A Guide to Different Types of St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine grass is a popular choice for lawns in warm climates, known for its lush, dark green appearance and excellent shade tolerance. Originating from the tropical and subtropical regions, it thrives in high temperatures and humid conditions, making it a favorite in southern states like Florida, Texas, and the Gulf Coast. This grass variety has several types, each with unique characteristics suited for different landscaping needs. Here’s an in-depth look at the main types of St. Augustine grass.

Floratam St. Augustine Grass

Floratam is the most commonly planted type of St. Augustine grass. It was developed by the University of Florida and Texas A&M University in the 1970s to resist the St. Augustine Decline (SAD) virus.

Characteristics of Floratam St. Augustine Grass

Floratam St. Augustine Grass is best for areas with full sun and those looking for a robust, fast-growing lawn.

  • Blade Width: Broad blades.
  • Color: Deep green.
  • Growth Rate: Rapid growth.
  • Shade Tolerance: Moderate; prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade.
  • Drought Resistance: High; performs well in dry conditions.
  • Maintenance: Requires regular watering and mowing.

Palmetto St. Augustine Grass

Palmetto Grass is known for its versatility and ability to adapt to various conditions. It was developed in the 1990s and has since become a popular choice for home lawns and commercial landscapes.

Palmetto St. Augustine Grass Characteristics

  • Blade Width: Medium to broad blades.
  • Color: Emerald green.
  • Growth Rate: Moderate growth.
  • Shade Tolerance: High; performs well in shaded areas.
  • Drought Resistance: Good; moderate watering required.
  • Maintenance: Lower than Floratam, with less frequent mowing.

Palmetto is best For Shaded lawns or areas with varying sunlight exposure.


Raleigh St. Augustine Grass

Raleigh is a cold-tolerant variety developed in North Carolina. It is a good choice for areas that experience cooler temperatures compared to other regions where St. Augustine grass is typically grown.

Raleigh St. Augustine Grass Characteristics

  • Blade Width: Broad blades.
  • Color: Dark green.
  • Growth Rate: Moderate growth.
  • Shade Tolerance: Moderate; performs best in full sun to partial shade.
  • Drought Resistance: Moderate; regular watering needed.
  • Maintenance: Requires fertilization and regular mowing.

Raleigh St. Augustine Grass is best for areas with mild winters and those needing a hardy grass variety.


Seville St. Augustine Grass

Seville is a dwarf variety, known for its fine-textured blades and compact growth habit. It is suitable for high-traffic areas due to its dense growth pattern.

Seville St. Augustine Grass Characteristics

  • Blade Width: Fine to medium blades.
  • Color: Blue-green.
  • Growth Rate: Slow to moderate growth.
  • Shade Tolerance: High; thrives in shaded areas.
  • Drought Resistance: Moderate; requires consistent watering.
  • Maintenance: Low; less frequent mowing and maintenance required.

Seville St. Augustine Grass is best for home lawns, especially in shaded or high-traffic areas.


Bitter Blue St. Augustine Grass

Bitter Blue is an older variety, known for its distinct blue-green color and high shade tolerance. It is less commonly used today but still valued for specific landscaping needs.

Bitter Blue St. Augustine Characteristics

  • Blade Width: Medium to broad blades.
  • Color: Blue-green.
  • Growth Rate: Moderate growth.
  • Shade Tolerance: High; performs well in shaded areas.
  • Drought Resistance: Moderate; requires regular watering.
  • Maintenance: Requires consistent mowing and fertilization.

Bitter Blue is best for areas with significant shade and those desiring a unique blue-green lawn color.

What type of St. Augustine Grass is right for your lawn?

Choosing the right type of St. Augustine grass for your lawn depends on various factors, including sun exposure, soil type, and maintenance preferences. Floratam and Raleigh are great for sun-drenched lawns, while Palmetto and Seville are ideal for shaded areas. Bitter Blue, with its unique color, is perfect for those looking for something different. Understanding the characteristics of each type will help you select the best St. Augustine grass to keep your lawn lush, healthy, and beautiful year-round.