The 5 Best Grass Types for Baton Rouge, LA Lawns

Baton Rouge aerial view

The 5 Best Grass Types for Baton Rouge, LA Lawns

The summers in Baton Rouge are long and hot. (Fun fact: The Long, Hot Summer was filmed nearby.) The July high is around 91 degrees. The comfort index, determined by the humidity during the summer months, is 26 out of 100—the higher the number, the more comfortable. For comparison, the U.S. average comfort index is 44. In a nutshell, Baton Rouge is oppressively humid—or sultry, which sounds more exotic.

Residents enjoy those sultry summers along the Mississippi, despite the unwritten rule that you must complain about the heat at least once a day. You can take a dip in one of the many spring-fed swimming holes. Or cool off with a lime-flavored sno-ball. As the end of the day nears, you can relax on your front porch or under a sprawling Live Oak with an ice-cold glass of sweet tea and admire your lawn that is flourishing despite the heat.

Warm-season grasses like sultry weather, and five, in particular, are viable choices for Baton Rouge.

1. Bermuda Grass

close-up of bermudagrass
Photo Credit: rawpixel / CC0

Bermuda grass, sometimes called wire grass or couch grass, began life as a weed used only for pastures until it became popular for lawns in the 1920s. It is now one of the most popular grasses in the South.

Bermuda, with its gray-green, rough-edged blades and purple stems, tolerates heat, burning sun, and drought. It’s low-to-the-ground, tenacious, and provides a thick ground cover that will stand up to whatever heavy traffic comes its way. It just doesn’t cotton to shade.

Grass Seed Options:

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

2. Centipede Grass

closeup image of centipedegrass
Photo Credit: James Becwar / Wikimedia Commons / CC0

Centipede grass, also known as Chinese lawn grass, is sometimes called the “lazy man’s grass,” because it grows slowly and needs less fertilization than other grasses that do well in humid areas. In fact, too much fertilizer can damage it by causing excessive build-up of thatch, iron chlorosis (which turns the grass yellow), or dieback (dying from the tips of its blades to its roots), also called “Centipede decline.”

Centipede is a crabapple-green, medium-textured grass that is popular for Baton Rouge lawns that don’t get much traffic. Unlike Bermuda, it has little tolerance for drought and does very well in the shade.

Grass Seed Options:

Gulf Kist Coated Centipedegrass Seeds (1 lb.)
Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Centipedegrass (3.75 lbs.)
TifBlair Centipedegrass (5-lb. bag)

3. St. Augustine Grass

St Augustine Grass
Photo Credit: Stickpen / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

St. Augustine grass, also called Charleston grass, is happiest in climates that are similar to its namesake, St. Augustine, Florida—hot and humid, like Baton Rouge.

St. Augustine varies from a bright light green to dark green. It’s a medium-to-high-maintenance grass that forms a thick, carpet-like turf that is usually successful at crowding out most weeds. It is sometimes susceptible to SAD, St. Augustine Decline, that causes a mottling of the blades.

It has a high tolerance for shade, but not for drought. It requires regular watering to thrive.

Grass Plug Options:

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

4. Zoysia Grass

Zoysia japonica 'Compadre' in a lawn
Photo Credit: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Zoysia grass is one of the most beautiful lawn grasses in the South. The fine-to-medium-textured leaf provides a thick, soft carpet of lawn that is second to none, while exceptional in its ability to withstand heavy traffic.

Zoysia has a deep root system, so you’ll spend less time watering it than other grasses. In addition to being “drought friendly,” it can tolerate full sun to light shade, has few nutrition requirements, resists weeds due to its density, and is not prone to insect or disease problems. As an “extra added attraction,” it needs to be mowed less frequently than other grasses.

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)

5. Carpet Grass

closeup image of carpet grass in a lawn
Photo Credit: Sugeesh at Malayalam / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Carpet grass is also known as Louisiana grass. It’s native to the interior Gulf states and similar tropical climates.

Carpet is a coarse-leaved and light green grass that provides a dense turf. Its leaves are blunt and rounded, and a distinctive (and objectionable) characteristic is its seed stalks with two branches at the top. Carpet needs to be mowed frequently. During the growing season, new seed stalks are produced about every five days. If untended, they can grow to about 12 inches and that’s one unsightly lawn.

Other than that annoyance, Carpet is fairly low maintenance. It thrives with very little fertilization and occasional watering. It tolerates some shade and high traffic.

Grass Seed Option:

Carpetgrass seeds (coated) (2 lbs.)

Have a question about different grass types or lawn care? Visit our Baton Rouge, LA lawn care page or share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Main Photo Credit: graphiknation / Canva Pro / License


Lois Crouse