Grass Guide – Shademaster Buffalo

Published : 12/10/2021

Shademaster Buffalo, also known as Common Softleaf, is a tried and true Australian turf type. It was commercialised in 1985 as the first “softleaf” Buffao grass type, pioneering Buffalo grass types in Australia.  Its coarse-texture and hardy growth makes it known for its shade tolerance and persistence in difficult conditions. It has since been replaced by Sir Watler Buffalo as the go to shade tolerant turf.

The foliage develops a purple tinge under cold conditions in the southern states, it is also not ideal for humid areas. Warm, dry environments are best for this turf type.

Shademaster is comparatively easier to take care of than other Buffalo varieties.


One of the best traits of Shademaster is it is a slow-growing type of Buffalo grass. As such, it doesn’t require frequent mowing.

Mowing your lawn between 3 to 5 cm is best, but be sure to check the weather prior to mowing. If there is warm weather expected put mowing off until there is a cooler day on the horizon.


If your lawn is not yet established, regular, deep watering will encourage the growth of a deep root system, which is essential to this turf types drought resistance.

Once your lawn is established you will only need to thoroughly water when needed. Keep an eye out for wilting in the leaves, this is usually once every 7 to 10 days in the warmer months.

Weeds, Pests & Diseases

Shademaster is less resistant to weeds, pests, and diseases than modern Buffalo variations.

When weeds begin popping up in your lawn hand eradication is advised before seed heads develop. If you don’t spot it until after seed heads have sprouted, a suitable herbicide will do the trick.

Be sure to use a herbicide that is safe for buffalo grasses as any application of weed killers, especially Broad leaf herbicides may damage or kill buffalo, leaving brown patches all over your lawn. This is due to the same principle being used to attach the herbicide to the leaves of the weed can work in the same manner when applied to Buffalo.

It is recommended to keep an eye out for Army Worms & Scarab Beetles during the warmer months.

Shademaster Buffalo, similar to all Buffalos, is fairly resistant to disease, however one that you may see popping up on your lawn is Brown Patch. You can read more about Brown Patch here.

When working with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, it is best to bring in a professional to avoid doing more damage to your lawn. Sit back, relax and enjoy your perfect lawn with Coochie HydroGreen. Click the Get a Quote button to get in touch with your local technician today!

Get a quote