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Which Type of Grass Is Best for Shady Areas?

Every backyard needs some degree of shade, but homeowners often struggle with finding grass that grows in shade — and many simply resign themselves to bare, dusty patches of ground being the price they have to pay for having graceful, mature trees in their outdoor living space. Growing a healthy lawn is also challenging when nearby tall buildings cast significant shade.  However, there are certain varieties of grass that perform well under trees and in other shaded locations. The following types of lawn grass are best for shady areas.

Warm Season Grasses for Shaded Conditions

Warm-season grasses perform best when daytime outdoor temperatures are over 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Zoysia is native to Asia and has become one of the most widely used turfgrasses on golf courses. Even though it’s a warm-season grass, zoysia tolerates light frosts fairly well, making it an excellent choice for transition regions.

St. Augustine

Widely grown in the southern U.S. states, St. Augustine includes several cultivars that do fairly well in shaded conditions. These cultivars are Palmetto, Saphhire, and Seville. 

Cool Season Grasses for Shaded Conditions 

Cool-season grasses are those that have adapted to thrive in areas with significant fluctuations in temperature. The varieties that perform best in shade include Fescue and Perennial Ryegrass. 

It’s essential, however, to realize that no type of grass will grow in full shade. Even the most shade-tolerant types will need about four hours of direct sunlight per day. Areas that receive less than that will need a ground cover other than grass, such as ferns or hosta. 

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