What are the Best Grass for Shade in Texas

For shaded lawns in subtropical areas like Texas, I suggest these three grass types: St. Augustine, Bermuda, or Zoysia. 

Across Mid to West Texas, Buffalograss grows as a low-maintenance lawn grass. It grows in sunny areas and can tolerate slight shade. Zoysia and St. Augustine are the two most commonly found shade-tolerant grasses in East Texas.

Not that all grasses can survive in complete shade. Although, it’s important to take this into consideration when selecting a type to re-turf any backyard.

Top 5 Grass for Shade in Texas 

For shaded lawns in warm regions in Texas, I recommend these 5 grass types: Bermuda, St. Augustine, Buffalograss, Shade grass, and Grass Mondo. 

There is no such thing as ideal grass. Every type of grass that I will explain has advantages and disadvantages. My objective is to offer you plenty of information to help you decide which grass will be best suited to the growth circumstances on your land.

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda Grass
Bermuda Grass

One of the most popular grasses found in most Central Texas yards has to be either “Common Bermuda” or “Tifway Bermuda.” Both of these grasses are tolerant to drought and give good longevity. Tifway grasses have thinner edges than regular bermudagrasses. 

Regular Bermuda has the disadvantage of producing ugly seed cones. As a result, these grasses don’t quite flourish beneath tree canopies or around densely constructed dwellings. These two Bermuda species need at least 8 – 10 hours of sunshine daily.

Celebration Bermuda Grass – Primarily developed in Australia, Celebration Bermuda grasses are extremely drought resistant. It’s also eye-catching because of its rich blue-green tint.

Celebration grasses tolerate shade better than other Bermuda grass turf varieties. It needs at least 5 hours of direct sunlight. Also, it is more tolerant to weed than the different Bermuda kinds described due to its stronger rhizome structure. 

This grass has a handful of drawbacks as well. Bermudagrasses are well-known for their low resistance to numerous insect, fungus, and parasite problems, which restricts their usage throughout most residential lawn setups. This turfgrass is notable for its rapid growth from above-ground and ground plant stems, which may swiftly surpass landscapes and flower gardens.

Bermuda grasses are pretty simple to maintain, particularly if you water the turf just a few times every week. You could have the most lively, gorgeous yard on the street by trimming, watering, fertilizing, and spraying pesticides as required. 

St Augustine

St Augustine
St Augustine

Raleigh St. Augustine is quite a light green hue. It is tolerant to the SAD virus and grows best in deeper clay mud. Raleigh provides thick root covering, finer grained and shade resistant than Flora tam. Raleigh needs 4 hours of sunshine and does well in shady areas. 

Palmetto St Augustine is also an excellent St Augustine grass. Palmetto is slightly more cold-resistant than standard St. Augustine grasses.

Some of its features include a brilliant greenish hue, flourishes with little care, shade and drought resistance, and cold and heat tolerance. Palmetto needs three hours of sunshine daily and thrives in partial or complete shade. 

St. Augustine Floratam has a waxy texture and a rapid growth condition. This type of grass can tolerate heat very well and mostly flourishes in Western Texas. It also handles shades well. This is a wonderful choice if you have plenty of trees or shade on the lawn.

Start fertilizing four weeks just after the grasses have become greener when there’s a minimal risk of severe snowfall. After 10 weeks, spray 1.5 pounds of liquid nitrogen urea per 1,200 square feet of turf. And after the next 15 weeks, add 5-10 pounds of pest nitrogen. Have the topsoil examined to see whether the yard requires any more fertilizers. 



Buffalograss 609 is a natural blue-green fibrous root turf with a thick, smooth grain. These buffalograsses are denser and have a deeper blue-green hue than Prairie buffalograss. 

Buffalograss needs less water than other turfgrasses due to its slower growth rate and drought resistance. Buffalograss doesn’t withstand shade and requires direct sunlight.

Turffalo buffalograss is a species of buffalograss produced in Amarillo, Texas. Turffalo is said to be denser and richer than Buffalograss 609. Also, there is a shade variation. It may be rather costly. 

A type of Buffalograss is known as Buchloe dactyloides. This is a Texas native lawn grass that provides an option to other water-absorbing grasses. This tough short grass grassland inhabitant is tolerant to drought and resistant to diseases by nature. It’s an excellent choice for commercial and residential grass, golf courses, and coastal protection. 

Bouteloua dactyloides grow rapidly through root systems to produce a thick layer on top of the soil. The well-textured, pale-to-colored grass blade reaches 8-15 inches in length but twists and hangs over to provide the appearance of being shorter.

Keeping this in account, a good and healthy Tender Buffalo lawn might need trimming every 7-15 days throughout the summertime. In contrast, other grounds in the proper state might still need trimming every 3-4 weeks. 

Shade Grass

Shade Grass
Shade Grass

A widespread misunderstanding is that St. Augustine would not survive in the shadows. St Augustine may grow in moderate shade. However, it requires at least 5 hours in direct sunlight. In the total shade, St Augustine grasses will perish.

Fescue and bluegrass are the few types of grass that can live in full shade. The issue with Bluegrass or Fescue is that they are colder-temperature grasses that die in the summer months. The grasses will grow again in the fall, but you’ll need to add extra seed during the initial years to maintain the lawn thick.

In Texas’ hot climate, these types of grass remain green all year. They don’t become pale easily. Some yard owners might be worried about wanting to trim in the wintertime, but although the grass remains green, it doesn’t grow much.

You may be required to trim from November to January once or twice per month. If you’re only fixing little shadow patches in the lawn, you usually won’t need further lawn care. 

Winter-season grasses can endure more shade than summer-season grasses, but this varies. One of the greatest warm-season grasses for shaded areas is zoysia grass. While Centipede and Bahiagrass grass may tolerate some shade, Bermudagrass grass needs full light. 

Grass Mondo

Grass Mondo
Grass Mondo

Mondo Grass is not commonly thought of as a grass alternative. Mondo grasses are decorative grass that is typically provided in 5-inch flats. Its primary application is as a vegetation boundary around planting landscapes. You may mow it the same way you would the rest of the Bermuda Grass lawn. 

I recommend sprigging Mondo grasses in the shaded regions and allowing them to spread over time. Add some Fescue grass seed to fill in the barren spots while you wait for the Mondo grasses to develop and cover-up.

It is optional to proceed with the fescues seed after the Mondo grasses have filled in. Mondo grasses will reach a height of 4 to 7 inches. Trim it to 2-3 inches, and you’ll have grass growing all year inside the shade.  

This grass is a rapid spreader that should be utilized in locations that require complete coverage since it’ll wipe out all other trees and shrubs. The mondo grass mostly used is Ophiopogon Japonicus, which has thin, bold-colored blades that can grow in shady places too.

Small mondo grasses can be stepped on sometimes. However, daily foot activity may damage it. Put stepping blocks or some walkway if you have to pass through a spot. These grasses are absolutely pet-friendly as well, so choosing this grass won’t be a harm to your lawn.


In Texas, what grasses grow best in the shade?

Augustinegrass is a coarse-textured grass that is mostly utilized as yard grass. It could be planted in much of Texas. However, it might be destroyed by brutal winters in Texas’s northernmost areas. 

What grasses survive in the complete shade?

Fine and Tall Fescues, Ryegrass, and other shade-tolerant grasses are ideal for cold-season locations. They need at least 4 hours of sunlight to grow. St. Augustinegrass and Zoysia Grass are two hot-season types of grass that can survive in partial shade.

Is it best to plant St. Augustine or Zoysia for shade?

Zoysia grasses do not grow well in densely forested regions. However, St.Augustine is amongst the most shade-tolerant grass species. So, you can plant St. Augustine in your yard to grow in the shade. 


There is no ideal grass for every yard. Every grass species has its pros and cons. Each lawn has its own set of difficulties and situations. If you review the descriptions of each grass I talked about, you’ll be able to choose the ideal grass for your lawn. 

Quite often, the issue is not about the type of grass but the quality of the backyard’s soil. Choose the best grass to fit the lawn and get it done.

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