5 Types Of St. Augustine Grass

If you're like most homeowners, you've probably heard about St. Augustine grass and may even be aware of its many benefits as an ornamental lawn option. However, there are several hybrids of St. Augustine grass, and some may be more suitable for certain conditions than others. Following are five major types of St. Augustine grass seed for your consideration.


Floratam grass is a hybrid of St. Augustine grass that was the result of a joint research project by the University of Florida and Texas A&M University. It's a dark green, warm season variety that thrives during the hot, muggy weather of the region and fades into dormancy during the cool season. Floratam grass is best used for areas where ornamental value is particularly high -- it's a soft, velvety grass that looks gorgeous but won't stand up to heavy foot traffic or play. Because it does not self seed, Floratam grass must be purchased and installed as blocks of sod. Many people find this a more convenient and much faster way to create a lawn than starting one from seed.

Delta Shade

Many homeowners despair over the patches of shade in their yards where they can never seem to coax grass to grow. Delta Shade, a variety of St. Augustine grass that was developed in the late 1980s in Tavares, Florida, performs well in shaded situations yet can also be successfully grown in full sun. Delta Shade is an attractive bright green color, is fairly drought-tolerant, and is unique among lawn grasses because it possesses both shade tolerance and winter hardiness. It's low growing and has no known pathogens. Tougher than Floratam grass, it's a better choice for homeowners with active children in residence or who otherwise intend on having significant traffic in their lawn areas.


Those who truly want their lawn and garden area to be a visual showcase frequently choose the Sapphire variety of St. Augustine grass. As lush and velvety as Floratam, Sapphire also features the attractive blue ting that its name implies. Like other varieties of St. Augustine grasses, Sapphire is a warm season grass that goes dormant during the cool months. However, it doesn't have the cold tolerance of Delta Shade and should be avoided in areas that receive regular freezes during winter. Sapphire is also somewhat shade tolerant, relatively pest and disease resistant, tolerates drought conditions, and performs well when planted near salt water.


Developed on a sod farm near Daytona beach, Florida, Palmetto grass is a versatile turf grass with a vivid, deep green hue that's noticeably striking. It also performs better in shade than Sapphire, making it a superior choice for homeowners who have trees and large shrubs in their yard. Palmetto grass also has a deep root system that means it needs less water than many other types of grass once it is established, and it is cold tolerant to temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit.


Developed in 1980 at the North Carolina Experiment Station, Raleigh is another good choice for homeowners who need a grass with significant cold tolerance. Raleigh is also fairly shade tolerant, but it may languish in hot weather. Also, Raleigh may be more likely to be affected by pests such as chinch bugs than other varieties. Its major benefit as a turf grass is that it performs well in clay soils. 

Finding the right turf grass depends on local climate conditions, the intended use of the lawn area, and what other vegetation exists in your lawn and garden area. Having a consultation with a professional lawn service about which types of lawn grass may be best suited for your particular situation will help ensure good results.