The northwest part of Florida is also called the Florida Panhandle. This section of the state is in what the U.S. Department of Agriculture calls plant hardiness zone 8. The grasses in this zone need to be able to withstand high heat and generally mild winters where a frost could occur. Grasses near the Gulf Coast in Northwest Florida must also have the ability to adapt to sandy soil.
Centipede is a warm-weather grass that is found along the Florida Panhandle. Centipede is recommended for Northwest Florida by the Outside Pride lawn-and-garden store experts because it provides for an attractive lawn and does not require a lot of maintenance such as mowing and fertilization. It is also one of the best for Northwest Florida because it has ability to adapt to a range of soils, including soil with sand along the Gulf Coast. It can be established from either seeds or sprigs. It is not considered vulnerable to insects. It also prefers full sun, but can grow in areas with partial shade. It does well in areas with high temperatures and mild winters. A hard freeze will kill its leaves, but the grass usually recovers when the weather warms up. It is an invasive grass and will overtake other grasses in the area with time. It has a dense turf and is good at choking out weeds.
Zoysia is one of the most common warm-weather grasses. According to Richard L. Duble, turfgrass specialist for the Texas Cooperative Extension, zoysia can be found along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas. It is one of the best choices for the Florida Panhandle because it can tolerate high temperatures, but it is also more resistant to cold weather than most of the warm-weather grasses. This gives it the ability to withstand any frosts that occasionally come to Northwest Florida. Zoysia does well areas with partial shade or full sun. It spreads with stolons and rhizomes, and is often planted from plugs or sod. It has a dense turf that makes it durable. Its deep roots also make it drought resistant. Richard Duble also recommends it for areas like Northwest Florida because it can tolerate different kinds of soil, including the sandy and salty soil found along the Gulf of Mexico.
Bermuda is a hardy warm-weather grass. The Outside Pride experts call it one of the best for Northwest Florida because of its ability to tolerate high heat and different soils. Bermuda grass spreads quickly and its deep roots make it difficult to remove once it has taken hold. It is often used on golf courses and athletic fields. It is grown from both sod and seed. It is also drought resistant because of the ability of the roots to draw water from the ground, although it does best when it receives a healthy amount of water. Its lush and dark-green color makes for an attractive lawn.