St. Augustine grass is a type of grass that might be useful for lawns in very hot and humid areas, but this grass cannot survive well in areas that are cold or dry. However, for areas that have a lot of salt in the soil, such as coastal areas, St. Augustine grass, which is very thick and has a vibrant color, thrives well.
St. Augustine grass is the oldest coastal grass and migrated to Australia, Africa and southern parts of the United States. Humans transported St. Augustine grass away from pasture areas to grow a new source of food for cattle to graze. However, this grass stopped being grown as a pasturage grass when the irrigation and land treatments prevented it from thriving. Now, this grass is mostly grown for lawns.
A couple of St. Augustine grass varieties exist, including the Floralawn, the Raleigh, Common, the Jade, the Floratine, the Floratam and the Seville. Texas A&M University explained that St. Augustine grass has only been propagated for 200 years and that there hasn't been enough cross-breeding to create a greater number of varieties.
Warm southern parts of the United States can grow St. Augustine grass. This grass must be grown in warm areas because it does not survive well in hot weather. The grass can be found in very watery regions such as near marshes, lagoons and beaches. However, this grass can grow anywhere that has the appropriate moisture. This type of grass must only have moderate shade. Semi-fertile soil and high temperatures are the most conducive to St. Augustine grass thriving. If the conditions for St. Augustine grass are optimal, this is an easy plant to maintain, as long as the grass is watered frequently. Texas A&M University reported that this grass prefers soil with a pH range of 5 to 8.5. Since this plant is designed to survive in coastal areas, it is very salt-resistant.
St. Augustine grass is a wide-bladed, dense, dark green grass. The plant is coarse with roots at the nodes. The stigmas produced by the St. Augustine plants vary in color, according to Texas A&M University, with some varieties having white stigmas and some varieties having purple stigmas. However, the grass is usually mowed and the color of the grass stigma is usually not seen.
Propagating St. Augustine grass through seeds is difficult, with plugs, sod or sprigs being more commonly used. Companies have tried to develop seeds for St. Augustine grass, but the results have been inconsistent because the seeds do not set well.