Florida Grass Type – Comparison Table


It’s good to see you again here, my buddy. I am glad to introduce a new article about the types of grasses in Florida. Whether you have decided to reseed or sod your lawn, getting results you will be happy with starts with learning about the characteristics of Florida-friendly grasses. Read on to learn what’s the best grass and which grass will work best with your needs and tastes. You will find a comparison table and it would be easy to know the advantages and disadvantages of Florida sod types, what is the best sod for shade or sun. This article helps to grow grass in Florida, learn about Florida lawn care, identifying grass type, what does bahiagrass look like, etc. Just scroll down and find exactly what you need.

Zoysia Grass

Sort of Sod Grass: Zoysia

Zoysia grass is the most beautiful landscape grass in the south for me. It is established in lawns by planting sod, plugs, and or sprigs.

It is adapted to grow in a variety of soil types. It has a good tolerance for salt spray and shade. Excellent wear resistance, great for high traffic areas.

The slow growth rate allows for less frequent mowing. The slow growth rate does make a damage recovery rate slow too. Grass does need frequent irrigation and has high fertilization requirements.

Mow height – 1-2 inches.

Buffalo Grass

Sort of Sod Grass: Bouteloua Dactyloides

Buffalo grass is distinctive in its blue-green color and curling leaf blades. It is established by seeding numerous runners then produce a tight sod.

It has excellent tolerance for high temperatures and drought. This grass is agreeable with a wide range of soil pH. It can be destroyed easily by cultivation making growth control manageable in gardens and flower beds. Buffalo grass is not shaded tolerant and not suitable for high traffic areas. Excessive rain or watering can weaken the grass leaving it prone to the disease.

Mow height – 1.5-3 inches.

Centipede Grass

Sort of Sod Grass: Eremochloa Ophiuroides

Centipede grass is the most commonly used for Florida homes. This grass is ideal for homeowners who want a lawn with low maintenance.

It is yellow-green in color. Low growing grass which allows for longer periods between mowing. It is a loose turf so wear resistance is low. It is drought-resistant and will grow in sandy mildly acidic soil.

This grass can be established by seeding and spreads through runners. Though it thrives in full sun, it has a good tolerance for shady areas as well. Unlike most warm-season grasses it is fairly tolerant of cold weather above freezing since it does not go into true dormancy. Centipede grass is sensitive to over-fertilization so little is needed for turf maintenance.

Mow height – 1.5-2 inches.

Bahia Grass

Sort of Sod Grass: Paspalum Notatum

Bahiagrass is a popular grass in Florida because of its ability to grow in less fertile sandy soils. This crab apple green grass is grown by seeding and produces a dense sod.

It forms an extensive root system making it very tolerant of drought conditions. This grass has a strong resistance to lawn pests and thrives in sunny areas. Bahiagrass will withstand moderate traffic. It does not tolerate being over watered and does poorly in shady areas.

Mowing should be at 3-4 inches in height.

Bermuda Grass

Sort of Sod Grass: Cynodon Dactylon

Bermuda grass is most commonly used on sports fields and golf courses. It has grey-green blades are short with long rough edges. Bermuda grass grows very well in hot climates.

It grows very well in hot climates. Grass has a deep root system which makes this type of grass extremely drought resistant. Bermuda grass can be grown with seed or sprigs. Full sunlight is required. It forms a dense mat and grows rapidly in many soil types. It reproduces through seeds, runners, and rhizomes. Gardeners have nicknamed this grass devil’s grass because it will spread into gardens and flower beds aggressively.

It can withstand heavy traffic. This grass does require weekly watering to maintain its green appearance. Bermuda will not tolerate cold climates. When the temperature drops the grass will turn brown and become dormant. It is common practice to overseed Bermuda grass with ryegrass during cooler seasons to maintain a green lawn year-round.

Mowing height is 0.5-2 in.

St. Augustine Grass

Sort of Sod Grass: Stenotaphrum Secundatum

St Augustine grass is the most popular choice for lawns in the southern United States. This grass has broad flat blades and is a dark blue-green color.

It is planted by plugs, sprigs, or sod. Seeds are virtually impossible to find. This grass spread above ground by runners or stolons producing a dense layer of the lawn. It establishes quickly and thrives in warm climates. Augustine grass does require irrigation to maintain its desired appearance but will tolerate drought. Could be grown in a wide range of soil types with 5.0 to 8.5 pH.

Height should be 3.5-4 in.

Comparison Table

Zoysia Grass Buffalo Grass Centipede Grass
Pros– Competitive against weed invasion
– Less time mowing
– Wear-resistant
– Shade and salt spray tolerance
– High tolerance for drought
– Low maintenance
– Can handle high temperature
– Wide range soil ph
– Requires less mowing
– Little fertilization needed
– Drought tolerant
– Survives mild cold
– Good tolerance to shade
Cons– Needs frequent irrigation
– High fertilization requirements
– Slow damage recovery
– Weakened by excessive water
– Poor shade tolerance
– Easily invaded by weeds
– Very poor traffic tolerance
– Low wear resistance
– Susceptible to nematodes & ground pearls
– Poor salt tolerance
Soil TypeAdapts to a variety of soil types. Growth is weakened in soils low in potassium levels. Grows in a wide range of soil pH Sandy mildly acidic soil with 5 to 6 pH level
Sun or ShadeGrows well in sun and shady areas Requires full sun to thrive and does not grow in shady areas Grows best in sunny areas will tolerate shade
ReproductionStolons and rhizomes Stolons and seed Stolons and seeds.
Bahia Grass Bermuda Grass St. Augustine Grass
Pros – Resistant to most pests
– Drought tolerant
– Grows in infertile soil
– Produces a dense sod
– Withstands heavy traffic
– Drought resistant
– Grows rapidly
– Competitive against weeds
– Forms a dense turf
– Grows in a wide variety of soil types
– High rate of establishment
– Thrives in hot climates
– Adapts to a wide range of soil types
– High levels of salt tolerance
– Provides dense lawn coverage
– Drought resistant
Cons – Unattractive seed heads
– Weed control difficult
– Sensitive to over watering
– Grows poorly in shady areas
– Weekly mowing required
– Cold sensitive
– Growth control difficult
– Not shade friendly
– Pest and disease susceptible
– High maintenance
– Susceptible to cold damage
– Frequent watering for appearance
– Frequent mowing required
– Common pest cinch bugs
– Effected by SADV
Soil TypeGrows best in sandy soils with low pH Grows in many soil types Grows in a wide range of soil types with 5.0 to 8.5 pH
Sun or ShadeFull sunlight required. Grows poorly in shady areas Requires full sun. Will not tolerate shady conditions Grows best in full sun will and will moderately tolerate shade
ReproductionRunners, rhizomes, and seeds Seeds, runners, and rhizomes Produces above-ground runners that allow it to spread and grow
What type of grass is best for your lawn?