Several factors come into play when choosing the best grass for Florida lawns or green spaces. Florida's hot and humid climate demands a warm-season grass that can withstand temperatures above 90 degrees F for half the year. Grass grown in Florida must also be able to tolerate the state's high annual rainfall of 50 inches, or more. When choosing a specific grass cultivar, especially for a lawn, consider the hardiness of the grass and its ability to withstand disease and climate variations.
Select a grass type that performs well in your region of Florida. The Classic cultivar of St. Augustine grass thrives in northern Florida. The Amerishade cultivar is best suited to the warmer climates of southern Florida.
Choose a grass that will perform well in the desired location. Common Bahia grass grows too sparsely for lawns, but the Argentine cultivar of Bahia grass is dense with good insect and disease resistance, making it a good choice for high-traffic lawns.
Determine if you need a shade-tolerant or sun-tolerant cultivar. The Delta Shade cultivar of St. Augustine grass suits shaded areas, while Bermuda grass and Floratam, a cultivar of St. Augustine grass, performs well in full sun.
Opt for a grass suited to your area's soil type. The Raleigh cultivar of St. Augustine grass performs well in heavy, clay soils. Porous, sandy soils need a drought-tolerant grass such as Bahia grass' Pensacola cultivar.
Select a grass type based on how much maintenance it will need to thrive. Bermuda grass requires constant maintenance, including frequent fertilizing, watering and chemical applications for disease and growth. Amerishade requires less frequent mowing, but is susceptible to disease and recovers slowly once disease sets in. Bahia grass requires mowing only once every seven to 14 days, but requires supplements of iron regularly.