4 Best Grass Types for a Lush Miami Lawn

miami lawn

The idea that Florida is full of palm trees, swamp, and scrub grass is an unfair stereotype. From the Panhandle to the southern tip of the peninsula, Florida overflows with other types of greenery, too, including gorgeous, well-kept lawns. Create your own thriving expanse of green with one of these four best grass types for a lush Miami lawn.

Just because you live in Miami, that doesn’t mean you have to rely on a lawn made of AstroTurf or crushed shells. Several types of grass thrive in South Florida’s humid climate. Using the blades you like best, you can turn your front and backyards into a fertile, lush oasis with grass that feels as plush as carpet underfoot.

St. Augustinegrass

St. Augustinegrass
Photo Credit: Yercaud-elango / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Hands down, St. Augustinegrass is the most favored type of grass for Miami lawns. Its status comes down to its tendency to grow like a weed without resembling one—that is, it springs up faster than you can blink. It’s one of the most chosen South Florida grass types because it hates the cold, and it’s not particularly fond of shade but will tolerate it.

St. Augustinegrass, known scientifically as Stenotaphrum secundatum, is loved for its heat and drought tolerance. Perhaps even more importantly, it’s not bothered by extreme salt levels. You also have an impressive variety of St. Augustinegrass cultivars from which to choose.

Floratam is the most popular type of St. Augustinegrass, but it doesn’t do well in the cold. Palmetto is dense, richly green, and short enough that you don’t need to mow more than a few times a month. Seville has fine blades and a dense growth pattern. Though it’s sensitive to chilly temperatures, it’s tolerant of both sun and shade.

  • Classification: Warm-season grass
  • Spreads by: Stolons
  • Shade Tolerance: Moderate
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate; irrigation required during prolonged drought
  • Foot Traffic Tolerance: Moderate
  • Maintenance Needs: High
  • Mowing Height: 3.5-4 inches for standard cultivars; 2.5 inches for most dwarf cultivars
  • Potential for Disease: Moderate to high; susceptible to large patch, gray leaf spot, patch, and take-all root rot

Grass Plug Options:

Seed Ranch St Augustine Seville Grass Plugs (2 Trays)
Seed Ranch St Augustine Floratam Grass Plugs (2 Trays)


Zoysiagrass yard
Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Originally introduced from Asia, Zoysiagrass is considered to be one of the most attractive turf grasses grown throughout the southern states. What makes it more attractive to most homeowners is its slow-growth rate, meaning less time spent behind the mower.

Zoysiagrass is also very resistant to foot traffic, making it a good choice if you’re someone who has a lot of activity in your yard. Its salt tolerance is another reason why this is an ideal grass to grow on Miami lawns.

Cultivars such as El Toro and Palisades are good choices if you’re looking for a drought-tolerant lawn that doesn’t turn brown. El Toro also establishes faster than other cultivars while Palisades is known for its shade tolerance and good overall disease resistance.

  • Classification: Warm-season grass
  • Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes
  • Shade Tolerance: Low to moderate
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate; will go dormant quickly during extended drought periods; consider El Toro and Palisades cultivars for good drought tolerance.
  • Foot Traffic Tolerance: High; slow recovery
  • Maintenance Needs: Moderate
  • Mowing Height: 1-2.5 inches
  • Potential for Disease: Low to moderate; rust, large patch, and dollar spot are common

Grass Plug and Seed Options:

Zoysia Plugs (50 Large Grass Plugs)
Zoysia Plugs (50 Full & Lush Grass Plugs)
Zoysia Plugs (100 Plugs)
Zenith Zoysia Grass Seeds (1/8 lb. of seeds)


Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Bahiagrass is a Brazilian grass that does well in the southern region of the United States due to its ability to thrive in sandy soil. It’s usually the preferred grass for pastures, but these days, it’s also an up-and-comer in the world of residential lawns. That’s mainly due to its versatility. Like St. Augustinegrass, there are several types of bahiagrass perfect for lawns in Miami.

Argentine bahiagrass is perhaps best for a yard in the city. It’s tolerant of the cold, and it’s able to resist the diseases and problems that typically plague sod. In fact, it’s even resistant to insects. Care for it properly, and the grass grows in thick, giving off a dark, verdant color. However, Pensacola is a close second, and it’s an apt pick for any lawn in Florida.

That’s not to say that bahiagrass is impervious to problems. Try to avoid salt water and don’t lay down the sod in high-traffic areas. Pay attention to which type of grass you get, as well. Some are tolerant of the cold while others can easily withstand a drought.

  • Classification: Warm-season grass
  • Spreads by: Rhizomes
  • Shade Tolerance: Low
  • Drought Tolerance: High; will go dormant in periods of extended drought
  • Foot Traffic Tolerance: Low
  • Maintenance Needs: Low; frequent mowing of seedheads during the growing season
  • Mowing Height: 3-4 inches
  • Potential for Disease: Low

Grass Seed Options 

Pensacola Bahiagrass:
SeedRanch Pensacola Bahiagrass Seed (10 lb. bag)
Hancock Seed Co. Pensacola Bahiagrass Seed (5 lb. bag)
Argentine Bahiagrass:
Scotts Turf Builder Argentine Bahiagrass (10 lb. bag)
Hancock Seed Co. Argentine Bahiagrass Seed Mix (25 lb. bag)


Bermudagrass yard
Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Bermudagrass is one of the most used warm-season grasses in the South due to its high wear and drought tolerance. You’re also likely to see this grass along coastal athletic fields and golf courses because of its salt tolerance. While common Bermudagrass cultivars are used along roadsides, there are improved cultivars that give that fine-textured lawn look.

With Bermudagrass, your lawn will have a nice medium to dark green color that gives the aesthetically pleasing look of a picket-fence front yard. It is also one of the most drought-tolerant grasses and loves full sun. The sun, drought, and salt tolerance of this grass make it a perfect pick for coastal lawns in Miami.

PremierPRO, not to be confused with the computer software, is a fine-textured hybrid Bermudagrass fit specifically for South Florida. Celebration is another variety that has good traffic tolerance and is slightly better suited for shade than other kinds of Bermudagrass.

  • Classification: Warm-season grass
  • Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes
  • Shade Tolerance: Low
  • Drought Tolerance: High
  • Foot Traffic Tolerance: High
  • Maintenance Needs: High
  • Mowing Height: 1-2 inches
  • Potential for Disease: High

Grass Seed Options:

Scotts Turf Builder Bermudagrass (10-lb. bag)
Hancock Seed Co. Bermudagrass (50-lb. bag)

How to Choose the Best Grass for Your Miami Lawn


Before settling on a grass type, it’s important to consider how much work you want to dedicate to your lawn each week. Mowing, fertilizing, irrigation… these things add up. Think about the maintenance requirements of each grass before picking your forever lawn.


  • Bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass

Moderate maintenance:

  • Zoysiagrass


  • Bahiagrass

Sun and Shade

It’s no surprise that when choosing grass in Florida, the Sunshine State, you need to consider how much sun your yard receives. Or in some cases, how much shade.  The grasses on this list all do well in the heat, but if you have a yard covered with tree shade, you’ll want to make sure whatever grass you pick can handle it.

Moderate shade tolerance:

  • St. Augustine, Zoysiagrass (low to moderate)

Low shade tolerance:

  • Bahiagrass, Bermudagrass

Foot Traffic

How much traffic do you get on your lawn? Do you host parties and outdoor gatherings in the summer, or do you prefer a quiet lawn with limited activity? Certain grasses handle heavy foot traffic better than others.

High traffic tolerance:

  • Zoysiagrass, Bermudagrass

Moderate traffic tolerance:

  • St. Augustinegrass

Low traffic tolerance:

  • Bahiagrass

Grass is the foundation for a lush Miami lawn, but from there, let your imagination take flight. Here are other resources to help you beautify your South Florida landscape:

A Professional Helping Hand

You have a wealth of grass types to choose from as you prepare to sod or seed your Miami lawn. Think about your yard. What do you want to do with it? How’s the soil? Think about those aspects as you get ready to put down a fresh green lawn in Miami.

You don’t have to make these choices alone. Call a local landscaping pro to help pick out the best grass for South Florida and get your Miami lawn looking its absolute best.

Main Image Credit: Pxhere

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Abigail Evans

Abigail Evans

Abigail Evans is a writer and outdoor enthusiast. When not nose-deep in a book, she can be found kayaking down the winding rivers of Pennsylvania.