Michigan Grass Types

Looking for the optimal grass varieties for lawns in Michigan? Below is a comparison table and accompanying data that will give you information about what grasses are best suited for Michigan and its inner counties.

Note: Cold, heat, drought, and saturation tolerance are measured on a score of 0-5 with 0 being the least tolerant and 5 being the most.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Most suitable grass (on average)

Annual Ryegrass

Optimal for colder areas

Perennial Ryegrass

3rd most suitable (on average)

Tall Fescue

4th most suitable (on average)

Fine Fescue

5th most suitable (on average)

Carpet Grass

Ideal for drought-prone areas

Bahia Grass

Great for areas with heavy rainfall


Perfect for sunny areas

Buffalo Grass

Best suited for shaded areas

Lawn Visual
Seasonal Type Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Warm Warm Cool Warm
Cold Tolerance 4.0 4.0 4.5 4.0 5.0 1.0 1.5 4.5 3.5
Heat Tolerance 2.5 2.0 2.0 3.5 2.0 4.5 4.5 1.5 4.0
Drought Tolerance 3.0 2.5 2.0 3.5 2.5 3.5 5.0 1.5 5.0
Saturation Tolerance 3.0 4.0 3.5 3.0 3.5 5.0 3.5 4.0 2.0
USDA Zone(s) 1-7 1-7 1-5 5-8 1-5 5-9 4-13 1-5 5-9
Sun Exposure Mostly Sun, Partial Shade Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Mostly Sun, Partial Shade Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Partial Sun, Full Shade Full Sun, Partial Shade Full Sun, Light Shade Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Full Sun, Deep Shade
Moderate, Moderate Moderate, Rapid Moderate, Rapid Moderate, Moderate Low, Slow Low, Slow Moderate, Moderate Low, Moderate Low, Slow
Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1 inch Weekly, 1 inch Bi-weekly, 0.5-0.75 inches 2-3 times weekly, 0.25 inches per watering Bi-weekly, 0.5 inches
Every 5-7 days, 2.5-3.5 inches Every 5-7 days, 1.5-2.5 inches Every 5-7 days, 1.5-2.5 inches Every 5-7 days, 2-3.5 inches Every 7-10 days, 1.5-3 inches Every 7-14 days, 1-2 inches Every 7-14 days, 2.5-4 inches Every 3-5 days (or less), 0.25-1 inches Every 10-14 days, 2-3 inches
Soil Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 6.0-7.0
pH: 5.5-7.5
pH: 5.5-7.5
pH: 5.5-7.5
Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 5.5-7.0
Wet, Acidic
pH: 5.0-6.5
Acidic, Sandy
pH: 5.5-6.5
Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 5.5-6.5
Well-drained, Loamy to Sandy
pH: 6.0-7.5
Texture Fine to Medium Fine Fine Coarse Fine Coarse Coarse Fine Fine
Color Rich Green Bright Green Bright Green Dark Green Dark Green Light Green Light Green Light Green Blue-Green

Michigan Zones

The interactive map below shows the USDA plant hardiness zones specific to Michigan. Each zone in the map represents a certain temperature range that is critical for plant survival and growth, divided based on the average annual minimum winter temperature. Click on the map to see the optimial grass types for each county.

Zone No. 4 5 6
Map Color
Lowest Avg. Winter Temperature -30° to -20°F -20° to -10°F -10° to 0°F

The chart and table below shows the average monthly precipitation and minimum/maximum temperatures in Michigan over the last 5 years.

Month Min Temp (°F) Max Temp (°F) Prep (in)
Jan13.66 °F28 °F1.77"
Feb12 °F29.42 °F2.04"
Mar22.22 °F41.76 °F2.15"
Apr30.62 °F50.66 °F3.05"
May43.54 °F67.14 °F3.67"
Jun53.3 °F77.22 °F3.55"
Jul58.82 °F81.88 °F3.33"
Aug57.76 °F79.78 °F3.76"
Sep50.62 °F71.42 °F3.58"
Oct39.2 °F57.32 °F4.25"
Nov28.1 °F42.96 °F2.32"
Dec22.32 °F34.72 °F2.29"

The chart below shows the optimal months for seeding or sodding new grass in Michigan. Suitability for each month is based on the average monthly temperature in Michigan.

June, July, August and September are the most optimal months for planting cool-season grasses in Michigan.

July and June are the most optimal months for planting warm-season grasses in Michigan.

Grass Types by County in Michigan

Below is a list of counties in Michigan. Click on any county to get a more detailed analysis.

Data source and citation

Raw data for the grass characteristics was sourced from the USDA's PLANTS Database.

Data for climate zones in Michigan was gathered from the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map as well as GIS datasets from the Oregon State University PRISM Climate Group.

Average monthly temperatures and precipitation data for Michigan was sourced from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental information.

Please use the citation tool below to reference any information found on this page.

  • "Michigan Grass Types". LawnVariety.com. Accessed on July 20, 2024. https://lawnvariety.com/michigan.

  • "Michigan Grass Types". LawnVariety.com, https://lawnvariety.com/michigan. Accessed July 20, 2024

  • Michigan Grass Types. LawnVariety.com. Retrieved from https://lawnvariety.com/michigan.