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Got Shade? Want Grass?


Not everyone will have a warm, sunny patch of land to grow grass in.

In fact, a lot of people will have a lawn that is partly or mostly in shade. If the shaded areas of your lawn are not planted with the right type of grass you may end up with a lawn that is part grass and part bare dirt.

Thankfully, there are many types of grass that will generally grow well in shadier areas!

Let’s take a quick look at some of the options that you can choose from.

How Much Sunlight Does Your Grass Really Need?


Grass, like all plants, needs sunlight to grow. Some grass will need full sun throughout the day while others may only need a few hours.

Keep in mind that no grass will be able to survive in an area that is 100% shaded.

All grass types, even the most shade-resistant of varieties will need a minimum level of sunlight to be able to grow.

In most cases, you will need to make sure that your grass is getting at least four hours of direct sunlight or a minimum of six to eight hours of dappled sunlight per day.

If the grass isn’t getting at least the minimum sunlight required to survive, you may have to consider trimming back the trees. For many homeowners, this is a last resort option.

If you do decide you need to prune your trees, it’s best to start with the lower branches. This will make it easier for sunlight to penetrate through the upper canopy.

Best Shade-Tolerant Grass Varieties to Choose

Picking the right variety of grass for the shady areas in your lawn is half the battle, and there are many types to choose from.

You’ll find that some seed and seed mixes sold online and in stores are conveniently marked as “shade-tolerant”.

Below are generally regarded as the best grass-types to grow in the shade.

Warm Season Grasses

1. Zoysia

📷: Total Landscape Care

Zoysia grass is a hardy grass type known for superior wear and tear resistance and growing well in unfavorable conditions.

Most varieties of Zoysia will need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight. Some cultivars even claim that 3 hours is enough to sustain the grass!

2. Centipede

📷: Pennington

Popular due to its low maintenance needs, Centipede grass is very tolerant to high temperatures and can grow well in poor soil conditions.

Centipede will do best in full sun, but it is still fairly shade tolerant only needing 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.

3. St. Augustine

📷: Clemson Coop Ext.

St. Augustine is an attractive grass that requires a moderate amount of maintenance and is best suited for warm and wet regions.

In ideal conditions, St. Aug will grow rapidly in full sun, but you will find that it struggles in heavily shaded areas. It will require at least 6 hours or more of direct sunlight a day.

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