Shade Tolerant Grass Varieties for the Houston Metro Area

What are shade tolerant grass varieties developed for the Houston area and the Texas Gulf Coast. In this video,  Houston Grass owner Michael Romine talks about the best grass varieties for Houston area projects. Michael’s family has been in the grass business since 1981, and our grass sod comes from the family farm in Bay City Texas. Call 281-431-7441 for more information.  

Shade Tolerant Grass Varieties for Houston & the Texas Gulf Coast

Summary of the Shade Tolerant Grass Varieties Video

Great service and Great Product! As you can see from our before and after pictures. This is just 10 days after laying the sod. Imagine the look after it takes root. This is Palmetto grass that was recommended for slightly shaded areas. It has been years since we have had a beautiful yard and it makes us feel much better about our home.

Chris Dixon

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What are shade tolerant grass varieties for the Houston area and the Texas Gulf Coast. We carry several different grass varieties, and those are the ones that we we know about so I’m going to talk about those. 

That’s not to say this is an exhaustive list of all the shade tolerant grasses in the area. As a matter of fact, I know there are other farms that grow some other varieties. But these are the grass varieties that we have had a lot of success with over the years. 

Bermuda Grass Is Not Shade Tolerant

So first it should be noted that Bermuda grass is absolutely not a shade tolerant variety of grass. So you can cross all those off your list. There’s a lot of different types of Bermuda grasses. None of them are compatible with the shade that I am aware of. 

Palmetto St. Augustine Is More Shade Tolerant than Raleigh St. Augustine

Palmetto St. Augustine Grass - Houston Grass South
Palmetto St. Augustine – Shade Tolerant Grass

As St. Augustines go, Palmetto St. Augustine is the grass that we carry that has some shade tolerance.  By some shade tolerance I mean that instead of six or seven hours of direct sunlight per day like the regular Raleigh St. Augustine needs, you can get by on four or five hours of direct sunlight.  Four or five hours is an absolute minimum though. 

How Can I Check How Much Sunlight My Lawn Gets

The best way to tell if you get enough sunlight in an area is either with a security camera or your phone.  If you have a security camera you can scroll through your footage at the end of a sunny day, and you can see the different areas that get sunlight and how much it gets.  With your phone, you go outside every hour or every two hours and take a picture.  Then scroll through those pictures at the end of the day and it’ll tell you the same story.   Again, four hours is absolute minimum. 

Cavalier and Emerald Are the More Shade Tolerant Zoysia Grasses

The Zoysia grasses have some shade tolerance as well. They also need four hours as an absolute minimum though. 

The fine-bladed Zoysias are the shade tolerant Zoysia grass varieties.  We carry three types of Zoysia: the Palisades, the Emerald, and the Cavalier. The Emerald and the Cavalier are the two that have about the same shade tolerance as the Palmetto, about four hours. 

As long as you get four or five hours of direct sunlight per day, Emerald and Cavalier Zoysia can do well. The more sunlight you get on any of these grasses, the healthier they’re going to be and the more that they’re going to thrive in an area. So the more sunlight the better for sure, no matter what type of grass we’re talking about.

The Palisades Zoysia needs more along the lines of the Raleigh St. Augustine, six or seven hours.  But the Emerald and Cavalier Zoysias are two that can do well in the shade for you. 

How Can You Get More Sun on Your Lawn

We tell people you need to aggressively trim your trees before you get grass if you’re worried about the shade. If you’ve lost the grass in an area due to tree shade, you’ve got an issue.   Don’t order grass from anybody until you trim your trees, whether it’s just raising the trees or raising them and thinning them or even taking trees down sometimes to get grass to grow in an area. 

I tell everybody there’s no silver bullet for shade grasses. If you get less than that four hours of direct sunlight on a sunny day, you need to be looking at ground covers or things like that if you’re not willing to trim the trees enough to get that four hours. 

Our Most Shade Tolerant Grass Varieties

So in summary, shade tolerant grasses that we carry here at Houston Grass that are kind of tried and true are the Palmetto St. Augustine, the Emerald Zoysia, and the Cavalier Zoysia. If you’ve got any questions about any of those, please give us a call and we’ll answer any questions that you might have.

If you have questions about the right grass varieties for your project, please give us a call at 281-431-7441 or send us an email through our contact form.  We want to make sure you choose the right variety of grass for your project — shade tolerant or full sun.

Get the Shade Tolerant Grass You Need

Call 281-431-7441 for quality grass delivered direct from our farm to your home. We can talk with you about the best, most cost-efficient strategy for installing grass that meets your needs.

We offer delivery, volume discounts on some of our grasses, and professional installation too. Click the button for our hours and directions to our office.

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