What Is the Best Grass Seed for Shade?


Growing grass in shady yard areas can be a challenge, but according to Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, any site that receives at least three hours of direct sunlight per day can grow various types of grass.


Selection of grass seed depends upon your climate, elevation, and the amount of shade the site receives each day.


Zoysia and St Augustine grass seeds are recommended for growing in warm, low elevation areas of less than 3000 feet, where there is moderate to partial shade in the planting area. Tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass seed is ideal for mid level elevation areas of 3,000 to 4,200 feet in moderate to low levels of daily sunlight. For elevations over 7,500 feet, Kentucky bluegrass and several types of fescue including tall, creeping red, hard, and Chewing's can all thrive in moderate to high levels of shade.


Local nurseries and home improvement centers stock the grass seed that grows optimally in your area.


Grass does not flourish in consistently wet soil. Make sure you plant any grass seed in a well-drained area.


Grass lawns became popular after 1830, when Edwin Budding invented the lawn mower.


  • Penn State, College of Agricultural Sciences, 2008
  • Kopec, David M. Lawns Grass Selections for Shade. University of Arizona, Cooperative Extension, 2004
  • Edwin Beard Budding. The Gloucestershire Portal, 2006

Who Can Help

  • United States Department of Agriculture.
Keywords: grass, grass seed, shade

About this Author

Barbara Biehler is a freelance writer who has written articles for various websites, as well as online specialty courses for MyComputerBuddies.com. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida and over 15 years experience in business development, sales and marketing. An avid gardener, cook and voracious reader, Biehler resides with her family near Nashville, Tennessee.