Bahia vs St Augustine Grass – What’s the Difference?

bahia vs st augustine grass

Bahia grass and St. Augustine grass are warm-season turf grasses like Zoysia, Crabgrass, Bermuda and Centipede grass that thrive in warm, sunny environments. Despite this and a few other similarities, St. Agustine and Bahia grass two types of grass differ significantly. The color and shape of the leaves distinguish Bahia grass from St. Augustine grass the most.

St. Augustine grass has broad, coarse, blue-green leaves, and bahia grass has crow-shaped, light green leaves. Bahia is more drought-resistant than St. Augustine grass and needs less water overall. In this you will see the detailed breakdown of bahia vs st augustine grass and which one is best suitable for your lawn.

Bahia grass vs St Augustine Grass Identification

1. St Augustine Grass Identification 

st augustine vs bahia Identification

Due to its thick growth pattern, lawns are frequently planted with St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), a perennial grass species. Only the stolons, or above-ground runners, of this kind of turfgrass may propagate it (it lacks underground rhizomes).

The leaf blades of St. Augustine grass are thick (3-5 mm broad), medium-sized (15-30 mm long), have rounded edges, and are rough to the touch. In addition to being flat, they have a dark green color. St. Augustine leaf blades are smooth and hairless, with the collar being the lone exception.

St. Augustine grass has a particularly compressed stem/sheath portion, another distinguishing feature. They are so tightly packed that separating them requires considerable effort. The St. Augustine grass bloom is a solitary raceme with spikelets, on the other hand. There are various varieties of St. Augustine grass, and they are all slightly different from one another. Palmetto, Floralawn St. Augustine, Bitter-Blue, Sapphire, and Floratam are a few of its more popular types.

2. Bahia Grass Identification 

Bahia grass vs St Augustine grass Identification

Bahia grass, commonly known as Highway grass, is a warm-season turf grass type indigenous to Central America. Bahia grass is known to be popular in warm region like florida, and it is considered as one of the best grass for florida lawn. The V-shaped seed heads serve as one of its most distinctive distinguishing features.

Every Bahia grass plant has two V-shaped spikes that develop at the end of the flower stalk; these stems essentially have clusters of flowers growing on them. This type of grass has coarse-textured, light green leaf blades. Normally, the leaves of Bahia grass fold to create open canopies.

Bahia grass is considered invasive grass type because it spreads rapidly through underground stems that grow laterally. Rhizomes typically appear as bunches and are found close below the ground’s surface.

Rhizomes of Bahia grass generally have red or pink hues. Bahia grass produces a lot of seeds, with the exact number generated changing slightly depending on the cultivar. There are four varieties of common Bahia grass: Pensacola, Argentine, Common, and Paraguay Bahia grass.

 Difference Between Bahia vs St Augustine 

bahia grass vs st augustine

1. Growth and Seeding Rate of Bahia and St Augustine Grass 

Bahia turf grass spreads and develops faster to build a fully-established lawn than St. Augustine turf grass because its seeds are produced faster. Establishing a lush, completely covered lawn from St. Augustine grass requires time, patience, and appropriate care and upkeep because this grass species grows slowly.

While St. Augustine grass seeds far more slowly than Bahia grass, the latter generates enormous numbers of seeds. For homeowners wishing to grow a Bahia lawn, grass nurseries frequently provide both Bahia grass seed and sod. As a result, nurseries normally only sell St. Augustine sod to establish lawns because the plant doesn’t generate enough viable seed to make seedlings.

2. Flowers Type of Bahia and St Agustine Grass 

The kind of flowers that Bahia grass and St. Augustine grass produce can also be used to distinguish between the two. In Bahia, two spikes shoot off the stem and line up with flowers to make a V-shape. St. Augustine grass flower, in contrast, is a solitary spike/raceme (3″-5″ long).

3. Maintenance Need of St Augustine vs Bahia 

In comparison to Bahia grass, St. Augustine grass often requires more care. Due to its deeper root structure, the later cultivar can withstand droughts better. It requires less watering than St. Augustine grass; thus, it doesn’t require as much watering. This drawback is that Bahia does not respond well to excessive feeding or hydration.

If you drown your Bahia turf grass in water or fertilizers like compost and mulch, it will die rapidly. St. Augustine grass, on the other hand, withstands frequent hydration better. Due to its high nitrogen requirements, this turfgrass variety is unlikely to be adversely affected by excessive fertilization.

 4. Disease and Drought Tolerance of St Augustine Grass vs Bahia 

Compared to St. Augustine grass, Bahia grass is more resistant to grass diseases. However, while having a higher resistance to pests and diseases, Bahia grass can still experience leaf yellowing from a lack of iron in the soil. St. Augustine turfgrass is susceptible to various grass plant diseases, most frequently Nigrospora stolon rot, brown patch disease, and take-all root rot.

Although both of these turfgrass species are warm-season cultivars that thrive in warm, sunny environments, Bahia grass is more tolerant to dryness than St. Augustine grass. In contrast to Bahia, which suffers from over-irrigation, St. Augustine grass requires frequent watering if you want a lush, green lawn.

5. Wear and Shade Tolerance of Bahia and st Augustine Grass 

In comparison to St. Augustine grass, Bahia grass offers better wear resistance. St. Augustine turfgrass will easily become damaged by heavy traffic. In contrast, once Bahia grass has become established, it can survive intensive use.

Compared to Bahia grass, St. Augustine grass can tolerate more shade. In partially shaded lawns, the former grass species will continue to flourish. Contrarily, bahiagrass doesn’t grow well in any shadow, even a little bit, and will probably grow slowly there.

Which Grass is Better and Which Grass to Pick for the Lawn? 

When deciding between Bahia grass and St. Augustine grass, your particular demands should help you choose which option is best for you. Budget, erosion risk in your yard, and whether or not your lawn receives any shade are a few variables that should influence your choice.

Why Should You choose St. Augustine Grass 

  • You desire a more lush, gorgeous lawn- Compared to Bahia grass, St. Augustine grass makes a denser turf, making it the more appealing and preferred choice. Bahia grass blades are also narrower, making weeds more obvious; In contrast, St. Augustine grass blades have thicker growth, which crowds out weeds.
  • You have tall trees and shrubs in your yard – A partially shaded lawn will nonetheless support healthy St. Augustine grass. On the other hand, bahiagrass needs complete sunlight exposure to grow and doesn’t do well in shaded areas. St. Augustine is the best option if your lawn has trees and plants that shade some of it.
  • You want to plant grass for a pasture – St. Augustine produces a lot of grass due to its dense growth, which makes it ideal for use as a pasture. Because it can resist high temperatures and humidity, even if you live in a desert or semi-arid area, you will still reap a plentiful harvest.

Why Should You Choose Bahia Grass

  • You want to reduce soil erosion – You can control the issue by growing Bahia turf grass, for example, if your yard is uneven and prone to soil erosion. This grass variety’s deep-growing roots make it ideal for stabilizing slopes and keeping soil from your eroding yard from being washed away by rain.
  • You’re on a tight budget – A Bahia grass is less expensive to grow than a St. Augustine lawn. This is because growing St. Augustine often involves vegetative propagation (sod), which is more expensive than sowing Bahia grass seeds (seeding is the most common way of establishing Bahia lawns).
  • You want your lawn to grow quickly – All of the barren spots on your lawn will be completely covered by Bahia as it quickly spreads. This grass species produce large volumes of seed, and its rhizomes allow it to spread quickly. Compared to other types of grass, St. Augustine grows slowly and often takes several months to establish a dense lawn.

Also read: Tall Fescue vs Kentucky Bluegrass – What is the difference?


We saw what set bahia grass and st. agustine grass apart. We compared various parameters between bahia vs st.agustine grass and how and where the both grass stand in terms of suitability to your lawn. In the end we concluded which grass to choose between bahia and st. agustine for your lawn. I hope this post really helped to clear your queries regarding which grass is better.

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