Southeastern states are made up of Warm Season grasses. These grasses were developed to withstand the prolonged stresses created by summer heat and humidity. Water is usually not a problem, but during some years, droughts can drastically effect the health of the lawn.
Warm-season grasses are tropical in origin and thrive during the scorching summer heat typically seen in the southern states. They are not green during the cold spells of winter. Their leaves turn brown in late fall and don't green up again until warm weather returns. In general they are green a little over half the year.
Warm-season grasses are best suited for lower and middle South regions which includes the Coastal areas from Virginia south. Zoysia grass and more cold-tolerant grasses such as Bermuda can be grown in the upper South which includes the mountainous regions.
What are the up-and-coming pests now? Well we know that billbugs are becoming more and more common throughout the South. The hunting billbug is one of the more common species and we?re seeing damage on both cool and warm season turf with the biggest increase in warm season grasses such as zoysiagrass, bermudagrass and paspalum. We?re also seeing a rapid increase in what was previously an agricultural pest called the sugar cane beetle. This small black beetle overwinters as an adult and attacks warm season turf and is especially attracted to bermuda and paspalum.