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In southern locations, the best shade tolerant grass is St. Augustine grass. The only drawback to this grass is that it must be sprigged or sodded to establish as no seeds are available.  It also has limited cold tolerance making it questionable for winter survival in cooler parts of the transistion zone. --- 

GRASSES USED / SHADE AREAS

  • Saint Augustine - Best choice - PLUGS ONLY - NO seeds.

  • Zoysia (slightly below St. Aug in tolerance / less the further North the grass is planted)

  • Centipede (works best in high shade areas / high limbs)

  • Carpetgrass (not high shade tolerance compared to above)

All of the above except for Carpet are available as PLUGS
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After St. Augustine ----- Zoysia is the next best choice for a shade tolerant lawn.  It works almost as good as St. Augustine in warm areas... but is not really suitable for shady areas in the more cooler northern climates where this cold tolerant grass can be grown.  Seeds are available for some varieties including Zenith Zoysia.

Centipede followed by Carpetgrass are the next choices.  Centipedegrass is a good choice for high shade locations such as under pine trees that allow in filtered light.  It does not perform as well under large shaded trees such as oaks.

Bahia, Bermuda tolerate less shade and really are not recommended for use in shady areas.  In some situations in cooler warm season areas, Creeping Red is used in shady areas where grasses such as Bermuda fail to survive.  Generally while they will grow and make a nice grass... the hotter temps limit their lifespan, with overseeding each season usually a requirement.

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