Choose Your Florida Grass from these 6 Contenders
Whether you have decided to reseed or sod your lawn, getting results you’ll be happy with starts with learning about the characteristics of Florida-friendly grasses. Read on to learn which Florida grass variety will work best with your needs and tastes.
Our List of Florida-friendly Grasses
St. Augustine Grass
Drought-tolerant and a real heat lover, St. Augustine is a Florida grass that thrives in the tropical and subtropical regions of Florida and elsewhere. With a salt tolerance suited to the Florida area, St. Augustine cultivars (of which there are several) distinguish themselves in their ability to establish quickly and without much problem.
St. Augustine boasts a beautiful blue-green dense turf. Three of our favorite cultivars include:
- Floratam: The best choice for full sun areas and for durability
- Palmetto: The best choice for a shade-tolerant cultivar, although it still requires a minimum of 4 hours of daily sunlight for survival.
- Argentine: This cultivar is often found in street medians and schoolyards due to the fact that it’s quite easy to grow and needs little water to stay alive.
St. Augustine generally likes regular watering and should not be left to dry out during droughts or very dry spells. Due to its denseness and thick leaves, it may be surprising to learn that St. Augustine tends not to hold up quite as well as some of the other grasses under heavy traffic. As well, some of its cultivars are susceptible to pests, such as the southern chinch bug, and fungal diseases
Bermudagrass, a strong grass that can withstand a lot of wear, it often found on golf courses and play fields. Relatively low-growing, Bermuda grass produces a green, dense turf that tends to be drought-resistant and low maintenance.
If you’re looking for a grass that is exceptional at surviving drought and is low maintenance, look for Bahia grass. Because it resists insect damage and disease, Bahia grass is a popular choice among those who want a lawn that can withstand heat, heavy traffic and sun.
Because Centipede grass doesn’t require a high level of maintenance, it’s a great choice for those who are looking for an easier-care lawn as long as you don’t anticipate heavy wear. Centipede grass generally tolerates shade fairly well, thrives in hot, humid climates and is heat tolerant.
Buffalo grass is the only grass on our list that can withstand temperature extremes. With a beautiful, finely textured turf, this grass does best in light traffic areas with minimal shade. One of the best features of Buffalo grass is its drought tolerance, lush turf and ability to survive stress. It’s also not necessary to fertilize this type of grass.
Zoysia is the preferred “barefoot grass” for its feeling on bare toes. Even with its soft touch, zoysia is surprisingly durable, making it a great choice for those with children. Being both hardy and salt tolerant makes Zoysia a great choice for coastal areas.
Zoysia is a grass that can be grown both long and short. While it requires as much water as St. Augustine to stay looking great, it will also go dormant in cool weather but does come back.