The Best St. Augustine Grass for Southern Texas

The Best St. Augustine Grass for Southern Texas

Palmetto St. Augustine with Texas State Icon

The Best St. Augustine Grass for Southern Texas

If you’re a Southern Texas homeowner, you may have noticed an abundance of bermuda grass and St.  Augustine home lawns. As warm season grasses, both types not only perform really well in hot, humid climates along the coast—they thrive in them. St. Augustine is a highly sought after turfgrass type for home lawns in Southern Texas for many reasons:

  1. St. Augustine is a warm season turfgrass that truly thrives in the southern two-thirds of the United States.
  2. St. Augustine has a high salt tolerance that continues to perform well along coastal lines.
  3. It holds its color in high temperatures and periods of drought, which are big factors for lawns in Southern Texas.
  4. 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.
  5. St. Augustine grows a very dense canopy, which makes the grass durable to foot traffic and it outcompetes weeds easily.

If you’re interested in St. Augustine grass for your Southern Texas home lawn, the next step is to decide the method of installation you want to go with and which cultivar of St. Augustine you want installed. St. Augustine can be installed as sod, grass plugs and sod pods. Grass plugs and sod pods take a lot longer to grow in, but it can be done. Click here to learn more about grass plugs or visit our sod pods page for more information. Next, let’s get this out of the way: a lot of homeowners are interested in purchasing St. Augustine grass seed because installation seems easier. A St. Augustine lawn cannot be grown via St. Augustine grass seed because there is simply no such thing.

Regardless of which installation method you choose to go with, here are a few of the best St. Augustine grasses for Southern Texas.

Palmetto St. Augustine

Palmetto® St. Augustine is the most sold patented turfgrass in the world with more than two billion sq. ft. sold. It’s the #1 selling patented turfgrass for a reason and its characteristics and qualities make it an ideal option for South Texas conditions. Palmetto is a stunning emerald-green turfgrass with a soft, lush texture that will make any homeowner want to walk around on it with bare feet. Its texture is finer when compared to other St. Augustine cultivars. Palmetto also features outstanding heat, cold, drought, shade and frost tolerance. Bred as a semi-dwarf variety, Palmetto is best maintained at a mowing height of 2–2.5 inches in height. It is also resistant to the Sugarcane Mosaic Virus, a viral disease that has the potential to devastate turfgrass.

Palmetto St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Home lawns and commercial landscapes
  • Mow Height: 2–2.5 inches
  • Blade Width: 8–9 mm
  • Wear Tolerance: Good
  • Injury Recovery: Very Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Very Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good
Palmetto St. Augustine
Raleigh St. Augustine

Along with Palmetto, Raleigh is also a very well known St. Augustine cultivar in Southern Texas. Raleigh is probably one of the most cold tolerant St. Augustine grasses available on the market. This grass was developed by North Carolina State University in 1980 with exceptional shade tolerance that comes second to Palmetto and CitraBlue St. Augustine. With a medium-green color and medium texture, Raleigh is also drought tolerant and known for its hardiness. This St. Augustine cultivar can be found in areas of Southern Texas and as far up as central Texas locations.

Raleigh St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Golf, commercial landscapes, sports, parks, home lawns
  • Mow Height: 1.5–2.5 inches
  • Blade Width: 8–9 mm
  • Wear Tolerance: Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Very Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good
Raleigh St. Augustine
Floratam St. Augustine

Floratam St. Augustine has a very coarse texture with an aggressive growing habit. This grass does great in heat and really thrives in Southern Texas. It also has good shade tolerance, so if you have a lot of shade or trees in your yard, this may be a good option. However, Floratam is an older variety released by the Florida and Texas Agricultural Experiment Stations in 1972 as a St. Augustine Decline (SAD) virus and chinch bug resistant selection. Floratam lost its chinch bug resistance in the 1980s as the bug adapted. Floratam does not stand up to the occasional cold snaps in Southern Texas, however.

Floratam St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Home lawns and commercial landscapes
  • Mow Height: 3–4 inches
  • Blade Width: 8–9 mm
  • Wear Tolerance: Moderate
  • Shade Tolerance: Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good
Floratam St. Augustine
Common St. Augustine

Common St. Augustine is a very popular, tough grass that’s fairly similar to Raleigh St. Augustine. Common St. Augustine has been around Texas for roughly 90 years and performs well in humid, sub-tropical climates. To successfully grow Common St. Augustine, you will need well-drained soils with full sun. This cultivar features good disease and salt tolerance, making it a good option for homeowners who live on the coast. Keep Common St. Augustine mowed at a height of 1–2 inches for optimum performance. Click here to learn more.

Common St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Ideal Use: Home lawns and commercial landscapes
  • Mow Height: 1–2 inches
  • Blade Width: 5–7 mm
  • Wear Tolerance: Moderate
  • Shade Tolerance: Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good
Common St. Augustine
Seville St. Augustine

Seville St. Augustine is a fine-leaved, dwarf St. Augustine. Similar to Palmetto, Seville has low growing habits, which results in less mowing. Although Seville can handle shade, it thrives in full sun. Seville also grows well in salty soils, making it a great option for Southern Texas lawns along the coast. 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
  • Blade Width: 8–9 mm
  • Wear Tolerance: Good
  • Injury Recovery: Good
  • Shade Tolerance: Good
  • Drought Tolerance: Good
Seville St. Augustine
Amerishade St. Augustine

Although Amerishade is renown for its incredible shade tolerance, it ranks low with its disease tolerance, which is often a result of shade. Disease is caused by moist areas, which are common in the humid, sub-tropical areas of Southern Texas, and with low sunlight. This dark green grass has a medium texture and rapid lateral growth that doesn’t require a lot of mowing. Click here to learn more.

Amerishade St. Augustine Characteristics
  • Ideal Use: Home lawns and commercial landscapes
  • Mow Height: 1–3 inches
  • Blade Width: 5 mm
  • Wear Tolerance: Fair
  • Shade Tolerance: Excellent
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate
Amerishade St. Augustine

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