Bermuda Grass vs St Augustine: Which One To Choose?

Bermuda Grass vs St Augustine

Looking for the perfect grass for your yard? Here's a breakdown of two popular varieties: Bermuda and St. Augustine. Both are great options for warm-season lawns, but they each have their own unique characteristics that make them stand out from the rest.


Bermuda has fine blades, where St. Augustine is made up of broad, thick blades. The blades create different textures when walking or relaxing on the grasses. St. Augustine’s broad blades create a dense, plush lawn where a Bermuda lawn looks thinner and is softer in comparison.

Light Requirements

Bermuda will grow in full sun or shade depending on the type of Bermuda you choose (some varieties need more sunlight than others). Where, St. Augustine does not grow as well in the shade as Bermuda does. Both grasses are popular choices for home lawns, especially in warm areas like Florida.


sodpod watering grass lawn

Although both grasses are tolerant to drought, traffic, and salt; they perform best when maintained. Lawn maintenance for St. Augustine includes watering, mowing, and fertilizing three times a year. On the other hand, to get the optimal appearance from Bermuda, it takes more maintenance. Bermuda grows best when aerating and detaching is added onto the standard maintenance practices. Bermuda could also use one more fertilizer application than St. Augustine.

Temperature Climates and Growing Zones


Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that grows best in temperate climates and zones 7 through 10. Bermuda grasses thrive in hot weather and can tolerate drought, making them an ideal choice for areas with little rainfall. However, Bermuda can tolerate a cold snap better than St. Augustine. Bermuda is known for greening up after being dormant. Bermuda is an aggressive grower, which makes them a good option for lawns that need to be restored quickly or where you want to add more coverage quickly. This fast growth habit is why Bermuda is popular on golf courses and other athletic fields where it experiences damage from divots and traffic.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine is a warm-season grass that thrives in zones 8 through 10. St Augustine grass grows best when temperatures stay between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Although Bermuda tolerates cool weather better than St. Augustine, St. Augustine tolerates salt better than Bermuda. So, if you are in a warm coastal area, St. Augustine may be the better choice.

Shade Tolerance

St. Augustine thrives in full sun and a few varieties do well in the shade too! If you are looking for a shade tolerant St. Augustine try CitraBlue, Palmetto or ProVista St. Augustine.

Bermuda grass tolerates partial shade very well but thrives in full sun. This is why Bermuda grass is often found growing on golf courses where they are exposed to intense sunlight all day long and are mowed frequently at a high height of two inches or more.

Mowing Heights

Mowing heights are important to consider when choosing a grass. Bermuda grass should be mowed at 1-2 inches, while St. Augustine should be mowed around 3-4 inches. The recommended frequency of mowing depends on the type of grass you choose and how much time you want to spend maintaining it.

If you're planning on planting an area full of Bermuda or St Augustine grasses and don't want it to turn into an unruly mess, it's best to keep them well-manicured by regularly mowing both types at their recommended heights as well as fertilizing them during spring through fall months.

When looking for a great lawn, pick the one that's right for your climate and budget!

  • Bermuda Grass: This warm-season grass thrives in hot climates and can tolerate cold snaps. It grows well in full sun or shade and tolerates drought conditions well. Bermuda’s aggressive growth habit makes it able to tolerate the traffic a family creates when spending time in the yard. It may require more on the maintenance side, but produces a stunning look and feel that will make you the envy of the neighborhood.

  • St Augustine Grass: St. Augustine has been the preferred grass for Florida lawns for decades. It loves growing in full sun and tolerates salt and drought. Requiring less maintenance than Bermuda,St. Augustine is an easy addition to your family home and lawn.

How to Buy Bermuda or St. Augustine Grass

Are you ready to start your lawn journey with one of these fantastic grasses? You can buy St. Augustine or Bermuda grass plugs to plant into your yard. Grass plugs are great if your lawn is already established and you are looking to repair patchy areas.


With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which type of grass is right for your lawn. We hope we've helped you narrow down the choices by comparing and contrasting two popular varieties: Bermuda grass vs. St. Augustine grass. Each has its own pros and cons, but both will give you a beautiful green lawn that will last for years, if properly maintained.


St. Augustine

Bermuda Grass


Varies from Cultivar Selection

Varies from Cultivar Selection

Blade Width

8-9 mm

1.5-1.7 mm


Coarse Feel

Soft Feel

Shade Tolerance

Depending on Variety


Mowing Height

3-4 inches

1-2 inches

Growth Habit



Wear Tolerance



Injury Recovery



Drought Tolerance



Salt Tolerance



Soil PH



Main Pests

Grubs, Chinch Bugs, Worms, Sod Webworms and Fall Armyworms

Billbugs, Sod Webworms, Fall Armyworms and Bermuda Grass Mites

Main Diseases

Brown Patch and Grey Leaf Spot

Dollar Spot, Spring Dead Spot, Leaf Spot, Brown Patch and Pythium


Jamie Tedder

Jamie surrently serve as Vice President on the board for Turfgrass Producers of Florida. He currently oversees the production of all grasses throughout all farms in Florida at Bethel Farms. He is actively working with top grass breeders, researchers, producers and end users from public and private institutions around the country to stay up to date on current industry developments. Being a University of Florida graduate, he has applied that knowledge to over 22 years of experience growing spectacular grass!

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