The Best Grass for Shade in the Carolinas

Are you a homeowner in the Carolinas looking to buy sod for your shady home lawn? While shade may feel like a difficult obstacle to overcome for homeowners in both North and South Carolina, there are several grasses that are especially suited for those tricky shady spots or entire lawns. Growing grass in shade is actually pretty simple if you choose the right grass for your yard. If you are wondering how to grow grass in shade, check out the top three grasses we recommend for shady conditions in the Carolinas.

The Best St. Augustine Grass for Shade in the Carolinas

This grass’s beautiful color and texture aren’t the only draw—it also has the amazing ability to service and thrive in shady and sunny conditions. For this reason, Palmetto® St. Augustine is a great pick for lawns that experience both shade and sun throughout the day. St. Augustines are already known to be the most shade tolerant warm season turfgrass varieties. Palmetto is a superior St. Augustine variety that outcompetes other St. Augustines in their shade tolerance. Other features of this grass include disease resistance and wear tolerance. The versatility of Palmetto St. Augustine has made it the #1 selling patented grass in the United States with over two billion sq. ft. sold. Selected for its better color and finer texture, Palmetto also demonstrates superior shade, cold, frost, heat and drought tolerance.

The Best Zoysia Grass for Shade in the Carolinas

With zoysia grasses, a general guideline to keep in mind is the finer the leaf blade, the more shade tolerant it is. InnovationTM Zoysia  is a dark green, medium/fine textured grass that serves as an excellent choice for homeowners who live in the transition zones of North and South Carolina. This grass can withstand extreme hot and cool temperatures, which is a rare feature for a zoysia grass. As a finer-bladed zoysia, Innovation is one of the most shade tolerant of zoysias with a blade width of about 2 mm. This grass demonstrates very good shade tolerance and is known to do well in areas heavily shaded by trees and buildings for most of the day. Innovation is a great choice for homeowners who love the fine leaf texture of zoysias and are dealing with shady lawns located in the tricky transition zones of the Carolinas.

If you are looking for a grass that is beautiful, disease resistant, drought tolerant and highly durable as well as being shade tolerant, look no further than EMPIRE® Zoysia. This grass is the best choice for southern home lawns that have bit of shade here and there. What’s even better is that EMPIRE is extremely low maintenance compared to other varieties of its kind. EMPIRE is a medium textured zoysia grass grown in warm season areas with moderate shade tolerance. With a blade width of 5–7 mm, EMPIRE’s blades aren’t as fine as Innovation Zoysias and ranks second to Innovation’s shade tolerance. EMPIRE Zoysia is the proven zoysia grass that thrives in areas where others are not well adapted.

The Best Bermudagrass for Shade in the Carolinas

A winner in numerous university studies when it comes to wear and recovery, drought tolerance and bermudagrass shade tolerance, Celebration® Bermudagrass is extremely popular for home, commercial and sports applications for good reason. Celebration is known for its standout blue-green color, a feature that homeowners love. Although bermudagrasses are the least shade tolerant of all grass species, Celebration is a shade tolerant bermudagrass cultivar. This grass is especially suited for the climate of the Carolinas and is a good pick for homeowners that deal with shady conditions but also insist on a gorgeous yard.

Regardless of which grass you choose for your North or South Carolina home lawn, maintaining your shade tolerant variety a little higher in mowing height will provide a greater surface area for the grass to photosynthesize the reduced sunlight it receives in those shady conditions. Be sure to also keep an eye out for any disease outbreaks that may occur in the areas that receive less sunlight. For more information, read Choosing the Right Grass for Shade or shop our available fungicides online. Lastly, if you are a North or South Carolina homeowner looking for grass that requires the least amount of maintenance possible, be sure to visit the Sod University article on The Best Grass for Low Maintenance in the Carolinas.

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