St. Augustine Grass

Stenotaphrum secundatum

St. Augustine Grass, Carpet Grass, Grama Dulce

About This Plant

Shade or partial shade. St. Augustine is thick, lush and evergreen in ideal settings. The visibly folded blades are rounded at the tip. This is the go-to turfgrass for moderate shade under big trees, as long as soils are at least 8-12 inches deep. It often looks happiest in the dappled shade under a pecan tree — because where pecans are thriving, soils are likely to be fairly deep. ‘Floratam’ is a drought-hardy cultivar that can be used on sunnier sites.

Origins: Tropical and subtropical Atlantic, including coasts of Africa, West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico.


St. Augustine shouldn’t be cut shorter than 3 inches; raise the mower blades and mow it every 10 days or so during the warm season. In dry summers you may need to provide St. Augustine 1/2 inch of supplemental water on a weekly basis. To prevent fungal diseases, do it in the morning and avoid wetting it at night.

In winter St. Augustine normally goes dormant; monthly rainfall is usually sufficient to keep the roots moist until March or April.

A dense turfgrass for sites with some shade; expect extra watering if you grow it in the sun.

Min. Height: 6 inches'

Max Height: 1 foot'

Min. Width: 3'

Max Width: 6 inches'

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