Landscaping in America

Turf grass care and lawn care improvement tips

Grass & tulips

Check here for a full listing of common turf grasses suitable for American Lawns.

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Shade Tolerance of Common Turfgrasses

Shade can cause significant growth changes in grass plants. In response to reduced sunlight, grass plants form more of an upright growth habit including thinner, longer leaves; shallower rooting; lower plant energy levels and becomes less dense.

Some grass types have developed a tolerance or adaptation to reduced light levels. Others have not. Below is a table that ranks common turfgrass species according to their shade tolerance.

Ranking turfgrass species according to shade tolerance
High Fine Fescue  
Rough Bluegrass
Annual Bluegrass
Medium Tall Fescue Centipedegrass
Perennial Ryegrass St. Augustinegrass
Kentucky Bluegrass Zoysiagrass
Creeping Bentgrass  
Low   Bermudagrass



Critical component

Light is critical for the development and growth of turfgrasses. Starting with the seed and progressing through to plant maturity, light is needed for energy, reproduction and seed germination.