Lush green grass shaded by trees

A shaded back yard is great for you and your family to enjoy the outdoors, but it is less than ideal if you also want to have a lush lawn. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between one or the other. Shade tolerant grass can grow healthy and strong, even if your yard is not the sunniest. Our guide provides advice on the best grass for shade so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Six types of grass are recommended for shaded areas, both in northern and southern regions:

  • Zoysia
  • Bahiagrass
  • Centipede
  • Fine Fescues
  • Tall Fescues
  • Ryegrass

On This Page:

See MoreHide ^

Best Grass for Shaded Areas:

Light is essential for lawn grasses to grow lush and vibrant. When there is too much shade and moisture, some types of grass become thin and weak. The following are the best grass for shaded areas, to help your lawn thrive.

Type Shade Tolerance Weather Requirements
Zoysia High Warm
Bahiagrass Moderate Warm
Centipede Moderate Warm
Fine Fescues High Cool
Tall Fescues Moderate Cool
Ryegrass Moderate Cool

Get Quotes From Local Sod Installers
Return to Top

Best Grass for Shade in the South:

  1. Zoysia

The best zoysia for shade is Zenith Zoysia. While it is a warm weather grass, it offers superior cold tolerance and keeps its green longer. This makes it perfect for transition zones with different types of climates in a single area. Just keep in mind that Zoysia establishes more slowly than other types of lawn grass. This perennial may turn brown during the winter but are among the first to turn green again in the spring.

  1. Bahiagrass

Though this low-maintenance turf prefers full sun, it is resilient and has a naturally deep root system that helps it tolerate shade and cool seasons. It is a warm weather grass that germinates slowly but establishes well and grows low, which makes it some of the best grass for shade in the south.

  1. Centipede

Known for its superior heat tolerance, this low-maintenance grass has a moderate shade tolerance that makes it some of the best grass for shade in the south. It prefers acidic sandy soils and hot conditions but needs watering due to its low root system. In mild climates, it can remain green throughout the year.

Return to Top

Best Grass for Shade in the North:

  1. Fine Fescues

Fine Fescues are the best grass for heavy shade. Red, Chewings, hard and sheep are the best fescue for shade. They prefer drier soils to flourish under shaded conditions.

  1. Tall Fescues

Tall fescues are a cool-season grass that does well in shade but also has improved heat tolerance. They are versatile and can adapt to a wide range of climates to tolerate cold, heat, drought and shade.

  1. Ryegrass

Although this shiny, dark green grass prefers the sunlight, it can tolerate the shade better than other varieties. The Perennial Ryegrass variety is among the best grass to grow in shade with a minimum of 4 to 5 hours of partial sun every day.

How to Help Grass Grow in Shade:

Though some types of grass handle shade better than others, there are always actions that homeowners and landscapers can take to help grass prosper with little sunlight.

  • Make sure to plant the best sod for shade
  • Trim trees and shrubs to let as much light as possible reach your grass
  • Keep an eye on soil pH to ensure optimal balance for your grass
  • Mow higher than usual to let grass blades reach more sun and grow deeper roots
  • Adjust your fertilization and irrigation schedules as needed

Find out how much it costs to install the right sod for your lawn conditions and get local expert lawn care to promote the best growing conditions for your lawn.

Find Sod Installers Near You
Return to Top

Alternatives to Grass

When shade is too dense, the best ornamental grasses for shade are ground covers. These include:

  • Periwinkle
  • Sedge
  • Wintergreen
  • Hostas
  • Painted Ferns
  • Colorful Coleus


What is the best grass for full shade?

Fine fescues offer the greatest shade tolerance for cool temperatures, while Zoysia is the best shade tolerant grass for warm weather.

What is the best grass for partial shade?

When you have a few shady spots in your yard, planting a combination of grasses across the lawn can be an excellent solution. If you are unsure how to do this, look for lawn seeding services near you to ensure the success of your yard project.

What is the best grass for shade in the south?

Zoysia is the best sod for shade and warm weather.

How do you grow grass in shaded areas?

  1. Evaluate the amount of sunlight
  2. Find a grass seed that works well in shade
  3. Plant the grass seed
  4. Water appropriately

Talk to Local Sod Pros
Return to Top

No Comments Yet

You can be the first to comment!

Are You Familiar With This Topic? Share Your Experience.