Growing Zoysia: Tips at a Glance
Zoysia is a sturdy, creeping grass suitable for ground cover use, turf grass (in warm climates) and erosion control. It grows thickly to choke out weeds and is drought tolerant, even in full sun where temperatures hover between 80 and 95 degrees.
- Type Ornamental grass
- Lifespan Perennial
- USDA Zones 5-11
- Light Sun, some shade
- Foliage Fine to coarse blades
- Where to Plant Slopes, lawns
- Design Tip Tropical turf
- Other Uses Erosion control
- Peak Season Warm months
Zoysia Grass: A Field Guide
A tough turf grass for warm climates, zoysia can quickly grow into a durable mat that chokes out weeds, explaining its popularity on golf course fairways and in tropical climates.
A warm-weather grass, zoysia will go dormant in cool conditions; in northern climates where temperatures routinely drop below 80 degrees for more than six months of the year, a better choice for turf is Fescue, perennial rye, or Kentucky bluegrass blends.
Species of zoysia fall into two camps: fine-bladed and coarse-bladed. Coarse varieties can be mowed (a reel mower is recommended): look for ‘Empire’ (more cold tolerant), ‘El Toro’ (prized for its resistance to insect infestations), and ‘JaMur’ (recommended for home use, it can stand up to a rotary mower).
Zoysia grass has many uses beyond turf. Clumping varieties (cultivars of the Zoysia tenuifolia species) make handsome, fine-bladed additions to a landscape. Low-growing and fine-bladed, Zoysia matrella adds texture to a landscape.