: Warm-season grass

Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes

Shade tolerance: Moderate

Drought tolerance: Moderate to High

Foot traffic tolerance: High, but recovers slowly from damage

Maintenance needs: Low nitrogen fertilization requirements, although it’s prone to thatch build-up. 

Mowing height: Set mowing height between 1 and 2 inches.

Potential for disease: Good disease tolerance overall

Soil pH: 6-6.5

Soil type: Well-draining, some cultivars more tolerant of a wide range of soils than others

Other notes: Zoysia seed is available, but since this grass type takes longer to establish and germinate, sod is recommended.

Grass Plug and Seed Options:

Zoysia Plugs (50 Large Grass Plugs)
Zoysia Plugs (50 Full & Lush Grass Plugs)
Zoysia Plugs (100 Plugs)
Zenith Zoysia Grass Seeds (1/8 lb. of seeds)


green buffalograss in a lawn
Photo Credit: Matt Lavin / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Buffalograss is a lesser-known but excellent option for El Paso lawns, particularly for those who want a low-maintenance lawn. Like Bermuda and Zoysia, buffalograss has a high drought tolerance, making it ideal for the desert climate of El Paso. 

Unlike those other grasses, buffalograss requires minimal mowing — only every two to three weeks — making it an excellent option for busy homeowners. However, it has low shade tolerance and does not handle salinity well. Additionally, if it’s overwatered, it will be invaded by weeds. 

Despite these challenges, buffalograss is a great low-maintenance option for El Paso homeowners who want a drought-tolerant lawn.

Classification: Warm-season grass

Spreads by: Stolons

Shade tolerance: Low

Drought tolerance: High 

Foot traffic tolerance: Low 

Maintenance needs: Low fertilizer and mowing needs. Requires weed control. 

Mowing height: Set the mowing height between 2 and 3 inches.

Potential for disease: Good tolerance against diseases and insects

Soil pH: 6.5-7.5

Soil type: Native clay soils, not sandy soils

Other notes: The most popular varieties are Density, Prairie, Prestige, and 609, which are all sod or plugs. Seed varieties are usually more costly.

Grass Seed Options:
Everwilde Farms Buffalograss Seeds (1 lb. of seeds)
Buffalograss seed (primed) (5-lb. bag)

Seashore Paspalum

close up image of Seashore Paspalum Grass
Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Seashore paspalum is not as commonly used in home lawns. Still, it is a popular choice for golf courses and sports fields due to its rapid recovery time. This grass type looks similar to Bermuda due to its bright green color but has a higher shade tolerance and less cold tolerance.

One of the most notable characteristics of seashore paspalum is its tolerance to saline soils, making it an excellent option for areas with high salinity. However, it’s important to note that seashore paspalum has a high potential for disease, such as large patch and dollar spot, and will require more maintenance.

While this grass type is not as commonly used in residencies, seashore paspalum is an excellent option if you’re considering building a soccer or football field in your backyard (lucky you!).

Classification: Warm-season

Spreads by: Rhizomes and stolons

Shade Tolerance: Low to Moderate

Drought Tolerance: Moderate

Foot Traffic Tolerance: Moderate

Maintenance Needs: Moderate fertilizer and frequent mowing. 

Mowing Height: Set the mowing height between 1 and 2 inches.

Potential for Disease: Moderate. Common diseases include large patch and dollar spot. 

Soil pH: Tolerates a wide soil pH range, from 3.6 to 10.2

Soil Type: Tolerates a wide range of soils, including wet, saline soil. 

Other Notes: This grass type does not tolerate freezing conditions well.

Grass Seed and Sod Options:
Seed Ranch SeaShore Paspalum Coated Grass Seed – 1 lb.
Seed World SeaShore Paspalum Grass Seeds (various amounts)
– Other places to purchase seashore paspalum sod

Honorable Mention: Texas Bluegrass

closeup image of Texas Bluegrass
Photo Credit: Wallpaperflare

Texas bluegrass is less commonly seen in El Paso lawns, primarily because it is a cool-season grass better suited to cooler climates. However, its ability to withstand heat and drought sets Texas bluegrass apart from other cool-season grasses. 

With narrow blue-green leaves that resemble Kentucky bluegrass, Texas bluegrass will look green all year round. However, it’s important to note that Texas bluegrass has low foot traffic tolerance. So, if you have a busy household with lots of activity in your yard, you may want to consider other grass types. 

Classification: Cool-season grass

Spreads by: Rhizomes

Shade tolerance: Moderate

Drought tolerance: High

Foot traffic tolerance: Low 

Maintenance needs: Needs to be mowed after flowering to remove heads. Requires supplemental watering in summer.

Mowing height: Ideal grass height is 1 to 3 inches. 

Potential for disease: Good resistance to disease.

Soil pH: 6-7

Soil type: Performs best in well-drained soils.

Other notes: Best planted from plugs. This grass can also be used as meadow grass, or in large-scale plantings.

How to Choose the Best Grass Type in El Paso

Choosing the best grass type for your El Paso lawn can be daunting. With so many options available, knowing where to begin can be challenging. Start by considering the climate in El Paso, the amount of shade in your yard, and how much time you can dedicate to lawn maintenance: 

Drought Tolerance

Although every grass type mentioned in this article can withstand moderate to high drought, the most drought-tolerant grass type is Bermudagrass

Its deep root system allows it to access water deep in the soil, making it highly resilient during drought. Additionally, Bermuda’s fast growth rate means it can bounce back quickly after drought conditions, while other grasses may struggle to recover.


Buffalograss is the most low-maintenance option for El Paso since it requires very little mowing (once every two to three weeks), watering, and fertilizer. However, it may need frequent weed control, especially when establishing.

Wear Tolerance

Are you tired of your lawn looking worn out and damaged after just a few backyard barbecues or soccer games with the kids? If you love to entertain or have an active family, Bermuda and Zoysiagrass are the best options for you. They can withstand heavy foot traffic, although Zoysia will recover more slowly from damage.

Shade Tolerance

While St. Augustinegrass is the most shade-tolerant warm-season grass, it is not recommended for El Paso lawns, as it doesn’t handle the heat as well as other grasses on this list. But fear not; Zoysiagrass is a fantastic option for those looking for a grass type that can tolerate some shade.

Leave it to the Lawn Pros

In the scorching hot and dry climate of El Paso, having a healthy and beautiful lawn can be a real challenge. However, with the right grass type and care, you can achieve the lush green lawn of your dreams.

From the drought-tolerant Bermuda and Zoysiagrasses to the low-maintenance buffalograss, there is a grass type for every El Paso homeowner’s unique needs. If you’re unsure about how to care for your lawn properly or need help choosing the right grass type, consider reaching out to a professional El Paso lawn care service as soon as possible.

Main Image Credit: Susan Barnum / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

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Maria Isabela Reis

Maria Isabela Reis

Maria Isabela Reis is a writer, psychologist, and plant enthusiast. She is currently doing a PhD in Social Psychology and can't help but play with every dog she sees walking down the street.