What’s the Best Shade Grass for Houston?

We often get questions about the best shade grass for Houston.  None of the grasses suitable for Houston area lawns will thrive in complete shade, so the question is really about shade tolerant grasses.  Houston Grass Owner Michael Romine answers that question in this video. Call us at 281-431-7441 for more information and a quote for your project.

What’s the Best Shade Grass for Houston?

This is the 2nd time I’ve ordered zoysia from y’all. Last year I picked up a pallet at your facility – the grass looks great. This recent order was four pallets for my new house, and it was delivered on time. The grass looks great – I can’t wait to see it in the yard. I won’t get my grass from anywhere else.

Christopher Mead

Google Review

Summary of the Shade Grass for Houston Video

What are some of the types of grass that grow in the shade in the Houston area? We get that question a lot. When people call, it the second most popular question after, “how much is your grass”?

If people are replacing grass, we realize that shade is usually the reason why people lost grass in the first place. So we normally will ask you about shade when you tell us you lost your grass. Other than somebody putting in a pool, shade is probably the number one culprit for grass issues here in the Houston area.

We carry seven different varieties of grass. We carry some Bermuda grasses, some St. Augustine’s and some Zoysias. We’ll go through these three different types and steer you towards the ones that have the most shade tolerance.

Bermuda Grass Needs Full Sun

First of all, the one that’s easiest to just go ahead and mark off the list is Bermuda grass. Bermuda grass has zero shade tolerance — it needs 100% sunlight all the time.

If you have any shade created by structures, whether it’s a house or trees or fences or anything like that, Bermuda grass is going to have a problem. So neither Bermuda grass variety is an option.

A lot of these subdivisions in the Houston area are starting to put Bermuda grass in these new homes and we see that is going to be a problem someday.  As the trees get a little bit older and if you plant that grass up close in the shade of these houses, it can create a problem for the Bermuda grass.

Palmetto St. Augustine Might Be Your Shade Grass

We carry Raleigh St. Augustine and Palmetto St. Augustine. Raleigh St. Augustine needs six or seven hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive. We carry a variety that looks very very similar to the Raleigh St. Augustine called Palmetto St. Augustine, and it can survive on four or five hours of direct sunlight per day. So Palmetto would definitely be at the top of that list of shade grasses that can survive some shade.

Methods for Measuring the Sunlight Your Lawn Receives

Nobody really knows how much sun their lawn gets. Does it get three hours? Does it get five hours of sunlight? There is a way to measure it.

On a sunny day you go out with your phone and take a snapshot every hour or two. Then at the end of the day you scroll through your pictures, and it will show you the different areas. You’ll get a rough measurement of which areas of your yard get how much sunlight, and you’ll find out what kind of sunlight you get in those areas.

Another method that works well for measuring sunlight is to use your security cameras. After a sunny day, you can kind of scroll through and watch the sunlight move across your lawn. You’ll see which areas may or may not be a problem.

So we recommend that people do one of these two options when we talk to them on the phone.

No Grasses Will Thrive on Less than Four Hours

So Palmetto St. Augustine is a good option if you have some shade issues. It’s not a silver bullet. None of the grasses that I’m going to mention that have some shade tolerance will thrive if you do not get that four or five hours of direct sunlight.

You’re probably not going to be happy with any grass out there whether they’re grasses that we grow and carry or that anyone else sells. I am not aware of any grasses that will thrive on less than that four hours of direct sunlight.

So if you’ve got five 50 year old oak trees in a small front yard or something like that it’s not going to work with any grass. A lot of times these neighborhoods require two oak trees in the front yard and two out between the sidewalk and the road. Eventually in 10 to 15 years, shade starts becoming a problem. In my neighborhood, that’s a big problem.

Sometimes there’s just not a grass that they can handle the shade that people have without super, super aggressive tree trimming and pruning and raising. It is possible for there to be areas with when the oak trees get really really old and really really big and they’re planted so close together that they’re just no grass that can handle it.

Cavalier or Emerald Zoysia Might be Your Option for Shade-Tolerant Grass

Installing Shade Grass in Houston
Installing Shade Grass in Houston

We have three different types of Zoysia. We have the Palisades Zoysia, which is similar to Raleigh St. Augustine in needing six or seven hours of direct sunlight. We have two different types of fine-bladed Zoysias, the Emerald and the Cavalier, that do have some shade tolerance.

They are similar to Palmetto St. Augustine, and need four or five hours of direct sunlight. So if you get that four or five hours of direct sunlight either Emerald or Cavalier Zoysia could be a good option.

To Summarize on Shade Grass for Houston

So, in closing, we carry several different varieties of grass that are shade tolerant. Four hours is an absolute minimum for these grasses, but if you can get four or five hours of direct sunlight per day, the Palmetto St. Augustine, the Emerald Zoysia and the Cavalier Zoysia would be the three to pick from. If you have any questions or you just need some clarification, please give us a call at 281-431-7441.

Call Houston Grass for Houston’s Best Shade Grass

Our shade-tolerant grass and our other grass varieties come from our family farm in Bay City.  We know how that grass is grown, and we know the farm’s dedication to quality.  Michael Romine grew up working on the farm and his brother manages the farm today.  So we’re proud of the high quality of every pallet of grass we sell.  Call us at 281-431-7441 or send us an email through our contact form.

You can pick up your grass at our office in Arcola or we can deliver it to your project site. We can also arrange for professional installation if you’d like. Call us at 281-431-7441 for answers to your questions and a quick quote for your project.