St. Augustine grass has been adapted to subtropical regions and grows best where it is believed to be native--the coastal regions of the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Mexico. It is the most common grass used for lawns in Florida. The grass is dense with a green to bluish-green color. It tolerates salt and some shade.
St. Augustine grass turns brown during drought conditions. There are watering restrictions in most areas of Florida, because in most years there is not enough rain to maintain the use of water by Florida's excessive population. Most counties only allow watering once per week, but some counties (depending on the severity of the drought) forbid any lawn watering by homeowners.
In most areas of Florida, St. Augustine grass does not stay green throughout the winter. Since this grass prefers heat and humidity, once the cold season (December through February) starts, the St. Augustine grass turns brown. It will come back in the spring.
Pest and Disease Problems
There are two major pest problems with St. Augustine grass in Florida--chinch bugs and grubs. Destroy grubs and chinch bugs with pesticides as soon as possible, as they will destroy the entire yard in a short amount of time.
Additionally, some of the St. Augustine cultivars are susceptible to brown patch, root rot, take-all patch and gray leaf. Some of these diseases are brought into the yard by weeds that are difficult to control. Weeds such as sand spurs propagate very easily, and once they take hold in the yard, they are difficult to remove--further increasing the risk of disease. If you notice weeds, pull them immediately. Contact your local nursery for the proper fungicides for your lawn's specific problem.