St. Augustine

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St. Augustine grass is often the most popular choice for lawns throughout southern United States. Especially in coastal regions where cold temperature extremes are moderated by oceanic climatic conditions.

Good for coastal regions, thrives in heat, does poorly in cool climates. Somewhat shade tolerant. Can be used in moist, semi-fertile soils. At the moment, most common installation method is sodding or plugs; seeds are very difficult to obtain if not impossible.

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HIGHLIGHTS: Compared to finer textured grasses like the Bermudas, St. Augustine has large flat stems and broad coarse leaves. It has an attractive blue-green color and forms a deep, fairly dense turf. It spreads by long above-ground runners or stolons. While it is aggressive, it is easily controlled around borders. It produces only a few viable seeds and is therefore commonly planted by sod, sprigs, or plugs.

St. Augustine grass is a big thatch producer, more so than other types of grass. It also requires plenty of moisture and is best suited to humid regions. Has good shade tolerance, except for Floratam. Susceptible to fungal diseases.



Texture: coarse

Cold Tolerance: Poor (damage possible below 20)

Shade Tolerance: tolerates moderate levels of shade, but will become thin under dense shade conditions.

Traffic Tolerance: Poor

Rate of Establishment: Medium/Fast

Planting: sod or plugs

Watering: needs weekly watering for optimal appearance, but will survive drought conditions

Mowing: Height: 2" — 4"

Common Pests:
grubs, chinch bugs, mole crickets, sod webworms, armyworms, and cutworms

Thatch: heavy producer of thatch made from stolons

 

WARNING: an ingredient in many weed/feed products (2,4-D) that were designed for cool-season grasses, Bermuda and Bahia grass, can kill St. Augustine. If you intend to use a weed/feed product, make sure it is labeled for St. Augustine grass use.

 

Varieties of St. Augustine

Bitter-Blue: a good option for shady lawns. Its slow growth rate means you mow less often. Has an improved cold weather tolerance.

Floratam: A popular among Florida homeowners, Floratam is adaptable to many soil conditions and thrives in direct sunlight.

Palmetto: Good in coastal and island areas and is rapidly being positioned as a standard St. Augustine, having proved itself repeatedly since 1994. Prefers heat but will handle cold better than other types of St. Augustine. Performs well in both full sun and partial shade.

Sapphire: The only high performance, finer blade St. Augustine. Has a distinctive deep, blue-green color along with a soft texture. Suitable for demanding, warm climates, Sapphire tolerates salt, shade and drought, making it an excellent choice for coastal regions. Requires less fertilization and displays improved recovery from wear, with reduced weed problems.

Seville: Blue-green in color with excellent color retention, Seville tolerates salt, shade and drought well. Its long leaf blade gives it a unique appearance preferred by many homeowners.