COMMON NAME St. Augustine Floratam, St. Augustine, Floratam
BOTANICAL NAME Stenotaphrum secundatum ‘Floratam’
HEIGHT Reaches 8″ to 32″ when left unmowed. Maintain at 2″ to 4″. Don’t let grass get taller than 6″ if you mow.
WIDTH Fast-spreading rate
LIFESPAN Long-lived
SOIL TYPE Prefers well drained, can grow on poorly drained. Prefers a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.5. Can grow in sand.
WATER REQUIREMENTS Water regularly when required, such as to make up for lack of rainfall. Needs irrigation during Summer, 2 or 3 times per week should suffice. Symptoms of grass dehydration are wilting blades and grass discoloration. Overwatering can cause fungus, while underwater can cause grass to dry out and force Summer dormancy. Watering will help dormant grass recover.
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS Full sun, can grow in part-sun. Needs 6+ hours of sun every day.
FERTILIZING Use a turfgrass or lawn grass fertilizer, do not use flower or vegetable fertilizer. Apply every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season, for a total of 4 or 5 applications per year. Turfgrass fertilizer contains slow-release nitrogen and low or no phosphorus. Too much nitrogen can cause thatching. Slow-release nitrogen keeps blades healthy and stronger for longer, and also reduces the chance of accidentally burning the grass from excess application. Florida soils are usually high in phosphorus, though there have been increased phosphorus deficiencies in a number of lawns throughout Florida. Soil tests may be warranted if deficiency symptoms occur, such as reduced growth and dark green followed by purple shoot color of lower leaves. A soil test is required to properly identify a phosphorus deficiency, and if the deficiency is confirmed, phosphorus can be applied to supplement such.
FLOWER Inflorescence is a long raceme with imbedded spikelets
MONTH OF COLOR Warm months
FRUIT Unknown. Cannot be propagated by seed. Inedible.
TOXICITY AND ANIMALS Safe for animals if properly maintained and healthy. Chemicals sprayed on grass as insecticides or fertilizers may be unsafe for animals, read the label.
COMMENTS Hybrid cultivar of St. Augustine grass that is dark green and coarse-textured. Flourishes during the warm season. Winter causes the grass to go dormant and causes the color to fade, though it quickly turns green in the Spring. Floratam spreads horizontally through large, purplish-red above-ground stems called stolons. Susceptible to wear and tear, so this variety is not ideal for playgrounds or playing fields. Grows rapidly and recuperates fairly quickly. St. Augustine grasses are the most salt tolerant of the warm-season grasses. Resists viral infection, though not as cold or shade tolerant. Released in 1973, developed by University of Florida and Texas A&M University. Aeration is recommended every 1 or 2 years to optimize grass health and prevent compacting.
PRICE Prices vary by area size, call for a quote.