7 Best Grass for Shade In Texas + Tips for Growing In Shady Spots!

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Are you looking for the best grass for shade in Texas? Start here! If you’ve got a shaded patch of land in your yard or homestead, getting lush grass to grow can be a nightmare! So let’s look at the best grass varieties for shade in Texas. And to suit every situation.

We’ll also share some of our best tips for growing grass in stubborn shady spots.

Lovely green grass growing in the shade.

Sound good?

Then let’s begin!

How Do I Grow Grass In Heavy Shade?

thick carpet of zoysia with palm trees casting shady shadows
If you’re trying to grow grass in the shade, it’s an uphill battle! The first measure we advise is to conduct a soil test. Your grass in the shade needs all the help it can get. So – ensure that your soil is balanced and nutritionally suitable for your turfgrass. We also want to let you know that sometimes you can skip the grass! Consider growing clover and herbaceous or edible ground covers that can make an excellent alternative if your turfgrass refuses to grow in the shade. (But if you insist on growing grass in a shady spot, then no worries. We’re about to share some of our favorite shade-tolerant grass types for Texas homesteads!)

Sadly, when it comes to growing lush green grass, sunlight is pretty much essential! However, a shady area doesn’t mean you have to go without a nice patch of bright green grass. After all, relaxing on the grass under a tree’s shade is one of the greatest pleasures of the hot summer months!

But to grow grass in a heavy shade, you must assess the area and ground conditions. Carefully! You must also choose the right type of grass.

Tips for Growing Grass In Shady Spots

Is the area shaded due to a solid wall or fence? Or because it is under a tree? This shady-nuance can make a big difference, as even under a tree, you will get spotty sunlight which will benefit the grass.

But, some locations might lack any sunlight, which makes it harder for grass to grow.

Also – take a good look at the soil conditions. Is it damp and compacted? Or dry and sandy? The former may need to get aerated to loosen the soil and improve drainage, while the latter would benefit from mulch and irrigation until the grass becomes well-established.

It is also a good idea to try and assess how shade levels will vary according to the seasons. Different grasses will grow at various times of the year. These grass-growing variations can affect whether you choose a warm or cool-season variety of grass.

A patch of land that only has a few hours of sunlight at the start or end of the day may be able to sustain cool-season grasses.

Will Any Grass Grow In Full Shade?

Not really. It is surprisingly tricky to grow grass that gets shaded all day long. Sunlight is essential for good root and leaf development. Without it, grass will not thrive.

Luckily, it is very unusual to come across an area that does not receive some sunlight during the day. Add to this the fact that some grasses don’t mind shade for part of the day, and there is no reason you can’t grow a lovely patch of grass.

Read More – 12 Best Flowering Shrubs for Texas! Grasslands, Wetlands, and Deserts!

What Is the Best Grass for Shade In Texas?

If you live in Texas, you’ll be familiar with the challenges of growing anything in a warmer climate! As a rule, warm-season grasses are more suited to the Texan weather and unmerciful sun. But sometimes, a cool-season grass variety can also thrive in the shade.

If you’re unsure where to start, here are some of our favorite grass varieties for Texan lawns or any hot-weather homestead.

1. Bahia Grass

lovely stucco home with a bahia grass lawn and palm trees tropical plants and flowers
Bahiagrass is one of our favorite partial shade grass cultivars for North Texas lawns. Bahiagrass is also surprisingly popular far beyond Texas! We read that it’s also widely used in Florida and other southern parts of the USA. It came to the USA and Florida in 1913 when it got introduced as a forage grass. Fast forward over 100 years, and bahiagrass exists on over four million (4,000,000) acres throughout the Southern USA alone! We also read from a trustworthy source that bahiagrass is more shade tolerant than bermudagrass.

Bahia grass is a warm-season grass renowned for its ability to thrive in drought conditions, but it can also do remarkably well when grown in the shade. This grass variety gets used in silvopasture, where the grassland is cultivated underneath trees for animals to graze. It prefers sandy, well-drained soil, so it will not do well on heavily compacted ground.

2. St. Augustine Grass

thick st augustine turf grass bright green and robust
Check out the lovely dark-green color of these beautiful shade grasses – St. Augustine grass! St Augustine grass is perfect grass for hot weather that can abide shade. (Indeed, Augustine grass is famous for surviving shade more than other hot-weather grass cultivars.) We also read that Augustine grass tolerates higher mowing heights than many warm-weather or shaded grass cultivars. Even though we consider Augustine grass among our favorite shade-tolerant grasses, it’s not perfect. Several sources cite how you shouldn’t grow Augustine grass in a heavily trafficked area as it’s somewhat susceptible to getting trampled. You also may notice brown patches during the autumn freeze.

St. Augustine grass doesn’t mind light shade and compacted damp ground. It will grow relatively well in shaded areas under trees that receive dappled sunlight. This warm-season grass is markedly coarse in texture and will stand up well to heavy foot traffic.

Read More – 15 Best Plants for Hanging Baskets In Shade Gorgeous Flowers and Foliage!

3. Zoysia Grass

lovely looking zoysia matrella grass growing wildly and prolifically
Here is one of our favorite grass varieties for shade in Texas and healthy lawns. Zoysia grass! Zoysia grass came to the US (from Korea) around 1900. We know of at least a dozen zoysia grass cultivars, including emerald zoysia, palisades zoysia, zenith, and more. Many zoysia grass cultivars are tough and can survive shade and salt! We read that zoysia Matrella variety grass has some of the best shade tolerance. (We also read that zoysia grasses are native to Japan, China, and Southeast Asia.)

The great thing about Zoysia grass is that it retains a vibrant green color even when grown in shady areas. Zoysia grass is a warm-season variety of grass that is low maintenance and resilient to drought, heat, and cold.

4. Centipede Grass

freshly installed centipede grass sod growing on a landscaping jobsite
When researching the best grass for shade in Texas and throughout the United States, we couldn’t forget this little-known shade-tolerant grass. Centipede grass! We should also warn you that centipede grass will only tolerate moderate shade – and shouldn’t get cultivated adjacent to your favorite shade tree. Instead, only grow centipede grass in lightly shady spots. (We read from Clemson Coop Home & Garden Extension that centipede grass should get at least six hours of sun.) Texas A&M University also says that centipede grass is (otherwise) easy to manage and requires only minimal maintenance.

Centipede grass is ideally suited to the Texan climate, as it needs warmer winter temperatures to survive. It will require additional watering during dry periods in the summer, but you will get rewarded with a lush lawn with a high shade tolerance.

5. Fescue

inspecting a lovely vibrant and lush green tall fescue grass lawn
Tall fescues grow thick and dense along your entire lawn. Even in the shade! It’s the perfect grass for shade in Texas. We’ve read from several trustworthy gardening authorities that tall fescue grass can also survive in dense shade. So it’s excellent for growing around your home, next to oak trees, and around tree roots. Hard fescue is also famous for deeper roots – so it can survive drought more than other grass types.

Fescue is a cool season grass, so it may not suit all shady areas in a Texan garden. However, once fescue establishes, it can provide a nice thick layer of turf in a shaded area. This variety will grow well throughout the fall, winter, and spring. But it can look brown and squashed during the hotter summer months.

Read More – 20 Fruit Trees That Grow In Shade! They Will Surprise You!

6. Bluegrass

neatly landscaped bluegrass blades growing abundantly
Bluegrass is another excellent grass for shade in Texas. We’ve read from the University of UMass Amherst blog that bluegrass is the most prominent turf grass in America – due to its dense turf. And while bluegrass prefers direct sunlight, it also tolerates light shade.

Bluegrass prefers cooler weather, but this grass thrives in shaded, damp conditions. Bluegrass’s tolerance of moist weather can make it ideal for growing in the shade of walls and buildings, as long as it stays well irrigated during the hottest periods of the year.

7. Mondo Grass

black mondo grass groundcover crop with majestic dark purple leaves
If you’re looking for the best grass for shade in Texas, don’t forget this strange-looking grass-in-shade. Mondo grass! Mondo grass isn’t like other grass varieties on this list. It has thick, clumpy foliage – and some cultivars appear dark purple or black. It’s an evergreen that only grows to around six to twelve inches. Mondo grass tolerates partial shade and prefers a moist growing medium. It’s also perfect for lining your garden, walkway, path, or patio. However, it also grows surprisingly slowly. Don’t rush this plant!

Mondo grass is not grass at all! But it can make an excellent ground cover option for shaded areas. This plant forms thick mats of short green spikes that will thrive even in places where sunlight is minimal. It can be mown in the same way as traditional grass and provides an innovative solution to the problem of growing a lawn in a shaded spot.

Read More – How to Make Grass Green Fast! 9 Super Easy Pro Tips!

Summary – Best Grass For Shade In Texas

Growing grass in the shade in Texas can be tricky due to the combination of extreme heat and lack of sunlight. However, it is clear to see that there are some great options for creating a shaded lawn in your yard, as long as you choose your grass seed carefully. It may take several seasons to get a well-established patch of grass, but the effort will be worth it in the long run.

We’d love to hear from anyone who has developed an innovative way to establish a grassy lawn in a shaded area, particularly in a challenging climate such as Texas!

We also thank you for reading.

Have a good day!

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