Beyond the Sun: Tips for Growing Bermuda Grass in Shade

January 24, 2024


The Turfgrass Group

Bermuda grass is one of the easiest grasses to grow, but when it comes to growing it in the shade, it might give you a headache. Bermuda is not a particularly shade-tolerant grass. If your lawn has trees or structures that block sunlight, the Bermuda grass could grow in patchy or unwell.

Bermuda grass can create a gorgeous lawn, but typically with a recommended six hours of sunlight. So how do you grow Bermuda grass in the shade?

How to Master Bermuda Grass Shade Tolerance – 2023 Edition

Bermuda grass has a reputation for being one of the sturdiest grass cultivators, but the grass doesn’t do very well on a shaded lawn. It tends to require hours of sunlight. If it lacks sunlight, it starts to thin.

Only hybrid Bermuda grass can grow under the shade undisrupted. The grass is developed in the lab to give it characteristics the natural one doesn’t have. Therefore, to master the shade tolerance of this grass, you must find its hybrid and improved version.

Is Bermuda Grass Shade Tolerant?

Bermuda grass is very much capable of growing in different environments. It will expand beyond control and extend beyond your lawn. Under the shade is where it draws the line. The grass performs poorly under the shade resulting in poor turf quality.

Factors Affecting Bermuda Grass Shade Tolerance

These factors affect Bermuda grass shade tolerance and make the grass grow poorly under the shade.

Genetics and Variety

Genetic transformation is critical for the study of gene function. Through the study of grass genetics, scientists have learned how to improve different grass varieties, including the Bermuda grass. The genetic manipulation of Bermuda grass helps increase its shade tolerance.

Soil and Nutrient Conditions

Bermuda grass thrives in slightly acidic soil, with a pH of 6 to 7. It also tolerates slightly alkaline soil. The grass needs three critical nutrients: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. These nutrients are available in most soils.

Light Intensity and Duration

Bermuda grass thrives in sites with direct sun and good drainage. Regular Bermuda grass requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight to flourish. The grass thrives in the southern United States because it’s a warm-season grass.

Temperature and Humidity

The average daytime temperature for Bermuda grass is between 95° and 100°F.  The soil temperature should be above 65°F for proper growth of the roots, stolons, and rhizomes.

Competition from Other Plants

Bermuda grass is a competitive specie. It chokes its competition by forming a canopy over them. The grass is so dominant it’s considered a weed in over 80 countries. Getting rid of Bermuda grass is not easy, either.

How Do I Grow Bermuda Grass In Shade?

Growing turf under a shade or canopy can be a challenge. It will look thin and patchy even when it gets enough water. Here are some tips on how to grow Bermuda grass in the shade.

Choose a Shade-Tolerant Variety of Bermuda Grass

There’s a shade variety of Bermuda grass that you can choose. It has thin leaves and does well under shady conditions. It features finer and more leaves to help capture limited sunlight. Choose this variety if you intend to grow it under the shade.

Prepare the Soil with Proper Drainage and Nutrients

Even though Bermuda grass is highly tolerant to desert conditions, you should prep the soil with proper drainage and nutrients before planting the seeds. Make sure to use appropriate fertilizer to facilitate healthy growth.

Prune or Remove Nearby Trees and Shrubs that Block Sunlight

Depending on the tree’s height and how wide the branches extend, you can decide to prune the trees or cut some of them down. The latter should be the last resort, but we recommend pruning. Doing so will help improve sunlight penetration.

Use Reflective Mulch To Increase Light Reflection And Reduce Heat Stress

Reflective mulch helps increase light reflection for your Bermuda grass and reduce heat stress on the plant. This gives your plant the essential light required to boost its growth.

Pest and Disease Control

You should fight off insects and pests to keep your Bermuda grass healthy. Grass mites and bugs eat the blades and roots. The most common insects that feed on your Bermuda grass are grub works, cutworms, armyworms, billbugs, fire ants, and Bermuda grass mites.

Aeration and Overseeding

Aeration of the Bermuda grass should be done once or twice a year to help the grass form stronger roots. The roots are good in helping suck water and nutrients for your grass to thrive. After aerating your Bermuda grass, it’s good to overseed into the lawn in the deep holes. Overseeding will help keep your Bermuda grass thick, lush, and healthy.

Make Your Turfgrass Shade-Tolerant!

Bermuda grass may be one of the toughest grass for your lawn, but the jealous type doesn’t like anything getting on its way toward direct sunlight. To overcome this hurdle, grow shade-tolerant Bermuda grass. Where to get it? The Turfgrass Group has it! Our experts have developed the most suitable grass for your lawn because they know how it matters. If you want a special kind of Bermuda grass that can grow under the shade, call us!


In conclusion, Bermuda grass, known for its robust growth, may encounter challenges in shaded environments due to its preference for sunlight. Despite this, mastering Bermuda grass shade tolerance is achievable by selecting hybrid varieties designed explicitly for shade resilience. It’s essential to consider various factors and implement effective strategies for optimal growth.


Is Bermuda grass shade-tolerant?

Bermuda grass is not naturally shade-tolerant. It requires ample sunlight, typically around six hours a day, for optimal growth. However, there are hybrid varieties specifically developed to thrive in shaded conditions.

What factors affect Bermuda grass shade tolerance?

Several factors impact Bermuda grass shade tolerance, including genetics and variety, soil and nutrient conditions, light intensity and duration, temperature and humidity, and competition from other plants.

How can I grow Bermuda grass in the shade?

To grow Bermuda grass in the shade, choose a shade-tolerant variety, prepare the soil with proper drainage and nutrients, consider pruning or removing nearby trees to improve sunlight penetration, use reflective mulch to increase light reflection, implement pest and disease control measures, and engage in aeration and overseeding.

Where can I get shade-tolerant Bermuda grass?

The Turfgrass Group specializes in developing shade-tolerant Bermuda grass. For the most suitable grass for your lawn, mainly if you’re dealing with shaded areas, contact their experts to get a suitable variety that can thrive in less sunlight.

What role does The Turfgrass Group play in Bermuda grass cultivation?

The Turfgrass Group is a crucial player in providing shade-tolerant Bermuda grass varieties. Their experts have developed grass strains tailored to thrive in shaded conditions. For those seeking a special kind of Bermuda grass that can grow under the shade, The Turfgrass Group is a reliable source.


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