Maintaining a healthy and beautiful-looking lawn requires time and effort, but it starts with having the right grass for your climate. If you live in an area that experiences high temperatures, you need grass that will not only survive the heat but thrive in it. Unlike their cool-season counterparts, warm-season grasses thrive in the heat. In fact, their peak growing season is the middle of summer. Additionally, many — but not all — warm-season grasses are drought tolerant. Read on to learn more about the best grass for hot weather.
Table of Contents:
- The Best Warm-Season Grasses
- Bermuda Grass
- St. Augustine Grass
- Zoysia Grass
- Buffalo Grass
- Centipede Grass
- Bahia Grass
- Carpet Grass
- Fescue Grass
- Indian Grass
When it comes to choosing the right warm-season grass for your property, you have several choices. Each has its own distinct look and feel, so choosing the right one is often a matter of personal preference. Here’s a closer look at some of the best warm-season grasses.
This popular type of grass is grown throughout North America. Varieties bred to grow in the south are the most drought-tolerant. Bermuda grass loves the sun, withstands high traffic, and reacts quickly to watering after a dry spell. During the growing season, Bermuda grass requires frequent mowing. It goes dormant in warm winter climates, at which time you can overseed with ryegrass to maintain a green lawn all winter long.
The most drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant varieties of this grass species include:
- Common Bermuda
- Grimes EXP
- Tifway 419
This coarse-leaf grass is the most popular variety in Florida. Residents of the Gulf Coast, Africa, and the Pacific Islands also praise it for its heat tolerance. St. Augustine grass prefers dappled shade and withstands moderate traffic. It remains green throughout winter dormancy without much water. In fact, this species is susceptible to disease if you overwater during winter, so save time and money, and avoid watering St. Augustine grass while it’s dormant.
The most drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant cultivated variety of this species is Floratam.
This slow-growing grass provides a lush, green carpet of turf once it’s fully established. You don’t have to mow or water Zoysia grass often, so maintenance time and costs are minimal. This grass tolerates both sun and shade and stands up well to foot traffic.
The most drought-tolerant and heat-tolerant cultivated varieties of this species include:
- El Toro
Native to the Midwest, buffalo grass is an excellent choice for low-water landscaping. It requires full sun and very little — if any — water once fully established. This grass grows naturally across the plains from Mexico to Montana and once fed herds of buffalo as they roamed these areas, hence the name. Keep in mind that buffalo grass doesn’t tolerate foot traffic well and must be kept at a height of five inches or longer to remain healthy.
Introduced to the US in 1916 from Southeast Asia, Centipede grass is a hardy, slow-growing grass that provides a low-maintenance lawn once fully established. It prefers full sun or partial shade, but its ability to survive in acidic soil makes it a popular choice for the dappled shady area under pine trees.
An all-purpose grass with excellent tolerance to foot traffic, Bahia grass resists pests and disease and grows impressively well in poor soil, though it requires full sun to thrive. This is a great heat-resistant grass because its prolific root system helps it find water deeper down than other grasses.
This low-maintenance, warm-season grass can survive on even the most challenging pieces of land. It grows in just about any soil, including wet soils that drain poorly and seldom dry out completely. It makes the list of best grass for hot weather because it forms a dense mat to keep weeds at bay (thus the name), so there is less weeding for you! Though it’s not drought tolerant, it can be the right choice if you have poor soil conditions and growing healthy grass in your yard is a challenge.
Although fescue grass is a cool-season grass, it’s also heat, cold, and drought tolerant. It’s a good grass option for those living in areas that experience both warm and cool seasons. And, since it can withstand some wear and tear, it’s an excellent choice for areas with heavy foot traffic. This species has several seed varieties that include the following:
- Tall Fescue Grass
- Creeping Red Fescue Grass
- Hard Fescue Grass
- Chewings Fescue Grass
- Sheep Fescue Grass
Switchgrass is an excellent low-maintenance grass that can add interest to home and commercial landscapes. Its foliage features blade-like leaves that come in metallic blue, olive green, or blue-green shades before turning bright yellow or golden in fall. This grass is also planted in mass on slopes and hillsides to control erosion and it creates a colorful and interesting backdrop.
When it comes to summer grasses, Crabgrass gets a bad rap. After all, it can be invasive and tends to crowd out other grasses like Bermuda. But it does well in poor soil and is highly nutritious, so farmers use it for cows and other animals to graze on. Grass-fed beef, anyone? Crabgrass is very drought-tolerant; in fact, it loves the heat! Sure, it’s seedy, but the seeds are often used as grain or flour and can even be fermented to make beer.
Indian grass is a North American native grass that stands tall and looks magical when there’s a light summer breeze. It doesn’t need much maintenance and grows well in a variety of soils. It’s an attractive warm-season grass that can be used to form ornamental borders or add drama to your landscape. If erosion is a problem in certain areas of your landscape, Indian grass can be used to stabilize the soil.
Pro Tip: Remember, you can increase the drought and heat tolerance of any grass by watering infrequently but deeply, providing nutrient-rich soil, and keeping the grass a bit longer to shade the ground beneath it.
Get Your Lawn Ready for Summer with the Right Grass Type!
Summertime is fun for all, especially when you have a beautiful landscape everyone can enjoy. The Grounds Guys® can help with that.Find The Grounds Guys location nearest you and request a free estimate. Let us know what your lawn goals are and we’ll analyze your landscape, soil, and sun exposure and then provide a recommendation for the best heat-resistant grass for your yard. and if you need help with more than just your lawn, we’ll discuss the landscape services that will be most beneficial to you. We provide excellent lawn care and landscape maintenance, including mowing, fertilization, mulching, weeding, and more.
All of our services are backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise™, which means your satisfaction is guaranteed. Contact us today for a healthier lawn and a beautiful landscape you can enjoy throughout the year!