Are you tired of patchy grass under your trees that never seem to grow no matter what you do? Fear not, fellow homeowners! We've scoured the market for the best grass seeds specifically designed to thrive under those shady trees. After conducting extensive research and field testing, we've narrowed down our top picks for the best grass seed for under trees. But, how do you know which seed is right for your yard?

Related: Best grass seed for shaded areas

Which seed will provide the best growth and durability? Keep reading to find out our top picks and why they made the cut. With these top-performing grass seed options, you can have a beautiful lawn that will make your neighbors envious!


Our top grass seed recommendations for shaded areas include St. Augustinegrass, Fescue, Bluegrass, and Rye Grass. St. Augustinegrass, a warm-season grass, is a shade-lover with high durability and a deep root system. Fescue, specifically Creeping Red Fescue, is hardy with excellent shade tolerance and a shallow root system.

Bluegrass, another shade-tolerant option, is ideal for northern regions and stands up well to foot traffic. Rye Grass, a cool-season grass, quickly germinates and is resilient, perfect for those tricky spots under trees. Remember, each variety requires unique maintenance, and overall success depends on your specific lawn conditions. For the best results, choose a high-quality shade-tolerant seed blend designed for your region.


If you're looking for the best grass seed for under trees, St. Augustinegrass is definitely a great option to consider. Shade cultivars like 'Seville,' 'Delmar,' and 'Captiva' are particularly known for their ability to thrive in the shadows, even in areas where other warm-season grasses struggle to grow.

One thing to note about St. Augustinegrass is that it's typically planted from plugs rather than seeds. However, seeds have recently become available in trade and can be a viable option for those who prefer the direct seeding method.

So, why should you choose St. Augustinegrass for your shaded area? Well, for one, it's incredibly durable. It has a deep root system that allows it to withstand hot and dry conditions, and can even tolerate salty soils.

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But that's not all. St. Augustinegrass also boasts a beautiful blue-green color and a thick carpet-like texture that can turn your shaded area into a lush and inviting space.

One downside to St. Augustinegrass is that it does require a bit more maintenance than some other types of grasses. It's a pretty slow grower, which means it may take longer to establish a full lawn. Additionally, it's not as resistant to diseases and pests as other options, so you'll need to keep an eye on it and treat any issues as they arise.


Fescue is a hardy grass species that is particularly adept at thriving in shady environments - making it a top choice for homeowners who are struggling to find a suitable grass variety to grow under their trees.

What's great about fescue is that there are several varieties to choose from, each with their unique characteristics and benefits. For instance, most of the fine fescues, including hard, sheep, spreading, slender creeping, and Chewing's, boast excellent shade tolerance. Meanwhile, tall fescue is also known to perform well in shady conditions. And while Kentucky bluegrass is undoubtedly an excellent grass variety, it's not the best choice for growing under trees as it's less shade tolerant than most other cool-season grasses.

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Now, let's focus a bit more on creeping red fescue (Festuca Rubra), one of the most common fine fescue groups. This versatile grass species is typically found growing in North America, except for the south-central region and Florida. It's particularly well-suited to areas that receive partial sunlight, such as those beneath trees.

So, what makes creeping red fescue such a good choice for growing under trees? Well, establishing a lawn under trees is not for the faint of heart. The shade cast by tree canopies can make it difficult for grass to root properly and compete for nutrients, water, and sunlight. However, creeping red fescue is known to have a shallow root system, which means it requires less soil depth to grow. Additionally, it's a slow-growing variety, which means less mowing and stress on the grass blades.


Not only is bluegrass shade-tolerant, but it also possesses a deep, rich color that adds to the overall aesthetic of any lawn. Additionally, it is a cool-season grass that thrives in spring and fall, making it an ideal choice for those living in northern regions.

Another shade-tolerant option is rough stalk bluegrass. While this type of grass prefers cool, wet conditions, it can still perform well in shady areas. But rough stalk bluegrass will struggle in the summer heat if moisture is lacking.

On the flip side, Bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, and buffalograss should not be used in shady locations. These types of grass do best in full sun and may not survive in areas with less sunlight.

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But back to bluegrass - not only is it a great option for shady areas, it also has a high tolerance for foot traffic and can withstand heavy use. This makes it an ideal choice for families with children or pets who spend a lot of time playing outside.

In terms of maintenance, bluegrass is relatively easy to care for. It requires regular watering and mowing, but it doesn't need as much maintenance as some other grasses, such as fescue.

Overall, I was extremely pleased with the results of using bluegrass in my shady areas. It not only looks great, but it has held up well to heavy use, making it a perfect choice for families. If you are struggling to find the perfect grass seed for your shaded yard, I highly recommend giving bluegrass a try.


First of all, rye grass is a cool-season grass that thrives in shaded areas. It's an ideal solution for those tricky spots under trees where grass typically struggles to grow. In fact, rye grass is so resilient that it's often used on golf courses to fill in shaded areas on fairways and greens.

One of the things I love about rye grass is its fast germination rate. It typically germinates in just 5-7 days, which means you'll have a lush, green lawn in no time. And once it's established, rye grass is incredibly durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic without showing wear and tear.

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When it comes to maintenance, rye grass requires regular mowing and watering. But compared to other types of grass, it's relatively low maintenance. And because it's a cool-season grass, it doesn't go dormant in the summer like warm-season grasses do.

Of course, not all rye grass seed is created equal. That's why it's important to choose a high-quality seed that's specifically designed for shade areas. Some of my favorite options include Jonathan Green Black Beauty® Dense Shade Grass Seed and Scotts Turf Builder® Grass Seed Dense Shade Mix. Both of these products are made with a blend of fescue and rye grass, giving you the best of both worlds.

So if you're struggling to grow grass under trees, I highly recommend giving rye grass a try. It's a durable, fast-growing, and low-maintenance solution that's sure to give you a lush, green lawn in no time.

Questions you be asking

What kind of grass seed should I use for areas under trees?

For shaded areas under trees, it's best to use grass seed blends that are specifically formulated for those conditions. These blends usually contain a mix of fine fescue and other shade-tolerant grasses.

Why is it important to use a special grass seed blend for shaded areas?

Grass needs sunlight to grow, and areas under trees tend to have less sunlight due to the shade created by the tree's canopy. Using a shade-tolerant blend will help ensure the grass in those areas can still thrive.

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Can I just use any grass seed for shaded areas?

While you could technically use any grass seed for shaded areas, it's not recommended. Shade-tolerant blends are specifically formulated to thrive in those conditions, whereas other grass seed blends may struggle or not grow at all.

Will the grass seed blend for shaded areas look different than regular grass seed

Shade-tolerant blends often contain fine fescue, which has thinner blades than other types of grass. This may give the grass a slightly different appearance, but it will still create a lush, green lawn.

How often should I water the grass in shaded areas?

It's important to water grass in shaded areas regularly, but not to over-water it. Aim for watering once or twice a week, giving the area enough time to dry out in between watering sessions.

Can I mix the shade-tolerant grass seed blend with other types of grass seed?

Mixing grass seed blends is not recommended, as different types of grass may have different growing requirements and could cause uneven growth patterns in your lawn. It's best to stick with one type of grass seed blend for shaded areas.

What is the best grass seed for shade?

The best grass seed for shade is a fine fescue blend. Fine fescues are cool-season grasses and tolerant to low-light conditions. They grow well in shaded areas and require less sunlight than other grass types.

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How can I make my grass grow better around trees?

To make grass grow better around trees, you can do the following things:

  • Prune the branches of the trees to allow more sunlight to reach the grass
  • Use a shade-tolerant grass seed
  • Apply more fertilizer to the area around the tree
  • Make sure the soil is properly aerated, so the roots can receive enough oxygen and nutrients

What can I put around trees where grass won't grow?

You can put mulch or ground covers around trees where grass won't grow. Mulch will help retain moisture and add nutrients to the soil. It also creates a barrier between the tree roots and the grass, preventing competition for resources. Ground covers, such as ferns or violets, are an excellent alternative to grass as they require less sunlight, and maintenance is minimal.

Is it OK for grass to grow around trees?

Grass can grow around trees. However, it can ultimately create a difficult environment for both the grass and the tree. As the tree grows, the grass root system will compete for nutrients and water, making it harder for the tree to thrive. Moreover, lawn mowers can damage the tree bark, which can lead to disease and insect infestations. It's essential to maintain proper care around the tree to enhance both the tree's health and the overall landscape's beauty.

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Sources we used in this research