Floratam St. Augustine grass is ideal for shady, moderate traffic areas.
It was originally released in the early 1970's by the Florida and Texas Agricultural Experiment Stations as a SAD virus and chinchbug resistant turfgrass (a portmanteau of FLORada and TexasAM).
Floratam only requires 6 hours of sunlight a day, but prefers the warmer climates of central and southern Florida. It is a vigorous, coarse textured St. Augustine grass. Its stolons are large, with a classic purplish-red color. The internodes average 3" in length (which can extend up to 3/4" per day) with wider and longer leaf blades than common St. Augustine grass. Tests at A&M concluded that Floratam is the most drought-tolerant of all St. Augustine varieties.
Since Floratam is less cold tolerant than common St. Augustine sod, preconditioning with winterizer fertilizer in the fall is a must.
Following a major four years study of 58 different types of grasses, it was found that there were large variations in drought tolerance among the 5 tested St. Augustine varieties. Floratam showed a high green of shoot recovery and less than 50% leaf firing with recoveries at over 90%. Floratam performed excellently throughout the study in terms of shoot color, turgidity and uniformity.
Floratam should be mowed no higher than 1 1/2" in normal weather, or 2" or higher in dry, unwatered conditions.