Will Grass Sod Grow in Shade?

Call us at 281-431-7441.  In the Houston area, our typical turf grasses are warm season grasses that require lots of sunlight.  So we’re often asked if any of our grass sod varieties will grow in shade or up next to a house or in the small space between a house and a solid fence.  In this video, Houston Grass owner, Michael Romine talks about that issue, and he describes the varieties of grass sod that are more shade tolerant than other varieties.

Will Grass Sod Grow in Shade

Summary of the Will Grass Grow in Shade Video

Will grass sod grow in the shade? It depends on the severity of the shade. We do have some varieties, the Bermuda grasses for example, that need 100% sunlight. If there’s any shade at all, Bermuda grass is absolutely a non-starter.

So to continue on down the spectrum, Raleigh St. Augustine needs six or seven hours of direct sunlight per day. If you can get that, then you’re good.

On the other end of the spectrum from Bermuda grass are the Zoysia grasses. Palisades Zoysia, like Raleigh St. Augustine, needs about six or seven hours of sunlight a day. It’s the grass variety I like best, it’s very easy to take care of, but it does still need that six or seven hours of direct sunlight per day.

At the shady end of the shade tolerance spectrum, we have three grasses. They need four or five hours of direct sunlight per day to survive. If you don’t get that, you should look at options other than grass. I don’t have any grass that can tolerate more shade than that. If you do have four to five hours of sunlight, perhaps in the morning and afternoon when the sun is low, we have grass varieties that will do well for you.

You can pick from Cobalt St. Augustine or Palmetto St. Augustine, which look remarkably similar to the Raleigh St. Augustine. If you laid these side by side with Raleigh, it’s hard to tell the difference. There are some differences to look for but Cobalt and Palmetto St. Augustine are good alternatives for the shade.

We also have the Cavalier and Emerald Zoysia. Those are the two fine bladed Zoysia’s that we carry. And they also can survive on about four or five hours of direct sunlight per day. They require a little bit more maintenance, I would say than the Palmetto or Cobalt.

So if you have some shade, Palmetto St. Augustine or Cobalt St. Augustine would probably be your best choice if you want ease of maintenance. But if you want a different look than the St. Augustine that everybody is used to in this part of the world, then a fine bladed Zoysia like the Cavalier or Emerald might work really well.

You can pick up your grass at our office or we can deliver direct from our farm. We can also arrange for professional installation.

Quality Grass Direct from Our Family Farm

Lay the foundation for a better lawn in sun and in shade with one of our shade tolerant grass varieties. Call 281-431-7441 for answers to your questions and a quick quote for your project. 

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