Popular St. Augustine Grass Varieties in Florida

Popular St. Augustine Grass Varieties in Florida

Popular St. Augustine Grass Varieties in Florida

Florida residents know that when it comes to choosing a grass for their yards, St. Augustine grasses are a top contender. St. Augustines are popular for their beauty, ability to hold up in Florida’s intense climate and ease of maintenance among other qualities. The state of Florida encounters high temperatures, extreme humidity, periods of dryness, a lot of rain and even hurricanes. A living product will need to be able to withstand some of these environmental challenges—and certain types of St. Augustine are well suited for this.

There are many types of St. Augustine grasses to choose from, so today we want to help you identify the variety best fit for your yard. Here are just a few of the reasons why St. Augustine sod is a great pick for your Florida lawn:

  1. St. Augustine grasses are warm season grass varieties, which allows them to flourish in the South—St. Augustine grasses also thrive in subtropical conditions and coastal regions.
  2. St. Augustine sod is tolerant of high temperatures and holds its color well in drought conditions.
  3. St. Augustine is the most shade tolerant warm season turfgrass variety available, so if you have a lot of shade you’ll need to manage, St. Augustine is your best option.
  4. St. Augustine grows a very dense canopy, which makes the grass durable to foot traffic and it outcompetes weeds easily.
  5. St. Augustine is generally low maintenance with watering and fertilization requirements.

Next, let’s get this out of the way: a lot of homeowners are interested in purchasing St. Augustine grass seed. A St. Augustine lawn cannot be grown via St. Augustine grass seed. Why? The answer is simple—there is simply no such thing! St. Augustine grass can be installed via grass plugs or as sod on rolls or pallets, but there is no such thing as St. Augustine grass seed.

So what kind of St. Augustine grass is the best grass for Florida lawns? Take a look at this list to learn about the features of a few you might want to consider.

CitraBlue St. Augustine

Developed by the University of Florida Research Program, it’s no wonder that this particular variety is well suited for the Sunshine State. The striking deep blue-green color of this grass makes it highly desirable for homeowners who want to boost curb appeal. CitraBlue® St. Augustine needs less fertilizer to achieve a high level of performance, is shade tolerant and has improved disease resistance. Take a look at some of the university research studies that were conducted on CitraBlue in regards to breeding objectives, disease resistance and fertilizer requirements.

Additionally, CitraBlue’s lateral growing pattern allows it to be mowed less often and it also demonstrates great chinch bug resistance (a common issue for Florida lawns!). This is a great option for families who use their yard for children and pet play; it can tolerate stressors such as heat, drought, shade and traffic.

CitraBlue St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Home lawns, commercial landscapes, golf and sports
  • Mow Height: 2–3 inches
  • Wear Tolerance: Very Good
  • Injury Recovery: Very Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Very Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Very Good
Palmetto St. Augustine

This St. Augustine grass is the most popular patented turfgrass in the world with more than two billion sq. ft. sold and counting. Though Palmetto® St. Augustine is an extremely versatile grass that is suitable for many different applications, its features bode particularly well for Florida lawns.

Palmetto is often selected for its better color and finer texture, but it also demonstrates superior shade, cold, frost, heat and drought tolerance due to its deep root system. In fact, Palmetto is one the most shade tolerant of the warm season grasses available. Palmetto is unlike other turfgrasses in its resistance to the Sugarcane Mosaic Virus. Homeowners love the soft, fine texture and vibrant green color Palmetto St. Augustine boasts.

Palmetto St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Home lawns and commercial landscapes
  • Mow Height: 2–2.5 inches
  • Wear Tolerance: Good
  • Injury Recovery: Very Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Very Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good
Seville St. Augustine

Seville St. Augustine is a fine leaved, dwarf St. Augustine, meaning it is low growing and requires less mowing. Although Seville can handle shade, it does best in full sun. One of the features of Seville that may be of interest to coastal Florida homeowners is that it grows well in salty soil. This variety does well in intense heat, but must be irrigated properly to thrive. If traffic tolerance, chinch bugs and thatch are of concern, Seville may not be the best choice for your Florida yard.

Seville St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Home lawns and commercial landscapes
  • Mow Height: 2–3 inches
  • Wear Tolerance: Good
  • Injury Recovery: Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good
Floratam St. Augustine

Floratam St. Augustine is an older variety that is extremely common in Florida and picked for its low maintenance requirements and wide bladed look. Floratam St. Augustine was released by the Florida and Texas Agricultural Experiment Stations in 1972 as a St. Augustine Decline (SAD) virus and chinch bug resistant selection, but it lost its chinch bug resistance in the 1980s as the bugs adapted.

Floratam St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Home lawns and commercial landscapes
  • Mow Height: 3–4 inches
  • Wear Tolerance: Moderate
  • Injury Recovery: Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good
Bitterblue St. Augustine

Bitterblue St. Augustine is another popular grass that is known for its cold tolerance and shade tolerance. This grass is not highly available in Florida since a lot of sod farms don’t carry it. Some homeowners are drawn to Bitterblue for its shade and cold tolerance, however the consistency of the product from farm to farm isn’t always great and it’s not always called by the same name. If you’re looking for a grass that has a high shade or cold tolerance, it’s better to go with a higher quality proprietary turfgrass with improved shade and cold tolerance like Palmetto or CitraBlue.

Bitterblue St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Home lawns and commercial landscapes
  • Mow Height: 3–4 inches
  • Wear Tolerance: Moderate
  • Injury Recovery: Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate
bitterblue-st_augustine
ProVista St. Augustine

If heavy foot traffic and wear is a concern for your Florida yard, consider dense-growing Scotts® ProVistaTM St. Augustine. This slow growing grass is a new Floratam variety developed specifically for weed control and reduced mowing. A standout feature of Provista is that it is the first glyphosate tolerant grass on the market, meaning that homeowners can apply tough weed killers without harming the grass.

ProVista St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Glyphosate tolerance for weed control
  • Dense, horizontal growth habit
  • Reduced mowing due to growth habit
  • Improved performance in moderate shade

Selecting a type of St. Augustine that performs well in Florida is important if you wish to have a beautiful, thriving lawn that can withstand any environmental factors the state may present. Be sure to check out a few related Sod University articles that cover the best grasses for shade or low maintenance in Florida. To learn more about this popular type of grass, read All About St. Augustine Sod. Although St. Augustine is the most popular type of turfgrass in the state of Florida, zoysia grass is also becoming a top growing trend. For more information this, read Popular Zoysia Grass Varieties in Florida or EMPIRE: The Zoysia Grass Designed for Florida.

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