The Best Sod to Use for a Shady Lawn

Shady Lawn

A Shady Lawn

A shady lawn allows you and your family to enjoy the outdoors on hot, sunny days, which we have no lack of here in Tampa. However, if it ever comes time to resod your lawn, you’ll quickly realize that most warm-weather grass varieties are engineered to grow best in direct sunlight. So, how does a property owner achieve a green, lush, thick lawn that doesn’t require hours of full sunlight every day?

Through advances in research, some modern sod varieties do exceptionally well in shady areas and lawns that have both sunny and shady spots. These shade-tolerant varieties are becoming increasingly popular as many people seek to create more liveable areas in their yards.

Looking for the quick version of this guide? Check out our Shade Scale.

Scotts® ProVista™ is a newer sod variety, boasting all of the benefits of traditional St. Augustine, but without the pitfalls. This slow-growing, thick, and lush sod variety yields uniform growth in both sunny and shady parts of your lawn. ProVista™ can also cut your landscaping costs drastically since its horizontal growth pattern requires half of the mowing requirements of traditional varieties. It’s also glyphosate resistant, so keeping weeds at bay won’t leave dead spots all over your yard or require back-breaking removal by hand. ProVista™ is backed by 20 years of research and is truly a revolutionary sod variety for Florida lawns. That’s why it’s one of our most recommended varieties here at Council Growers Sod!

Seville St. Augustine is an oldie, but a goodie for Florida homeowners and landscapers. This  is one of the most shade-tolerant St. Augustine varieties, offering a light blue-green color, low-growth habit, and a finer blade than most of its St. Augustine counterparts. This makes Seville a softer variety for lawns that get more bare foot traffic. Seville is a great choice for combination yards since it grows well in both sun and shade. It grows well in sand, clay, or even muckier soils, and tolerates a wide range of pH levels. It even does well with salt stress, making it an option for waterfront properties. This grass is prone to humidity issues during the summer months so avoid to prevent disease issues during this time.  Its dense root mat prevents heavy weed penetration, but some manual weed control will be required. 

If deep blue grass shades strike your fancy and you need a shade-tolerant variety, then Bitterblue St. Augustine is a great choice for your lawn. Bitterblue is an improved version of traditional Floratam St. Augustine. It has the wide, coarse blades that most people associate with St. Augustine grass, but Bitterblue is more shade-tolerant than Floratam, along with some improved cold tolerance as well. Bitterblue does not like some commercial weed killers, so hand-pulling weeds (certain weeds only) may be required to avoid dead spots. Also, avoid installing Bitterblue sod during times of high humidity, as it is susceptible to fungal diseases if it gets too wet.

If St. Augustine grass isn’t your style, then we’d like to introduce you to EMPIRE Turf® Zoysia grass. By far the best zoysia grass for Florida lawns, EMPIRE Turf® has finer blades than St. Augustine, so it doesn’t have that “crabgrass” look. It grows extra slow so those sunny and shady areas stay more uniform, and it does well in drier areas as it is drought resistant. Chinch bugs also don’t stand a chance with EMPIRE Turf® Zoysia as it was developed to resist infestation!

Premium Sod for Your Shady Tampa Bay Lawn

If your lawn is covered in shade, Council Growers Sod in southern Hillsborough County has the right sod variety to keep your yard looking lush and green all year long. We cut and deliver our Florida-grown sod to order, then deliver it straight to your door so that you only get the freshest, healthiest sod possible for your project. Call us at (813) 633-8665 or visit for more information and to choose your shade-tolerant sod variety today!