The Grass Types for Shade Areas

Grass, like all plants, gets its energy from the sun. Sunlight is absorbed by the grass blades, and the grass then creates energy through the process of photosynthesis. Most grass species require direct sunlight to create sufficient energy to sustain themselves. However, a few grass species have a unique tolerance for shady lawn environments.

Tall Fescue Grass

Tall fescue is a cool-season grass with a high tolerance for shady, highly trafficked lawn areas. Found throughout the northern United States, tall fescue is best maintained with regular fertilization and mowing to a height of 2 to 3 inches.

Fine Fescue Grass

Fine fescue is a cool-season grass with the unique ability to thrive in dry, shady environments. Lacking tolerance for heavy foot traffic, fine fescue should not be used in high-traffic lawn areas and grows best in the cooler weather of spring and fall.

Perennial Rye Grass

Perennial rye is a shade-tolerant, cool-season grass that prefers moist, cool climates. Preferring a closer mow height of approximately 1 to 2 inches and frequent fertilization and irrigation, perennial rye will wilt and turn brown during periods of prolonged heat.

St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine is a partially shade-tolerant, warm-season grass preferring moist, tropical climates. Commonly grown in the southern United States, St. Augustine has a poor tolerance for foot traffic and cold temperatures. Although tolerant of partially shady conditions, St. Augustine grass will thin out and become sparse in excessive shade.

Carpet Grass

Carpet grass is a warm-season grass that grows in shady, wet, sandy soils throughout the south. Used extensively for erosion control, carpet grass can grow in a wide variety of infertile soil conditions and requires little maintenance.

Keywords: Carpet Grass, St. Augustine Grass, Perennial Rye Grass, Fine Fescue Grass, Tall Fescue Grass, lawn grass for shade

About this Author

Ryan Kane is an experienced professional pilot and freelance writer. In addition to writing about aviation related topics, Kane enjoys writing about a diverse range of science and technology topics.