5 Best Types of St. Augustine Grass in Florida
Living in Florida necessitates having a resilient lawn that can thrive in its warm, subtropical climate and withstand the challenges posed by harsh weather conditions, including intense heat, drought, humidity, prolonged rain, and the occasional hurricane.
St. Augustine stands out among the warm-season grass varieties, providing a unique combination of drought tolerance, ease of maintenance, and versatility to adapt to the dynamic Florida weather. In addition to its inherent qualities, hybrid varieties have been developed with improved capabilities, such as complete weed control and maintaining a healthy lawn even with reduced fertilizer needs.
The Best St. Augustine Grass Varieties for Your Florida Lawn
Many St. Augustine grass varieties are available as grass plugs, providing homeowners a convenient way to establish a lush and manageable lawn. This article explores five of the best St. Augustine grass plug varieties, each with distinct features contributing to a lush and resilient green cover.
CitraBlue® is an improved St. Augustine variety characterized by its darker blue-green hue and soft leaf texture—contrasting to the usual rough feel of the more common cultivars. It is well-adapted to the warm Florida climate, and while all St. Augustine grasses thrive in full sun, this variety has better shade tolerance than Floratam St. Augustine.
With a dense, lateral growth habit, CitraBlue® is more resilient against gray leaf spot diseases and pests like chinch bugs. This feature also contributes to its excellent wear tolerance and less frequent mowing needs.
Floratam, a widely used St. Augustine grass variety in Florida, is known for its vigorous growth, blue-green color, and coarse texture. It requires at least six hours of daily sunlight and may become dormant when exposed to temperatures below 32°F for extended periods.
Introduced in the 1970s by the Florida and Texas Agricultural Experiment Stations, Floratam was released as a St. Augustine decline—known as SAD virus—and chinch bug-resistant selection grass.
Floratam is observed to be the most drought-tolerant St. Augustine and remains superior to more common varieties in terms of tolerance to mildew, gray leaf spot diseases, and brown patch fungus. It is also favored for its adaptability to diverse soil conditions.
Palmetto St. Augustine boasts exceptional drought tolerance attributed to its broad and deep root system, allowing it to withstand prolonged dry spells. Its finer-textured blades and beautiful emerald green color make it a preferred choice for various applications, from residential lawns to parks and commercial spaces.
Adding to its appeal, Palmetto St. Augustine showcases natural resistance to pests like chinch bugs and a slow growth habit that prevents thatch buildup. While it performs best in full sun, it also exhibits shade tolerance and has increased cold resistance, enduring temperatures as low as 5°F.
Seville is a dwarf cultivar of the St. Augustine grass with a distinctive blue-green color, fine-textured long leaf blades, and a dense, low-growth habit. It displays remarkable shade tolerance and ability to thrive in varying soil pH levels, from acidic to alkaline.
With a heightened drought tolerance, this St. Augustine variety retains its color during the fall months to a greater extent—a feature that sets it apart from other St. Augustine cultivars, which usually enter dormancy and turn brown in the same conditions. It performs best when maintained at a height between 2-3 inches.
ProVista™, a hybrid variety developed from two existing St. Augustine grasses, including Floratam, is distinguished by its dark green color and a dense, uniform growth pattern that improves its weed resistance. While sharing many characteristics with other St. Augustine varieties, ProVista™ is intentionally engineered for slower growth, maintaining a lower height that necessitates only half the usual mowing frequency.
Adding to its weed resistance, ProVista™ is the first glyphosate-tolerant grass in the market. It means it can withstand non-selective herbicide applications, providing a more convenient and effective weed control solution without the risks of damage to your lawn.
Similar to other St. Augustine grasses, ProVista™ thrives in full sun. But it also adapts well to moderate shade, requiring as little as four hours of daily sunlight, showcasing its adaptability to various lawn conditions.
These St. Augustine grass varieties share foundational characteristics, including drought tolerance, a preference for full sun exposure, and adaptability to residential and commercial applications. But, despite these similarities, subtle differences set each variety apart—whereas one may excel in weed resistance, the other may boast heightened shade tolerance. Similarly, one may handle foot traffic well, while another may not be as durable.
Your choice of St. Augustine grass is ultimately a matter of preference and consideration of your lawn situation. As a family-owned sod and grass plug farm, we are here to guide you in making the decision that best suits your unique needs, ensuring a lush and resilient lawn that also prioritizes aesthetic appeal.
Ready to get started? Explore a wide range of St. Augustine grass plugs on our website today!