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St Augustine Grass Varieties and Where They Are Best Suited

When selecting grass for your lawn or landscape, choosing the right one is important for the best outcome. The St. Augustine grass is a popular turf grass species that thrives in different seasons and has excellent shade tolerance. 

There are a lot of varieties to choose from as they have distinct characteristics in different environments. For homeowners who love thick-bladed turf grass on their lawns, the St. Augustine grass varieties are an excellent choice.

This article covers the different St. Augustine grass varieties with pictures, their characteristics, and the environments they thrive in. 

1. Raleigh St. Augustine

Raleigh St Augustine is a dense carpet-like turf.
Raleigh St. Augustine is known for its dense carpet-like turf. Image: abbyacres.org
  • Ideal Use: Golf, sports, commercial, parks, and home lawns
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 8 to 10
  • Soil Type: Organic clay soil with good drainage
  • Native Area: Gulf of Mexico
  • Shade Tolerance: Excellent

Raleigh St. Augustine is probably the most popular of the St. Augustine grass varieties because of its dense carpet-like texture. The grass variety was released by North Carolina State University in 1980. Its distinct characteristics include medium green leaves with a coarse texture. 

The medium-sized leaves are dark green, if fertilized well, and grow in organic clay soil with low PH. Its shade tolerance reaches up to 4 hours minimum and has a fair drought tolerance.

It is an ideal turf grass for lawn owners who want cold-hard grass with a high tolerance for heat and humidity. 

2. Palmetto St. Augustine

Palmetto St Augustine has an emerald-green hue.
Palmetto St Augustine has an emerald-green hue. Image: sodsolutions
  • Ideal Use: Commercial, home
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 12
  • Soil Type: Clay or loam soil
  • Native Area: Gulf Coast region
  • Shade Tolerance: Excellent

Palmetto St. Augustine is the best type of St. Augustine grass for those who live in Texas. It has medium-sized leaves, is smaller than Raleigh, and is known to have the best shade tolerance. It is also among the top two most popular turf grasses, next to Raleigh St. Augustine. 

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This type of grass grows into a dark green emerald color when fertilized properly with a massive root system. 

The major difference between Palmetto and Raleigh is that Palmetto has a higher shade and drought tolerance than Raleigh. It also has a softer texture and a higher capability to choke out weeds.

The turf grass thrives best in shaded areas.

3. CitraBlue St. Augustine

Citrablue has high disease resistance and top-notch shade. Image: edis.ifas.ufl.edu
  • Ideal Use: Homes, commercial landscapes, golf courses, and sports fields
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 12
  • Soil Type: Sandy or clay soil
  • Native Area: Florida, USA
  • Shade Tolerance: Excellent

The CitraBlue St. Augustine is one of the St. Augustine grass varieties developed by the University of Florida during the Turfgrass Breeding Program. Its unique characteristics include deep blue-green colored leaves and deep roots.

Unlike the other St. Augustine breeds, the CitraBlue requires fewer amounts of nitrogen and thus uses less fertilizer without compromising performance. 

It also has a top-notch shade tolerance and can be compared to Palmetto St. Augustine’s. Additionally, it has a high disease resistance and is affected less by the gray leaf spot than the other plants. 

Due to its thick and fast growth, it may require regular mowing. It is the best choice for someone who wants disease-resistant turf grass but can keep up with maintenance. 

4. ProVista St. Augustine

Provista withstands high foot traffic with grace.
Provista withstands high foot traffic with grace. Image: sodsolutions
  • Ideal Use: Home or commercial
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 12
  • Soil Type: Clay soil with good drainage
  • Native Area: Florida, USA
  • Shade Tolerance: Great

Scotts ProVista St. Augustine is a uniquely developed Floratam variety with improved weed control and slow growth features. It is a hybrid of two types of St. Augustine grass, which are two native Florida grasses and Floratam.

Its features include deep green leaves that grow in a dense and horizontal pattern. Thus, it is great for foot traffic if you have children or pets.

It is the only turf grass with glyphosate tolerance, which means you can kill weeds such as the Bermuda grass without damaging it. Additionally, due to its slow growth, it does not require regular mowing. 

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5. Floratam St. Augustine

Floratam is the most common St Augustine in Florida.
Floratam is the most common St Augustine in Florida. Image: sodsolutions
  • Ideal Use: Commercial and home lawns
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 12
  • Soil Type: Any soil type with good drainage
  • Native Area: Florida, USA
  • Shade Tolerance: Good

Floratam St. Augustine is a common type of grass popularly grown on home lawns around Florida. It gets its name from combining “Florida” and “Texas A&M.”

The grass was developed and released by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the University of Florida in 1972.

The turf grass variety is easy to maintain because of its wide leaf blades and warm weather preference, making it the best type of St. Augustine grass in Florida. 

Floratam features include flat, broad leaves that are deep green to bluish-green in color. It also grows rapidly horizontally, making sure it fills any bare patches on the landscape to provide a great view.

Besides its rich color and fast lateral growth rate, Floratam’s drought tolerance is good, while its wear tolerance is moderate.

It is best for lawn owners who want turf grass with little maintenance and good shade tolerance. 

6. Seville St. Augustine

Seville St Augustine is perfect for a shady lawn or yard
Seville St Augustine is perfect for a shady lawn or yard. Image: sod-x
  • Ideal Use: Commercial and home landscapes
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 12
  • Soil Type: Sandy soils
  • Native Area: Gulf areas and the Mediterranean regions
  • Shade Tolerance: Good

The Seville St. Augustine grass is considered the dwarf variant of the St. Augustine variants. It has blue-green leaves with a very fine texture that retains all seasons.

Seville St. Augustine also has great drought and shade tolerance, thus making it the best option if you have a shady lawn or backyard. 

It mostly grows in alkaline soils but can grow in various soil pH levels in coastal and inland regions. Due to its high drought tolerance, it needs very little water to thrive.

It is the best turf grass for people who want a lawn with minimal maintenance without compromising on beauty.  

7. Sapphire St. Augustine Grass

The beautiful blue-green sapphire
The beautiful blue-green sapphire. Image: coastlandscape
  • Ideal Use: Commercial and home
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 12
  • Soil Type: Any soil type
  • Native Area: The Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean region
  • Shade Tolerance: Good
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Sapphire St. Augustine grass gets its name from its beauty when it flourishes on a landscape. Its fast lateral growth rate helps restore damaged or trimmed leaves and grass blades quicker.

Its unique characteristics include blue-green leaves and high drought tolerance. It grows best in subtropical areas. 

The drawback of this St. Augustine grass variety is its low disease tolerance and can easily succumb to fungus.

If you want an aesthetically pleasing lawn or landscape that can handle high foot traffic, consider the Sapphire St. Augustine turf grass. 

8. Bitter-Blue St. Augustine Grass

The Bitter-Blue has exceptional drought and shade tolerance
The Bitter-Blue has exceptional drought and shade tolerance. Image:hudsonranchsod
  • Ideal Use: Home and commercial
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 12
  • Soil Type: Sandy soil with good drainage
  • Native Area: Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean
  • Shade Tolerance: Good

Bitter-Blue St. Augustine is popular in Florida because it flourishes in tropical and subtropical regions. It thrives in warm weather and thus has an extremely high drought tolerance.

This variety also has a better shade and weather tolerance than Floratam. 

Besides its high drought tolerance, it creates beautiful lawns due to its fine and dense appearance.

However, it has low disease resistance and is prone to infections such as fungal diseases, mole crickets, chinch bugs, and cutworms. 

The Bitter-Blue is a low-grow grass variety, which means it requires little maintenance and will only need to be watered weekly. 

9. DelMar St. Augustine Grass

Delmar maintains its vigorous dark green color in winter.
Delmar maintains its intense dark green color all through winter. Image: mataturf
  • Ideal Use: Home and commercial
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 12
  • Soil Type: Sandy soil with good drainage
  • Native Area: Texas, USA
  • Shade Tolerance: Fair

DelMar St. Augustine is distinct from other St. Augustine grass varieties due to its emerald green color. Its leaves have a medium coarse texture and dark green color that lasts throughout winter. 

It’s best for people who want low-maintenance grass that can thrive in cold regions. As per its attributes, it requires short watering sessions and fairly short mowing.

Once established, the turf grass requires little maintenance to guarantee a beautiful lawn.

10. Evergreen St. Augustine Grass

The soft and luxurious evergreen turf.
The soft and luxurious evergreen turf. Image: evergladesfe
  • Ideal Use: Home and commercial
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 12
  • Soil Type: Any soil with alkaline pH
  • Native Area: The Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean regions
  • Shade Tolerance: Excellent

As its name implies, the Evergreen St. Augustine grass variant derives its name from its characteristic of staying dark green in all seasons. It also has short and narrow blade leaves, unlike its family variants. 

The Evergreen requires minimal mowing and has a high shade tolerance. 

The only drawback is that the grass has a low tolerance to high foot traffic and can get damaged easily.

If you’ve chosen St Augustine grass for your home or commercial space, consider these weed removal tips for a green, lush, and weed-free lawn.