Can St Augustine Grass Grow in Shades?

St Augustine Grass is lush green and shade-tolerant grass. Seville, Sapphire, Palmetto, and more are the types of St Augustine that can grow well in shades. These grasses can grow well with just five hours of sunlight. 

Floratam is generally found in the area of Florida and needs six to eight hours of minimum sunlight. It is the only St Augustine grass that needs more sunlight. This grass prefers direct sunlight. Depending on the type of St Augustine, the need for sunlight varies. If you want to plant St. Augustine grass in a shaded region of your yard, this article will show you which varieties of St. Augustine grass work best in that environment.

St Augustine Grass

St Augustine grass is a stoloniferous species of grass. This grass develops roots at the nodes, and they don’t have rhizomes. In Charleston, the grass is popular as Charleston grass. This grass has rapid growth that requires mowing periodically. To some extent, the grass is drought resistant. It can survive without water for some weeks.

They spread quickly on the ground through the stolons. They have a high salt-tolerant capacity. Hence, they grow near the coastal area. St Augustine needs a high temperature. The grass cannot tolerate cold and can go dormant in cold weather. In South Carolina, people usually plant St Augustine during spring. 

St Augustine grass is low maintenance. Hence, it is popular lawn grass. The grass is a perennial grass. Therefore, it is excellent for pasture and ranches too. Planting and nurturing this grass is simple compared to other lawn grasses. They have large flat grass shoots, and the roots go deep inside the soil. The leave has a coarse texture which makes them look like centipede grass. St Augustine is dark green to blue-green, and they sustain their color in adverse conditions. It makes the lawn appear lush green and dense.

The ability to tolerate shade makes them grow well in shadow regions too. Moreover, the grass can be grown in different kinds of soils. Few of the cultivars are great at tolerating shade. It is necessary to know which cultivars can grow in a shady area if you plan to grow St Augustine grass. There are various ways to plant St Augustine cultivars, and they can even grow in direct sunlight.

You can plant them through sods, plugs, or sprigs as they have vegetative propagation. Grass growing in dark spots will require more upkeep than grass growing in typical conditions. The wear and tear tolerance of St Augustine is lower. Hence, grass growing in shadow regions will grow better if you avoid the feet and walk on the grass. 

Read here for a complete guide to Soil Minerals and Trace Elements. 

Can St Augustine Grass grow in Shades?

Can St Augustine Grass grow in Shades?

Bermuda, zoysia, and other warm-season grass are not as shade-tolerant as St Augustine grass. St Augustine grass grows well with seven hours of direct sunlight but needs minimum daylight of four hours. Few cultivars like Palmetto, Bitter Blue, and more grow well in the shadows. Below mentioned are the cultivars that thrive in shadows. To know more about the cultivars that grow in shades watch go to the link given below


The leaves of this dwarf cultivar are narrow. Direct sunlight for six to seven hours is ideal for growing this grass. Seville is prominent as grass lawns because of its high tolerance towards salt, shade, and drought. It needs six hours of sunlight. Also, it is durable and resistant to wear and tear. Injury recovery and rapid lateral growth are some of the benefits of Seville. The grass is insect and disease resistant to some pests and diseases. 


It has a very appealing look which attracts lawn owners to choose Palmetto. A semi-dwarf St Augustine grass is slightly larger than Seville. This grass performs well in both full sunlight and shadow regions. It can grow well with 4 to 5 hours of sunlight. The dense shade may negatively impact the lawn.

Palmetto withstands droughts better than other St. Agustine cultivars. However, the leaf blades of this grass have a softer texture and have widths like those of Bitterblue and Raleigh. This cultivar of St Augustine is more drought tolerant than others. If it dries out, it recovers by watering regularly. This grass can bear foot traffic. 


Sapphire has a beautiful blue-green color. It is a dense cultivar and is again one of the dwarf cultivars of St Augustine. It grows fast along the laterals. This cultivar is drought-tolerant and will grow well in regions with shades. Sapphire grows with less maintenance and fewer fertilizers. It does not suffer from weed problems. Despite moderate foot traffic, this grass is more durable than most grasses. Sapphire is thus a better choice than other St Augustine cultivars.

Bitter Blue

It has a dark green, smooth, and dense texture like Floratum. This grass is thus an excellent alternative to Floratum in dark regions where direct sunlight does not reach. Bitter Blue has tolerance to salt and cold but is susceptible to both diseases and pests. In comparison with Seville and Palmetto, it is moderately tolerant of shade. With 5 to 6 hours of sunlight daily, this grass will grow effectively.

You need to take special care of your lawn if you wish to grow any of these grasses in shades. The grass in shades naturally performs less transpiration and thus, needs less water. You should avoid the foot traffic on the grass, and slow fertilizers work best for shadow areas. 

The link here describes more about the things to take care to grow the grass in shade


St Augustine grass has the best shade tolerance of all warm-season grasses. Floratam requires 8 hours of maximum sun. Shade-tolerant varieties of St Augustine can survive with 4 hours of sunlight a day. The growth and requirement of direct sunlight also depend on the type of shade the grass grows. For grass to grow in the partial shade of trees, it needs 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. While case of a complete shadow, the grass will need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight.

If you are interested to know Bermuda Grass vs St. Augustine grass, click here.