Growing grass in the shade can be a challenge. Most turfgrass variations need at least five or six hours of direct sun to thrive. No grass grows in completely shaded areas, but if you have a yard filled with lovely trees that filter Hawaii’s abundant sunlight, you might want to consider a turfgrass variety called Captiva St. Augustine.

This lovely dark green variety, available exclusively in Hawaii from Hawaiian Turfgrass in Mililani, is a true “low-mow” grass, recommended for yards that get only a few hours of direct sunlight each day. Captiva St. Augustine was developed by University of Florida and is known for its shade tolerance, slow vertical growth, and resistance to pests and disease.


“We’re really excited about Captiva,” says Sean Fong, owner of Hawaiian Turfgrass. “It’s a semi-dwarf, fine-bladed, dark green St. Augustine grass. It has improved traits and characteristics compared to the older varieties.”

Common St. Augustine grass is very wide and long, and somewhat wild-looking, Fong explains.

“Aesthetically, the Captiva variety is a lot nicer. Common St. Augustine can be the length and width of your middle finger, but the Captiva is about the length and width of your pinky. Side by side, you can definitely tell there’s a difference.”


Because it’s a dwarf grass, Captiva St. Augustine doesn’t grow as fast as other varieties, and requires less maintenance. With a massive root system, Captiva St. Augustine actually grows laterally, and sends its runners “crawling” over the ground. Accordingly, Fong says, aggressive cutting isn’t good for this turfgrass variety.

“It’s best to cut Captiva every two to four weeks with a rotary mower, when it’s 2 inches or higher,” he adds.

Hawaiian Turfgrass offers four sod varieties, selected especially for the Hawaiian Islands, with traits and characteristics that outperform older, common grasses. All are more drought-tolerant and require less mowing. Like many local suppliers, Hawaiian Turfgrass sells the extremely popular El Toro Zoysia. It’s also the exclusive authorized seller in the state of Hawaii of SeaStar Seashore Paspalum, Zeon Zoysia — and the beautiful, shade-tolerant Captiva St. Augustine.


Hawaiian Turfgrass offers complete turnkey lawn services: site prep, irrigation, delivery and installation. Call 808-371-0527 and order your new lawn (minimum 500 square feet) by June 30 for a $500 installation discount! Prefer to install your new lawn yourself? Visit to place your order and arrange for pickup or curbside delivery!

CONTACT 808-371-0527
ADDRESS 94-840 Lanikuhana Ave., Mililani