Popular St. Augustinegrass Varieties

Popular St. Augustinegrass Varieties

Popular St. Augustinegrass Varieties

It is good to know that there are options to choose from when it comes to selecting the right type of grass for your yard. St. Augustinegrass is one of the most popular types of warm season turfgrasses in the United States, so homeowners are often excited to hear about the different types of St. Augustinegrass options available. In fact, a lot of homeowners are actually surprised to hear that different types of St. Augustinegrass exist. Certain types of St. Augustine have distinct characteristics that perform differently in various environments. For example, if you have a lawn that has a lot of shade, Palmetto or CitraBlue St. Augustine will be better suited for you.

If you’re a homeowner who loves the thick grass blade look and blue-green color in a lawn, St. Augustine may be the best choice for you. In a previous Sod University blog, we discuss generic St. Augustine characteristics, traits, establishment and maintenance practices. This Sod University article takes a deeper dive into the popular types of St. Augustinegrass.

Palmetto St. Augustine

With more than two billion sq. ft. sold, Palmetto® St. Augustine is the most sold patented turfgrass in the world. You can find Palmetto from coast to coast across the southern United States as its versatility allows it to grow under a wider range of climate and soil conditions. 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. Palmetto is unlike other turfgrasses in its resistance to the Sugarcane Mosaic Virus. Of all the warm season turfgrasses available in the market today, Palmetto is still a leader in shade tolerance, comparable to that of CitraBlue St. Augustine. If you have or will have shade in your yard, Palmetto or CitraBlue are the best options.

Palmetto St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Commercial, Home
  • Mow Height: 1.5–2.5 inches
  • Blade Width: 8–9 mm
  • Wear Tolerance: Good
  • Injury Recovery: Very Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Very Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good

CitraBlue St. Augustine

CitraBlueTM St. Augustine was developed by the University of Florida’s Turfgrass Breeding Program under a sponsored Research Service Agreement with the Turfgrass Producers of Florida, Inc. (TPF). CitraBlue St. Augustine is recognized for its deep blue-green color depicted in the second half of its name, Citra “Blue”. CitraBlue needs a reduced amount of nitrogen inputs compared to other St. Augustines, meaning less fertilizer is required for higher-level performance. Its shade tolerance is ranked at the top and is comparable to Palmetto St. Augustine. In general, St. Augustine tends to be prone to diseases like gray leaf spot, however CitraBlue has an improved resistance to diseases and incurs less damage from gray leaf spot compared to other cultivars of St. Augustine. Studies show that CitraBlue is as resistant to large patch as Floratam St. Augustine and more resistant to gray leaf spot and take all root rot than Floratam.

CitraBlue’s thick lateral growing habits keep it from needing to be mowed nearly as much in comparison to Floratam since it grows in a horizontal direction instead of increasing in height. It also tends to fend off chinch bugs really well. CitraBlue St. Augustine has less vertical growth than most St. Augustines and allows for minimal mowing and maintenance. Its deep root system allows it to tolerate environmental stressors like drought, shade, heat and traffic if you have children or pets.

CitraBlue St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Home, Commercial, Golf, Sports
  • Mow Height: 1–2 inches
  • Blade Width: Medium (5–7 mm)
  • Wear Tolerance: Very Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Very Good

Pictured above: CitraBlue (left) and Floratam (right) demonstrating a difference in roots and rhizomes.

Pictured above: CitraBlue sod on top of Floratam demonstrating a difference in color and texture. 

Raleigh St. Augustine

Raleigh St. Augustine is a cold-hardy St. Augustine variety released by North Carolina State University in 1980. It has a medium green color with a coarse texture. Raleigh adapts well to heavier, organic, clay soils with medium to low soil pH. This cold-hardy St. Augustine variety is proven to be winter hardy and more shade tolerant and disease resistant than common St. Augustine.

Raleigh St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Golf/ Commercial, Sports, Parks, Home
  • Mow Height: 1.5–2.5 inches
  • Blade Width: 8–9 mm
  • Wear Tolerance: Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Very Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good

Seville St. Augustine

Seville St. Augustine is a fine leaved, dwarf St. Augustine with a dark green color and low growth habit. Seville performs well in salty soils and shady landscapes, but truly thrives in full sun. This St. Augustine variety thrives in high temperatures if properly irrigated, its easy to grow and has a good fall color retention and spring green up. However, Seville does not tolerate high traffic very well, its more prone to thatch than other St. Augustine varieties, chinch bugs tend to really like it and it is not very cold tolerant.

Seville St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Commercial, Home
  • Mow Height: 2–3 inches
  • Blade Width: 8–9 mm
  • Wear Tolerance: Good
  • Injury Recovery: Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good
  • Disease Resistance: Good
  • Weed Control: Good

Floratam St. Augustine

Floratam St. Augustine is the most common grass found in home lawns throughout Florida. This St. Augustine variety is easy to maintain and has a wide blade. 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 resistance in the 1980s as the bugs adapted.

Floratam St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Commercial, Home
  • Mow Height: 3–4 inches
  • Blade Width: 8–9 mm
  • Wear Tolerance: Moderate
  • Shade Tolerance: Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good

ProVista St. Augustine

Scotts® ProVistaTM St. Augustine is a newly developed Floratam variety that was designed for weed control and reduced mowing as it grows slowly. It has a rich, green color with a dense grow in pattern that makes it great for foot traffic if you have kids or pets. One of the hallmark features of ProVista is that it is the first glyphosate tolerant turfgrass on the market. This means you can control hard to kill weeks like bermudagrass and torpedograss without damaging your ProVista lawn.

ProVista St. Augustine Characteristics

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

If you’re a homeowner who really loves the look of St. Augustine, the best thing you can do is learn about the different varieties available. As a result, you will be able to make the most informed decision on which grass will flourish and thrive for your lawn and its environment. For more information on St. Augustine, read All About St. Augustine Sod. Be sure to also fertilize your new lawn with the best fertilizer for new St. Augustinegrass, the LawnifiTM New Lawn Starter Box.

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