Sod Comparison & Differences
St. Augustine vs. Zoysia

Let's dive into a side-by-side comparison of these two grasses. We're looking at everything from cost and looks to how well they stand up to drought, shade, and foot traffic. Stick around to see which one comes out on top!

Close up photo of St. Augustine sod
St. Augustine
vs
Close up photo of Zoysia sod
Zoysia

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, St. Augustine or Zoysia?

Between these two, Zoysia is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.73. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $362.50 per pallet.

St. Augustine on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.70 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $350.00 per pallet.

St. AugustineBudget Friendly
from$0.50 / sq ft
to$0.90 / sq ft
Zoysia
from$0.55 / sq ft
to$0.90 / sq ft

Editor's note: It's important to remember that both of these are averages based on data from around the country so cost can vary depending on your location. Keep in mind this doesn't include other fees like delivery or installation.

See our sod calculator to get a comprehensive sod estimate.

Shade Tolerance

Which grass grows better in the shade?

St. Augustine grass tolerates shade relatively well and can thrive with around 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, making it a fitting choice for yards with partial shade.

St. Augustine
Shade Tolerance8 / 10
Zoysia
Shade Tolerance6 / 10

On the other hand, Zoysia Grass is versatile, withstanding shaded areas quite well; it stays healthy with about 4 to 5 hours of sun but prefers a bit more light when possible.

Appearance

Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like St. Augustine (pictured top) and Zoysia (pictured bottom), personal preference plays a significant role, but understanding the nuances of each type's appearance can guide your decision. Here's what to consider:

St. Augustine close up imageZoysia close up image

St. Augustine grass boasts a lush, deep green hue with broad, coarse blades that create a dense, cushiony turf, ideal for a warm, inviting lawn that's as pleasing to the touch as it is to the eye.

Zoysia Grass is thick and lush, sporting a deep green color and finer blades that cushion your steps, making for a plush, inviting lawn to walk and play on.

Drought Tolerance

Which one needs more water?

St. Augustine grass has moderate drought tolerance; it may need some extra care and water to stay green during extended dry spells.

St. Augustine
Drought Tolerance6 / 10
Zoysia
Drought Tolerance8 / 10

On the other hand, Zoysia Grass is quite drought tolerant, able to stay green with less water and recover well when conditions improve.

Takeaway: If you're located in a somewhat dry and arid geographic region and are looking for a grass that can handle drought-like conditions, Zoysia is the better option between St. Augustine and Zoysia.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

St. Augustine is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. The ideal temperature range for laying St. Augustine sod is between 75°F and 90°F.

St. Augustine
warm zones
Zoysia
warm zones
transition zones

Zoysia is well-suited for growth in warm or moderate climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Zoysia is between 70°F and 90°F. If you choose to lay outside of the ideal range, you can still have success, but it may take a longer time to esablish and require a bit more maintenance.

As you may have noticed, both St. Augustine and Zoysia thrive under pretty similar climatic conditions!

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

St. Augustine grass is moderately tolerant to foot traffic, holding up to some back yard play and activity with a recovery that keeps your lawn looking full and lively.

St. Augustine
Traffic Tolerance5 / 10
Zoysia
Traffic Tolerance8 / 10

On the other hand, Zoysia Grass is a champion of foot traffic tolerance, withstanding heavy use and bouncing back well from wear, making it ideal for busy yards and public spaces.

Takeaway: If you're looking for a grass that can handle heavy foot traffic, Zoysia is the better option between St. Augustine and Zoysia.

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

St. Augustine grass, with its robust spreading habit and preference for warm climates, typically establishes quite readily, making it a popular choice for lush, green lawns in milder regions.

St. Augustine
Establishment Rate7 / 10
Zoysia
Establishment Rate4 / 10

Zoysia grass, characterized by its fine texture and high drought tolerance, establishes slowly but creates a dense, wear-resistant turf ideal for warm, temperate areas.

Net, net - if you're looking for a grass that establishes quickly, St. Augustine is the way to go.

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

St. Augustine grass can struggle with pests like chinch bugs and diseases such as gray leaf spot, especially in humid, coastal regions, requiring proactive management.

St. Augustine
Resistance5 / 10
Zoysia
Resistance7 / 10

Zoysia Grass is well-regarded for its pest resistance, particularly to chinch bugs and grubs, but can occasionally suffer from diseases like brown patch in humid conditions.

TLDR - if you're looking for a grass that wards off pests and disease, Zoysia edges out the competition.

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, St. Augustine or Zoysia?

Alright it's time to count the scores up.

Most blogs or articles are going to give you a wishy washy "it's up to you" speil. That is definitely true. You'll need to choose based on your geographic conditions and what you like most looks-wise.

That being said, if we just compare the scores based on the following measures. Higher is better in this case.

  • Average Cost: 4 for St. Augustine, 4 for Zoysia
  • Shade Tolerance: 8 for St. Augustine, 6 for Zoysia
  • Drought Tolerance: 6 for St. Augustine, 8 for Zoysia
  • Traffic Tolerance: 5 for St. Augustine, 8 for Zoysia
  • Establishment Rate: 7 for St. Augustine, 4 for Zoysia
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 5 for St. Augustine, 7 for Zoysia

Drumroll please...

All in all, Zoysia comes out on top with a score of 37/60 versus 35/60 for St. Augustine.

Thanks for reading! If you have any feedback or corrections for us, please email our editor at editor@sodcalculator.com.