6 Best Grass Types for Louisiana

grassy lawn in front of a house in louisiana

The six best grass types for Louisiana’s hot, humid climate are Bahiagrass, Bermudagrass, carpetgrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and Zoysiagrass.

Any of these grasses enable you to have an attractive lawn, provided you also have a good maintenance program. But there are other factors to consider when choosing a grass because they each have different needs and preferences. We explain all those factors in this article.

6 Warm-Season Grasses for Louisiana

Turfgrass falls into two categories: cool-season and warm-season grasses. Here, the summers are long and hot and the winters are short and warm. In Cajun Country, warm-season cultivars dominate the landscape, thriving in our warm and humid conditions. Popular varieties include: 

1. Bahiagrass

Photo Credit: Forest and Kim Starr / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

When it comes to durability, adaptability, and low-maintenance requirements, bahiagrass emerges as one of the top choices for Louisiana lawns. With its natural tolerance to high temperatures, humidity, and heavy rainfall, this warm-season grass is particularly well-suited for lawns across the state, including the Southern and Coastal regions.

Bahiagrass is also drought-tolerant, ensuring its resilience in the face of Louisiana’s unpredictable weather. This turfgrass doesn’t form a thick lawn, but its medium green color and coarse texture make it appear more dense. It also grows fast and stands up to pests and diseases well, though you should avoid overwatering it.

Classification: Warm-season grass

Spreads by: Rhizomes

Shade tolerance: Low — it needs direct sun exposure

Drought resistance: High

Foot traffic tolerance: Low

Maintenance needs: Moderate to high — plan to mow often during the growing season

Mowing height: 3-4 inches

Potential for disease: Low

Potential for pests: Moderate

Soil pH: 5.5-6.5

Soil type: Tolerates most soils, does well in sandy loam

Other notes: Commonly grown in the Gulf Coast and Southeast, bahiagrass does best in acidic soils but doesn’t tolerate saltwater well.

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)

2. Bermudagrass

Bermuda Grass
Photo Credit: Matt Levin / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Also known as Bahama grass or dog’s tooth grass, bermudagrass is well-suited for the Southern regions of Louisiana, where the climate leans towards subtropical. Its drought tolerance enables it to withstand dry spells and the scorching Louisiana summers.

Bermudagrass is the most common warm-season turfgrass in the South. It is a tough grass that can withstand heavy foot traffic and recover quickly thanks to its fast growth rate. However, it can spread aggressively into flower beds and other lawns if not maintained. It also requires frequent fertilization and watering during the summer growing season.

Classification: Warm-season grass

Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes

Shade tolerance: Poor — needs full sun

Drought resistance: High

Foot traffic tolerance: High

Maintenance needs: Needs frequent mowing due to fast growth rate; develops thatch easily; needs regular fertilization

Mowing height: 1-2 inches

Potential for disease: Moderate resistance — although diseases like brown patch and dollar spot are common

Potential for pests: Low resistance

Soil pH: 6-6.5

Soil type: Thrives in most soil types but prefers loam soil

Other notes: Bermudagrass can be a nuisance due to its ability to spread aggressively. It is sometimes considered invasive. You’ll often find it has tunneled underground into flower beds and spread into neighboring lawns.

Grass Seed Options:

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

3. Carpetgrass

Photo Credit: Sugeesh / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Carpetgrass, also known as Louisianagrass, is well-suited for the Coastal and Southern regions, where the weather is warm and humid. Additionally, its ability to tolerate acidic soils makes it ideal for the Bayou State, where the pH levels may be less favorable for other grass types.

As a low-maintenance option, carpetgrass has found a special place in the hearts of many Louisiana homeowners. While it’s not particularly drought-resistant, it only needs one inch of water per week to survive and keep its healthy appearance. It has a coarse texture and creates a dense, light-to-medium green lawn.

Classification: Warm-season grass

Spreads by: Stolons

Shade tolerance: Moderate, but not as high as St. Augustinegrass

Drought resistance: Moderate, but won’t survive in dry conditions (shallow roots)

Foot traffic tolerance: Low to moderate

Maintenance needs: Mow weekly to control tall seed heads

Mowing height: 1-2 inches

Potential for disease: Low resistance — large patch is common

Potential for pests: Low resistance

Soil pH: 5-6

Soil type: Infertile, moist but not waterlogged, acidic, sandy soil

Other notes: Usually established by seed, carpetgrass flourishes in warm and humid conditions along the Gulf Coast. It’s not salt-tolerant and does not thrive in arid climates.

Grass Seed Option:

Carpetgrass seeds (coated) (2 lbs.)

4. Centipedegrass

Photo credit: Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Though slow-growing, centipedegrass is considered one of the best grass types for Southern Louisiana due to its ability to thrive in heat and humidity. Commonly used in lawns, parks, and golf courses across the state, this medium-textured grass has bright green leaves and produces dense lawns. 

Centipedegrass handles moderate shade making it suitable for areas where trees or structures cast shadows. This warm-season grass is also well-adapted to the state’s frequent rainfall. On the downside, centipedegrass isn’t exceptionally drought-tolerant and requires sandy soil and lime amendments for steady growth. 

Classification: Warm-season grass

Spreads by: Stolons

Shade tolerance: Moderate — requires at least six hours of full sun per day

Drought resistance: Low to moderate

Foot traffic tolerance: Low

Maintenance needs: Low mowing frequency

Mowing height: 1.5-2 inches

Potential for disease: Good resistance to diseases

Potential for pests: Low resistance

Soil pH: 5-6

Soil type: Acidic, infertile, at least moderately good drainage (very dense, clay soils produce poor results)

Other notes: While it’s not salt-tolerant, this grass type has a pretty greenish-yellow color (like a green apple) during the growing season

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)

5. St. Augustinegrass

Close-up image of St. Augustinegrass
St. Augustine Grass
Photo Credit: Yercaud-elango / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Louisiana’s vast geographical diversity, from the humid subtropical climate of the Southern regions to the more temperate conditions in the north, demands a versatile grass species that can withstand the state’s ever-changing weather. St. Augustinegrass emerges as the clear frontrunner, adapting to a wide range of climates and soil types.

Also known as buffalo turf in certain parts of the world, St. Augustinegrass has an impressive tolerance to humidity and can thrive in the hottest parts of Louisiana. It is also salt-tolerant, growing well in the Gulf Coastal Plain and river valleys. This resilient, dark-green grass flourishes in Louisiana with a fast growth rate.

Classification: Warm-season grass

Spreads by: Stolons

Shade tolerance: Moderate shade tolerance, among the highest of any warm-season grass; some cultivars are more shade tolerant than others

Drought resistance: Moderate

Foot traffic tolerance: Moderate

Maintenance needs: Moderate to high mowing frequency

Mowing height: 2.5-4 inches (mow dwarf varieties from 2.5-3 inches; standard cultivars from 3-4 inches; mow tall in shade)

Potential for disease: Low to moderate — gray leaf spot and large patch are common

Potential for pests: Low resistance

Soil pH: 6-7.5

Soil type: Tolerates many soil types but prefers moderately fertile and moist (not waterlogged) soils; doesn’t tolerate soil compaction

Other notes: Native to coastal areas, St. Augustinegrass prefers moist soils and mild winters but can thrive in inland areas, provided growing conditions are met. It has good salt tolerance but will go dormant during the winter, except in the Southern regions.

Grass Plug Options:

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

6. Zoysiagrass

close-up of zoysiagrass
Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0 US

For homeowners looking for eye-catching and carpet-like grass, Zoysiagrass is one of the best options. Its green, dense appearance makes it the go-to choice for golf courses, public parks, commercial landscapes, and residential yards. Homeowners who want a low-maintenance option will love this grass because it can withstand heavy foot traffic and recover quickly from damage. 

Thanks to a deep root system, Zoysiagrass can hold its own against drought and weeds. It’s also more resistant to cold temperatures than other warm-season cultivars. While it has a slower growth rate, this dark-green variety still produces a thick, dense lawn that requires sharp mower blades.

Classification: Warm-season grass

Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes

Shade tolerance: Tolerates light to moderate shade

Drought resistance: High

Foot traffic tolerance: High

Maintenance needs: Low to moderate nitrogen requirement; moderate mowing frequency

Mowing height: 1-2.5 inches; mow taller if the grass is in partial shade

Potential for disease: Moderate resistance — can be prone to dollar spot, brown patch, leaf spot, and fairy rings

Potential for pests: Moderate resistance

Soil pH: 6-6.5

Soil type: Well-draining soil; some cultivars are more tolerant of a wide range of soils

Other notes: It is moderately salt-tolerant and tolerates partial shade if mowed higher. 

Grass Plug and Seed Options:

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


Which grass withstands heavy foot traffic the best?

Bermudagrass is preferred when it comes to heavy foot traffic in Southern states like Louisiana. It is a highly durable grass that holds up to children and pets. Because of its durability, this warm-season grass is also used on golf courses and other fields where foot traffic is common.

What grass requires the least maintenance?

Zoysiagrass is known as one of the easiest turfgrasses to maintain. Even with little upkeep, it can withstand drought and survive in poor soil conditions. This tough grass also stands up to diseases, pests, and weeds.

What is the best grass for shady areas in Louisiana?

St. Augustinegrass is the most shade-tolerant warm-season grass, followed closely by Zoysiagrass.

Choosing the Best Grass Variety for Your Louisiana Landscape

When deciding which grass is best for your Louisiana lawn, consider your needs, preferences, and budget. You should also consider how much maintenance you’re willing to keep up with and your overall landscape. Like native plants, things such as soil type and sun exposure need to be top of mind when choosing grass seed for your lawn. If you’re looking to simplify your lawn care routine, LawnStarter can connect you with a local lawn care pro in the Pelican State. 

LawnStarter participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. LawnStarter may earn revenue from products promoted in this article.

Main Image Credit: The Well Tempered Theodore / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Andie Ioo

Andie Ioo

In my free time, I enjoy traveling with my husband, sports, trying out new recipes, reading, and watching reruns of '90s TV shows. As a way to relax and decompress, I enjoy landscaping around my little yard and DIY home projects.