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The Best Grass for Florida: 5 Kinds of Grass Reviewed

If you own a house with a lawn in Florida or are planning to buy one, this post is for you!

When planning your lawn, choosing the best grass for Florida is an important part of increasing your home’s value. There are some key things to consider when planning your lawn in Florida. You want to make sure you choose the best grass as well as the best yard setup for your grass to thrive. 

I’ll walk you through everything you need to know when thinking about what is the best grass to grow in Florida.

In A Rush? Here Are My Picks

Here are the products I tested for this article.

Our choice
18 St. Augustine 'Palmetto' 3 Inch Sod Plugs - Drought, Salt & Shade Tolerant Grass
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Bermudagrass, Mix for Full Sun, Built to Stand Up to Heat & Drought, 10 lbs.
Zenith Zoysia Grass Seed Pure - 1/4 Lb. (Plants 250 Sq.ft.)
TifBlair Centipede Grass Seed (1 Lb.) Direct from The Farm
Jonathan Green (10870) Black Beauty Sunny Grass Seed - Cool Season Lawn Seed (25 lb)
18 St. Augustine 'Palmetto' 3 Inch Sod Plugs - Drought, Salt & Shade Tolerant Grass
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Bermudagrass, Mix for Full Sun, Built to Stand Up to Heat & Drought, 10 lbs.
Zenith Zoysia Grass Seed Pure - 1/4 Lb. (Plants 250 Sq.ft.)
TifBlair Centipede Grass Seed (1 Lb.) Direct from The Farm
Jonathan Green (10870) Black Beauty Sunny Grass Seed - Cool Season Lawn Seed (25 lb)
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Amazon Prime
Our choice
18 St. Augustine 'Palmetto' 3 Inch Sod Plugs - Drought, Salt & Shade Tolerant Grass
18 St. Augustine 'Palmetto' 3 Inch Sod Plugs - Drought, Salt & Shade Tolerant Grass
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Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Bermudagrass, Mix for Full Sun, Built to Stand Up to Heat & Drought, 10 lbs.
Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Bermudagrass, Mix for Full Sun, Built to Stand Up to Heat & Drought, 10 lbs.
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Zenith Zoysia Grass Seed Pure - 1/4 Lb. (Plants 250 Sq.ft.)
Zenith Zoysia Grass Seed Pure - 1/4 Lb. (Plants 250 Sq.ft.)
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TifBlair Centipede Grass Seed (1 Lb.) Direct from The Farm
TifBlair Centipede Grass Seed (1 Lb.) Direct from The Farm
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Jonathan Green (10870) Black Beauty Sunny Grass Seed - Cool Season Lawn Seed (25 lb)
Jonathan Green (10870) Black Beauty Sunny Grass Seed - Cool Season Lawn Seed (25 lb)
Amazon Prime

Top 5 Grass Options for Florida Lawns

Palmetto St-Augustine Grass: Best Overall

  • Comes in easy-to-plant 3-inch sod plugs
  • Warm-season grass that might also thrive in cooler regions
  • Semi-dwarf grass with plush appearance

According to the lawn care experts from Sod Solutions, a reputable US sod company, Palmetto St. Augustine is one of the most popular patented turfgrass in the world. This highly versatile grass thrives in different conditions and climates. It also has a finer texture, darker green color, and better tolerance to drought, shade, frost, heat, and cold than other St. Augustine cultivars.

I know a lot of homeowners who have picked this grass type for their lawn, and from their experience, with little care, Palmetto grass delivers years of eye-pleasing and functional lawns. The good news is that it requires less mowing than other St. Augustine cultivars and stays green much longer, too. If there are no heavy frosts, Palmetto is likely to remain evergreen even in temperatures below freezing. 

Pros

  • Boasts a beautiful emerald-green color
  • Soft to the touch
  • Stays green much longer than Bermuda or Centipede grass
  • Demonstrates exceptional drought and shade tolerance

Cons

  • Bugs, especially chinch bugs, often attack Palmetto grass, which means you might have to apply chemical treatments throughout the summer

My rating: 5/5.

Scotts Bermuda Grass: Best For Hi-Traffic Lawns 

  • Resilient grass designed for high-traffic areas
  • 4 in 1 WaterSmart PLUS Coating
  • Suitable for overseeding

According to the manufacturer, Scotts Bermuda grass seed can help you establish a lush lawn even if you live in an area challenged by prolonged periods of heat and drought. It’s all thanks to the unique coating that keeps the seed moist, protects it from diseases, and feeds it with nutrients needed to jumpstart its growth.

This grass type has been designed to withstand high traffic, making it an ideal solution for people with kids and pets. It is a very tough and aggressive grass that helps eradicate weeds and fill in bare spots, so you can use it for overseeding an existing lawn too. I know people having success with this seed even in tough North Carolina clay. According to them, the grass calls for a lot of water!

Pros

  • Low weed seeds
  • High disease-resistance
  • Thrives even in Southern heat and droughty areas

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires tons of water

My rating: 4.5/5.

Zenith Zoysia Grass: Best For Clay Soil

Zenith Zoysia grass is a good option for people living in Florida and can render excellent results when planting guidelines are followed. 

This type of grass is shade-tolerant but must be planted in soil that’s at least 67° F. It can take 2-3 months for it to germinate, so make sure you plant it in spring.

It requires mowing every 7-10 days and thrives when paired with clay soil. The grass itself has a pleasant dark green shade, with medium-fin leaves.

Pros

  • Highly adaptable to sun and shade conditions
  • Available in both seed and sod
  • Has a dense growth habit
  • Doesn’t require much water or too many nutrients
  • Resistant during the Florida winter season
  • The turf is resistant to weed growth

Cons

  • Requires mowing every week to 10 days
  • Seeds can take up to three months to germinate

My rating: 4.3/5.

TifBlair Centipede Grass: Best For Shadow

TifBlair Centipede grass is known for its long “green” periods, as it awakes early in spring and stays healthy until late in the fall. It doesn’t require as much maintenance as other types of Florida grass and it adapts well to different types of soil.

It’s resistant to warmth but also thrives in shady areas. For the best results, plant this type of grass as soon as it gets warm and avoid adding other plants until it is fully grown, to avoid competition and give the lawn a chance to grow. 

Don’t water it very often, as it is highly resistant to drought. Despite its slower germination period, this grass is also resistant to winter conditions, as long as you have the patience and the time to look after it during its growth.

Pros

  • Can cover up to 1,000 square feet with a pound of product
  • Seeds are coated for improved germination periods
  • Awakes from dormant periods early in spring
  • Stays green for longer than other Centipedegrass
  • Considered to be the best grass for Central Florida

Cons

  • It’s a slow-growing type of grass
  • Not 100% pure seed, as advertised

My rating: 4.7/5.

Jonathan Green Grass Seed Mixture: Most Versatile

Here’s an option for those looking for a seed mixture that offers the benefits of many different grass types. The different varieties include types of grass meant to combat insect damage, while giving homeowners a long-lasting lawn they can take pride in.

Great for sunny and warm areas, this mixture is available in different bag sizes. It’s a valid choice for people looking to spruce up their bare lawn areas, as the product itself germinates fast and is very easy to plant. 

It doesn’t require too much fertilizer and can give dead patches of lawn a fresh and green look.

Pros

  • Available in different pack sizes
  • Easy to plant
  • Doesn’t require much fertilizer
  • Can cover dead patches of grass
  • Has a rather fast germination period
  • Includes varieties that prevent insect damage

Cons

  • Doesn’t perform well in extremely sunny and high-drought areas
  • High chance of seeds being eaten by birds unless planted properly

My rating: 4.5/5.

A Guide To Choosing The Best Florida Grass

For a quick overview of the most popular types of grass for the Florida climate, check out this helpful and easy-to-follow video: 

YouTube player

Getting the Best Results

Proper maintenance is key to a healthy lawn, regardless of the type of grass you choose. For the best-looking lawn, you want to consider the following:

●   Watering your lawn is an essential part of keeping it healthy. If you don’t have an irrigation system, consider whether you are prepared to manually water your lawn as required. Some types of grass require a lot of water, which can significantly increase your water bill. BTW, if you are looking for a great garden hose, check out our Flexzilla garden hose review​​​.

●    Re-sod regularly: Grass can experience a certain amount of wear and tear. If you opt for a type of grass that wears fast, regular re-sodding is something you might have to consider.

●    Pest and disease control is important when caring for your lawn. Regardless of the types of grass you choose, you will have to consider the threats that could cause it to die off. Are you prepared to call a pest control company, if need be?

●    Fertilization is part of keeping your lawn healthy. For the best results, make sure that you apply the fertilizer needed to keep your lawn in top shape. Check out 10-10-10 fertilizer since it’s one of the best fertilizers for lawns.

Lawn Setup 101

While Florida is a place of sunshine and vacations, people who live here can have trouble creating the lawn and landscape of their dreams.

Not all the plants take well the humid climate of this state. But it is still possible to create the garden of your dreams (you can even grow lavender in Florida).

Here are five easy steps to follow when planting your Florida grass:

  1. Select the best type of grass for your particular climate conditions. I’ve listed the best types of grass to grow in Florida in the next section of this article.
  2. Test your soil’s pH level. The best pH is between 6 and 7.5. Anything above this number and you will need compost. Anything lower and you’ll need to add lime to your soil.
  3. Prepare your soil before planting grass by removing dead grass, large rocks, and weeds (but know that some weeds are beautiful and useful so you may want to keep some).
  4. Apply fertilizer in a smaller amount if there’s a water supply near the turf, as you risk contaminating it. 
  5. Grab a rake and level the ground. If at all possible, consider adding an irrigation system. Watering the soil is required after raking.
  6. Seed the lawn by using a seed spreader, if you have one for the best coverage. After spreading the seeds across the desired area, add a bit of soil on top and then water generously.

Common Grass Types in Florida

Because of its climate, Florida can be quite a tricky state for lawn care. For the best results, you need to know about the most common types of Florida grass, so you’ll know what to expect with the different varieties:

●    Bermuda grass is characterized by its short blades and rough edges. This type of grass is drought-resistant, prevents weed growth, and makes an excellent choice for areas with a lot of traffic. It grows rapidly in many different soil types and, much to the delight of people living in North Florida, it’s also resistant to colder temperatures. It doesn’t require as much maintenance as other grass types.

●    St. Augustine grass is another Florida winner because it loves the heat. Water it consistently and you’ll get a lawn rich in grass blades. It’s not that fussy soil-wise and can grow quite quickly compared to its “rivals”. However, St. Augustine grass requires a lot of cutting and doesn’t do very well in low temperatures. It also attracts chinch bugs. Many consider it the best grass for Central Florida, but it’s not a good option for the north.

●    Centipedegrass is a valid option for people looking for a low-maintenance lawn. Since it doesn’t grow very tall, it doesn’t require frequent mowing. It’s also great for both areas high in the shade and those in the sun. However, Centipedegrass doesn’t take traffic well and it’s also prone to ground pearls.

●    Bahiagrass is a type that doesn’t need much fertilizer and it performs really well in hot and dry climates. It likes sandy soil and is a popular option for dry areas. Pensacola Bahiagrass is a common choice across Florida, but it’s also prone to weeds and can’t stand too much water.

●    Zoysia grass is dark green in color and features stiff leaf blades. It’s traffic-resistant, loves the sun, and has a high tolerance to diseases. It also doesn’t require too much water to thrive so it is a great option for a lawn that’s easy to care for. After frost, Zoysia grass goes dormant but will resume growth once temperatures are optimal.

●    Buffalo is a beautiful type of grass, with curling leaf blades in a pleasant blue-green shade. Popular in South Florida, this type of grass loves high temperatures and isn’t fussy about soil conditions. Buffalo grass doesn’t like areas with high traffic, nor does it tolerate shade very well.

What is the best grass for Florida? Check out  5 kinds #grass #lawn #backyardLandscaping #backyardLandscapingIdeas #landscaping

Comparing The Best Grass For Florida

Here’s my comparison of all the grasses I have tested and reviewed in this article.

GrassBest ForProsConsMy Rating
St. Augustine grassBest OverallBeautiful color, soft touch, long green period, exceptional drought/shade toleranceVulnerable to bugs like chinch bugs, may require chemical treatments5/5
BermudagrassBest For Hi-Traffic LawnsLow weed seeds, high disease resistance, thrives in heat and droughty areasExpensive, requires a lot of water4.5/5
Zoysia GrassBest For Home Lawns/Golf CoursesAdaptable to sun/shade, good for clay soil, dense growth, low water/nutrients, winter-resistantRequires frequent mowing, seeds can take up to 3 months to germinate4.3/5
Centipede GrassBest For ShadowCovers up to 1,000 sq ft/lb, coated seeds, stays green long, best for Central Florida, drought-resistantSlow-growing, not 100% pure seed as advertised4.7/5
Jonathan Green GrassMost VersatileEasy to plant, low fertilizer needs, covers dead patches, prevents insect damageDoesn’t perform well in extreme sun/drought, seeds may be eaten by birds4.5/5

FAQs: Important Florida Grass Know-How

Getting the best Florida grass results depends on knowing the answer to these three important questions:

When Should I Plant Grass Seed In Florida?

The warmer seasons are optimal for planting grass in Florida, so plan ahead for the upcoming spring and summer to help your grass grow strong and healthy before winter. If you live in North Florida and plant in the late fall, your young grass will likely to die in the winter. Those living in Central and South Florida may get away with planting all year round, but follow the instructions for the particular grass you choose.

Does Grass Grow All Year In Florida?

The correct answer is: it depends on which part of Florida you live in. Grass growth depends on temperatures and length of daylight. In North Florida, grass doesn’t typically grow in the colder seasons. For Central and South Florida, the weather conditions are a bit less dramatic in the colder seasons, so it depends on the type of grass that you want to add to your lawn.

The Very Best Grass For Florida: St-Augustine Grass

Palmetto St. Augustine  grass is the clear winner of this roundup due to its exquisite emerald color, soft texture, and functionality. Even though it is neck to neck with Scotts Bermuda grass  when it comes to resisting the Florida sun, Palmetto can stay green for longer and that’s an advantage that helps it dominate its rivals. I like that it does not need to be mowed as often as some other grasses too!

I hope you have found your favorite Florida grass! If you have any questions, let me know. Please share this article too.

About The Author

  • Candace Osmond

    Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for more than 10 years. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. Apart from being an author on our website, she also writes for https://www.backyardboss.net/. In her free time, Candace can be found traveling, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven on the earth that is her backyard. Candace currently lives in the beautiful Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids, and a bulldog.

Last update on 2024-05-21 at 20:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Photo of author

About The Author

Candace Osmond

Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for more than 10 years. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. Apart from being an author on our website, she also writes for https://www.backyardboss.net/. In her free time, Candace can be found traveling, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven on the earth that is her backyard. Candace currently lives in the beautiful Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids, and a bulldog.

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