What is Zoysia Grass?

Zoysia grass is a warm-season grass that is native to Asia but is widely used in many parts of the world, including the United States. It is known for its dense growth and ability to withstand heat, drought, and heavy foot traffic. Zoysia grass is often used in residential and commercial landscapes, golf courses, and sports fields due to its attractive appearance and durability.

The Characteristics of Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass has several characteristics that make it a popular choice for lawns and other outdoor areas. One of its main advantages is its ability to tolerate heat and drought. This grass species has deep roots that allow it to access water and nutrients from the soil even during dry periods. It also has a dense growth habit, which helps to prevent weed growth and erosion.

Another characteristic of Zoysia grass is its ability to withstand heavy foot traffic. This makes it an ideal choice for areas that receive a lot of use, such as sports fields and playgrounds. The grass can quickly recover from damage and maintain its attractive appearance.

Zoysia grass is also known for its low maintenance requirements. It has a slow growth rate, which means that it requires less mowing compared to other grass species. It also has good resistance to pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical treatments.

Types of Zoysia Grass

There are several different types of Zoysia grass, each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the most popular varieties include:

Zoysia japonica

Zoysia japonica is a common type of Zoysia grass that is known for its ability to tolerate shade. It has a coarse texture and is often used in areas with partial shade, such as under trees or near buildings. This variety is also known for its good cold tolerance, making it suitable for regions with cooler climates.

Zoysia matrella

Zoysia matrella, also known as Manila grass, is a fine-textured variety of Zoysia grass. It has a dense growth habit and is often used in golf courses and high-end landscapes. This variety requires more maintenance compared to other types of Zoysia grass, but its attractive appearance makes it worth the extra effort.

Zoysia tenuifolia

Zoysia tenuifolia, commonly known as Korean velvet grass or Mascarene grass, is a unique variety of Zoysia grass. It has a fine texture and a distinctive bright green color. This variety is often used as a ground cover or in rock gardens due to its low growth habit and ability to spread quickly.

How to Plant Zoysia Grass

Planting Zoysia grass can be done through sodding or seeding. Sodding involves laying down pre-grown grass patches, while seeding involves spreading Zoysia grass seeds over the desired area. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends on factors such as budget, time, and personal preference.

Before planting Zoysia grass, it is important to prepare the soil properly. This includes removing any existing vegetation, tilling the soil, and adding organic matter or fertilizer to improve soil fertility. It is also recommended to conduct a soil test to determine the pH level and nutrient content of the soil.

Once the soil is prepared, the Zoysia grass can be planted according to the chosen method. It is important to water the newly planted grass regularly to promote root establishment. After the grass has established, it should be watered deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth.

Zoysia Grass Maintenance

Maintaining Zoysia grass involves several key tasks to keep it healthy and looking its best. These tasks include:


Zoysia grass should be mowed at a height of 1 to 2 inches. Regular mowing helps to maintain the desired height and prevent thatch buildup. It is important to avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass blade length at a time to avoid stressing the grass.


Zoysia grass has good drought tolerance but still requires regular watering, especially during dry periods. It is recommended to water the grass deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth. Watering should be done early in the morning to allow the grass to dry before evening, reducing the risk of disease.


Zoysia grass benefits from regular fertilization to maintain its health and vigor. It is recommended to apply a slow-release fertilizer in early spring and again in late summer or early fall. The fertilizer should be applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid over-fertilization.

Weed Control

Proper weed control is essential to keep Zoysia grass looking its best. Regularly inspect the lawn for weeds and remove them manually or use an appropriate herbicide. It is important to follow the instructions on the herbicide label and avoid applying it during hot weather or when the grass is stressed.

Pest and Disease Management

Zoysia grass is relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but occasional issues may arise. Common pests that can affect Zoysia grass include grubs, chinch bugs, and armyworms. These pests can be controlled using appropriate insecticides. Diseases such as brown patch and dollar spot can be managed through proper cultural practices, such as avoiding overwatering and improving air circulation.


In conclusion, Zoysia grass is a popular choice for lawns and outdoor areas due to its heat and drought tolerance, dense growth habit, and ability to withstand heavy foot traffic. It comes in different varieties, each with its own unique characteristics. Proper planting and maintenance practices are essential to keep Zoysia grass healthy and looking its best. By following the recommended guidelines for mowing, watering, fertilizing, and weed control, homeowners can enjoy a beautiful and resilient Zoysia grass lawn.