For Florida homeowners who are interested in buying sod for their lawns, true shade tolerance is often a feature that is highly sought after and desired. Learning how to grow grass in shade isn’t difficult when the correct grass is selected. In Florida, a successful grass selection should consider not only shade tolerance, but other attributes as well when it comes to growing the best lawn. Check out the top three grasses we recommend for shady conditions in the state of Florida.
The Best St. Augustine Grass for Shade in Florida
Palmetto® St. Augustine is perfect for the Florida lawn that experiences both sun and shade throughout the day—up to three or four hours of sunlight. Palmetto is the most popular patented turf grass in the U.S. with over two billion sq. ft. sold because of its shade tolerance, drought tolerance and ability to thrive in a variety of soil conditions.
The feature homeowners may love the most about Palmetto St. Augustine is that it requires very low maintenance and is easy to keep looking beautiful. St. Augustines are already known to be the most shade tolerant warm season turfgrass varieties. Palmetto’s beautiful color and texture aren’t the only draw, though. Palmetto is a superior St. Augustine variety that outcompetes other St. Augustines in their shade tolerance. Tied with CitraBlue St. Augustine, Palmetto St. Augustine is the best grass for shade in Florida.
A grass that is notably disease tolerant as well as shade tolerant is CitraBlue® St. Augustine. This grass is named for its stunning blue-green color that makes homeowners proud. CitraBlue’s thick, lateral growth pattern allows for less mowing making for minimal maintenance. Especially suited for Florida’s hot and often dry climate, this grass can go lengthy periods of time without water.
CitraBlue’s exceptional shade tolerance and disease resistance allow it to grow in shady, low-light landscapes without high risk of disease. Studies show that CitraBlue is as resistant to large patch as Floratam St. Augustine, but more resistant to gray leaf spot and take all root rot than Floratam. CitraBlue is just as shade tolerant as Palmetto—if not more. Be sure to take a look at some of the research documents below for more information about the studies conducted on CitraBlue St. Augustine’s characteristics.
Fungal Resistance in St. Augustine Genotypes
The Best Zoysia Grass for Shade in Florida
Once thought to be a grass best suited for transition zones much cooler than Florida, recent InnovationTM Zoysia applications in Florida have proven that the grass is a great pick for Florida as well. Shade tolerance is one of Innovation’s strongest features, but its dark green color, fine-bladed appearance and low maintenance requirements also make it a top choice for Florida homeowners.
When it comes to zoysia grasses in home lawns, a general guideline to remember is the finer the leaf blade, the more shade tolerant the cultivar. Zoysias are generally not as shade tolerant at St. Augustines, but Innovation Zoysia is one of the most shade tolerant zoysia varieties available.
A shaded lawn can be your best lawn when you choose a grass that has been researched and tested for shade tolerance. Many studies have been conducted to prove that the recommended grasses in this post will not only survive, but thrive in shady lawn applications. To learn more about these grasses, visit our site and explore all of the features each of these varieties have to offer. You can also check out a few related Sod University articles such as Growing Grass in Shaded Areas, The Best Grass for Florida or The Best Grass for Low Maintenance in Florida.