- 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.