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8 Types Of Grass In California (With Pictures)

garden with mown lawn

While California is a beautiful place to live, it is not a stranger to higher temperatures and dry spells. In California, where the weather often fluctuates, having a healthy lawn can be a challenge. If you live in one of these areas of California, you are probably aware of how difficult it is to maintain a spotless garden.

If you want to have a dense, carpet-like lawn, consider the following grass types to achieve this goal.

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The 8 Top Choices for Your Lawn In California

1. Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass
Image Credit: BLUEwalkerXV, Shutterstock
Scientific name Cynodon dactylon
Type of grass Warm-season grass
Origin South-eastern North America and the Caribbean

Many people choose this gorgeous, thick grass for their lawns since it is versatile warm-season turf. Bermuda grass will remain green all year in tropical climates such as a California climate. As long as you provide it with the right conditions, Bermuda grass is simple to grow.

It is not demanding in soil type and can even withstand salty soil, making it an excellent choice for coastal areas. You may also find it in athletic fields, parks, and golf courses in California.

  • Durable
  • Heat tolerant
  • Recovers quickly
  • Disease resilient
  • Requires regular mowing
  • Needs frequent fertilizing
  • Not as tolerant of shade

2. St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine's grass
Image Credit: wasanajai, Shutterstock
Scientific name Stenotaphrum secundatum
Type of grass Warm-season
Origin North America and Central America

St. Augustine grass is a warm-season lawn grass that spreads quickly, especially in warmer regions. It’s recognizable by its bluish-green needle-like foliage that forms a thick mat. Because this type of grass is salt tolerant, it is ideal for people who live near Coastal California.

St. Augustine grass doesn’t require much mowing, which is excellent for people who love a low-maintenance lawn. You don’t have to worry about maintaining this grass too much as it is one of the most shade-tolerant of the warm-season grasses.

  • Performs well in shaded areas
  • Tolerant of salt
  • Tolerant to average foot traffic
  • Grows a dense turf
  • Turns brown in winter
  • Cannot thrive in extended cold weather
  • Vulnerable to pests and diseases

3. West Coast Native Bentgrass

Scientific name Agrostis pallens
Type of grass Cool-season, perennial grass
Origin Eurasia and northern Africa

This type of Bentgrass is a fine-textured cool-season perennial grass with vivid green foliage. As it is native to California, it is entirely adaptable to its challenging climates and can survive in both cold and warm weather. It enjoys sunny places but will tolerate moderate shade and is adaptable to cold, humid climates too. Even though it can resist cold weather, it tends to lose its green color in the fall.

It has leaves that are flat, thin, and curled and is mostly used for golf courses and home lawns. Bentgrass is an attractive type of turfgrass and is resilient to foot traffic and regular mowing.

  • Fast-growing
  • Self-repairing abilities
  • Tolerant to infrequent mowing
  • Susceptible to drought
  • High maintenance

4. Ryegrass

Image Credit: Sheryl Watson, Shutterstock
Scientific name Lolium
Type of grass Cool-season grass
Origin Europe, Asia, and northern Africa

Ryegrass is a cool-season perennial grass with various great qualities. It has a long-lasting dark green hue and is suitable for use in residential lawns, gardens, parks, and sports grounds. It possesses several distinguishing characteristics, such as swiftly adapting to any environment. It is also sometimes called a “nursing grass” because of its remarkable ability to grow fast while providing a shelter for slower-growing plants.

This type of grass has excellent tolerance for higher temperatures, so it is great for areas with warmer climates.

  • Tolerant to foot traffic
  • Germinates fast
  • Tolerant to sun exposure
  • Tolerant of shaded areas
  • Vulnerable to disease
  • High maintenance

5. Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass
Image Credit: Fermuz, Shutterstock
Scientific name Zoysia
Type of grass Warm-weather grass
Origin Asia

Zoysia grass is a warm-season turf with stunning green-colored leaves that grow in the form of a dense, carpet-like mat. This durable grass can produce a rich, thick lawn if planted under the right conditions. If Zoysia is suitable for you, it will depend on where you live and how you maintain your garden.

Zoysia grass will be a perfect choice if you can provide it with a lot of sun exposure, as it will thrive best in these conditions. This grass is more suited for areas with hotter climates, making it ideal for garden lovers in California.

  • Tolerant to high heat
  • Low maintenance
  • Drought tolerant
  • Forms a dense turf
  • Turns brown during winter
  • Slow growing

6. Bahia Grass

Image Credit: Doikanoy, Shutterstock
Scientific name Paspalum notatum
Type of grass Warm-season grass
Origin Mexico and South America

Bahia Grass is a warm-season type of grass that is valued for its drought-tolerant features. Due to thriving in higher temperatures, this grass will grow healthily in California or other places where many kinds of grass may struggle. This grass produces a durable, long-lasting turf that requires minimum maintenance. It does not require as much watering, but it is best to carefully maintain watering to preserve its green hue throughout the year.

Bahiagrass can survive even in sandy soils because of its deep root structure, making it an excellent choice for planting near coastal regions. If your location and soil structure match the needs of Bahia Grass, then this type of grass is an ideal choice for you.

  • Tolerant to heat and drought
  • Low maintenance
  • Resistant to diseases
  • Attracts fewer insects
  • Not tolerant of shaded areas
  • Messy appearance

7. Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass
Image Credit: Joshua Boman, Shutterstock
Scientific name Poa pratensis
Type of grass Cool-season lawn grass
Origin Europe and northern Asia

Kentucky bluegrass is cool-season perennial lawn grass that produces a perfect lawn for many gardeners in the United States. Although it grows slower than other cool-season grasses, this grass grows into a thick, lush, and long-lasting lawn when provided with the proper care. It is loved for its vivid emerald hue that a healthy Kentucky bluegrass lawn has.

This type of grass may require high maintenance to look its best, but the results will be worth it. It thrives in northern areas with somewhat warm summers and chilly winters.

  • Ability to self-repair
  • Excellent cold tolerance
  • Disease-resistant
  • Tolerant to wear-and-tear
  • High maintenance during summer
  • Not tolerant of shaded areas

8. Tall Fescue Grass

tall fescue grass
Image Credit: Sheryl Watson, Shutterstock
Scientific name Festuca arundinacea
Type of grass Cool-season perennial grass
Origin Europe

Tall fescue is a type of cold-season grass best known for its ability to adapt to many different climates and its tolerance for heat and drought. Fescue has much deeper roots, which gives it the ability to tolerate shade better than most common cool-season lawn grasses. Even though Tall Fescue is a cold-season grass, it can also thrive in warmer regions, making it an excellent choice for areas with challenging climates like California. Depending on where you live and your garden maintenance habits, this grass may be a perfect choice for you.

  • Tolerant to heat and drought
  • Withstands wear and tear
  • Tolerant to shaded areas
  • Prone to thinning
  • Susceptible to disease
  • Suffers without water

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Final Thoughts

Even though it might not seem like it, it is entirely possible to maintain a beautiful garden effortlessly in the Golden State. Hopefully, this article will help you decide which grass type is the perfect choice for you. All of these eight kinds of grass will provide you with a beautiful, long-lasting lawn, but it is essential to choose the right type for your area to get the best from it.

It is a common misconception that you have to struggle to maintain a perfect, flawless lawn in California, but with this article as a guide, you will be able to achieve this in no time.

See also: 11 Wildflowers That Grow in California (Identification Guide with Pictures)

Featured Image Credit: 1000 Words, Shutterstock


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