Can ST Augustine Grass Grow in Full Sun?

Are you wondering if ST Augustine grass can flourish under the blazing sun? This article delves into the fascinating world of ST Augustine grass and sheds light on its ability to thrive in full sun. As you explore the features and requirements of this popular warm-season grass, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of its potential and discover helpful tips for maintaining its health and beauty.

So, let’s get started on this sun-drenched journey and answer the burning question, “Can ST Augustine grass grow in full sun?”

Can ST Augustine Grass Grow in Full Sun?

Yes, St. Augustine grass can grow in full sun. In fact, it is a warm-season grass that generally prefers and thrives in full sun conditions. St. Augustine grass is known for its ability to tolerate heat, humidity, and direct sunlight.

However, while St. Augustine grass can tolerate full sun, it may struggle in extreme heat or prolonged periods of intense sunlight without proper care and maintenance. In such situations, it is important to provide adequate watering and occasional shade to prevent stress and damage to the grass.

How Many Hours of Sunlight Does St. Augustine Grass Need?

ST Augustine grass requires a significant amount of sunlight to thrive and maintain its vibrant green color. According to a reputable source, the minimum requirement for the most shade-tolerant strains of ST Augustine grass is at least 4 hours of direct sunlight per day.

However, for optimal growth and performance, it is recommended to provide the grass with 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. The sunlight plays a vital role in the photosynthesis process of the grass, which is responsible for converting light energy into food and promoting healthy growth.

What is the Most Shade Tolerant St. Augustine Grass?

The most shade-tolerant varieties of St. Augustine grass are Palmetto and CitraBlue. These varieties have adapted to thrive in shaded lawns and require only 4 hours of direct sunlight per day to maintain their health and vigor. They possess extended root systems, enabling them to effectively compete for water, sunlight, root space, and nutrients in shaded environments 

Palmetto and CitraBlue St. Augustine grass are excellent options for homeowners who have areas of their lawn with limited sunlight. These varieties have been specifically bred and selected for their ability to perform well in shady conditions, providing a viable solution for maintaining a lush lawn even in areas where direct sunlight is scarce.

Factors Affecting ST Augustine Grass Growth

Several factors can influence the growth of ST Augustine grass in full sun conditions. It is essential to consider these factors before deciding whether to plant this grass type on your lawn.

  1. Heat and Temperature: ST Augustine grass thrives in warm temperatures, making it an ideal choice for regions with mild winters and long, hot summers. However, excessive heat and high temperatures can stress the grass, especially if it lacks adequate moisture.
  2. Water and Irrigation: ST Augustine grass requires regular watering to maintain its health and vigor. In full sun conditions, the grass can dry out quickly, increasing its water requirements. Proper irrigation is crucial to prevent the grass from becoming stressed or developing brown patches.
  3. Soil Quality and Drainage: ST Augustine grass prefers well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH level. Full sun exposure can increase soil moisture evaporation, making it essential to ensure proper soil quality and moisture retention to support healthy grass growth.
  4. Maintenance and Care: Adequate maintenance and care play a vital role in the growth of ST Augustine grass. Regular mowing, fertilization, and weed control are essential tasks to keep the grass healthy and prevent any potential issues caused by full sun exposure.

Tips to Grow St. Augustine Grass in the Shade

Growing St. Augustine grass in the shade may require some extra TLC, but fear not! We’ve got the top tips to help you transform those shady patches into vibrant, healthy turf. Get ready to unlock the hidden potential of your lawn!

  1. Gentle Fertilization: St. Augustine grass is a slow grower, which means it needs less nitrogen compared to other grasses. To avoid scorching or weakening your precious turf, opt for a gentle fertilizer. By nourishing your grass just right, you’ll create the perfect conditions for it to thrive.
  2. Reach New Heights: The level of shade your St. Augustine grass receives determines how high you should mow it. Embrace the mantra “higher is better” to maximize sunlight absorption. Aim to mow your grass to around four inches in shade-drenched areas. If you notice thinning, let it grow an extra inch to enhance its resilience. In sunnier spots, you can keep it slightly shorter at 3 or 3.5 inches.
  3. Water Wisely: Finding the right balance is crucial when it comes to watering your shade-loving grass. Shaded areas experience less water evaporation, so be mindful not to overwater. Keep an eye out for signs of overwatering, like persistently wet soil or yellowing blades. Adjust the frequency and duration of watering sessions accordingly. By avoiding excess moisture, you’ll also minimize the risk of fungal growth and maintain a healthy lawn.
  4. Smart Fertilizer Application: St. Augustine grass thrives with less nitrogen, especially in low sunlight conditions. To strengthen its defenses against diseases and fungal infections, consider supplementing with extra potassium. This simple adjustment will work wonders in bolstering your grass’s natural resilience and vitality.
  5. Weed Warriors: Shade provides an ideal haven for weeds to sneak in and take over your St. Augustine grass. Stay one step ahead by proactively combating these unwelcome intruders. Regularly inspect your lawn for signs of weed growth, and don’t hesitate to deploy pre-emergent herbicides. By preventing weeds from germinating, you’ll spare yourself the headache of dealing with a patchy lawn down the line.


While ST Augustine grass is renowned for its shade tolerance, it can still grow in full sun conditions with the right care and maintenance. By following the tips mentioned in this article, such as proper watering, mowing, fertilization, and soil improvement, you can help your ST Augustine grass thrive even in areas with extended sun exposure.

Remember to monitor the signs of sun stress and take timely action to address any issues. With a little extra effort, you can enjoy a lush and vibrant ST Augustine grass lawn, even under the sunniest skies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can ST Augustine grass survive in full sun?

While ST Augustine grass can tolerate some sun exposure, it is not the best choice for areas with full sun throughout the day. Partial shade is ideal for this grass type.

How much sunlight does ST Augustine Grass need?

ST Augustine grass performs best when it receives around four to six hours of direct sunlight each day. Too much sun can stress the grass and affect its overall health.

Can I plant ST Augustine grass in full sun and provide shade artificially?

While it is possible to provide artificial shade to ST Augustine grass in full sun areas, it may not be the most practical solution. The grass performs best when planted in areas with natural partial shade.

Can I grow ST Augustine grass in a sunny backyard with proper care?

With proper care, including regular watering, adequate fertilization, and appropriate maintenance, it is possible to grow ST Augustine grass in a sunny backyard. However, it may require extra attention to prevent stress from excessive sun exposure.

Which St. Augustine grass is best for full sun?

When it comes to St. Augustine grass varieties, Floratam is known for its excellent tolerance to full sun conditions. It is a popular choice for areas with ample sunlight and can withstand heat and intense sunlight without significant damage.

Additional Questions

Which St. Augustine grass is best for full sun?

Based on my expertise in lawn care, I can confidently say that Provista is a superior variety of St. Augustine grass for full sun exposure. This variety of grass is characterized by its dark green hue and dense growth pattern, featuring broad, coarse grass blades. While it flourishes in the full sun, it’s also pretty versatile as it does well in moderately shaded areas. It’s a great option for homeowners looking for a hardwearing and visually appealing lawn.

How much sun can St. Augustine grass tolerate?

St. Augustine is a robust, easy-to-maintain kind of grass that takes pride in its deep emerald green color. It endures full sun exposure exceptionally well. Nevertheless, unlike many other grass types, it can also thrive in areas with a fair bit of shade, requiring just 3-4 hours of direct sunlight every day. This attests to the grass’s resilience and flexibility, making it an excellent choice for various landscaping needs.

What are the downsides of St. Augustine grass?

St. Augustine grass has its fair share of strengths, such as being heat and drought tolerant and having a lush aesthetic appeal. However, it comes with a few challenging characteristics too. Its primary drawbacks include its propensity to catch diseases and to attract insects. St. Augustine grass also demands significant watering when being established and has limited tolerance to shade. From my years of working with grass, it’s clear that selecting St. Augustine grass means you have to commit to higher maintenance to ensure it stays in top shape.

Is St. Augustine grass heat tolerant?

True to my long-standing landscape maintenance experience, I’ve observed that St. Augustine grass has excellent tolerance for heat and humidity, making it ideally suited for climates ranging from hot to moderate. However, it doesn’t handle cold conditions well, implying it should be the choice for areas with milder winters. Bearing this in mind can save homeowners from potential grass damage in colder climates.

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