Zoysiagrass for Florida Lawns (2022)

J. Bryan Unruh, Marco Schiavon, Alex J. Lindsey, Kevin E. Kenworthy, and L. E. Trenholm

Zoysiagrasses (Zoysia spp.) were introduced into the United States from Asia and provide attractive turf throughout much of the United States. In recent years, newer cultivars of zoysiagrass have entered the market with improved insect resistance, accelerated establishment, and better overall performance. Zoysiagrasses are adapted to a variety of soil types and have good tolerance to shade, salt, and traffic. When properly managed, they produce a very dense ground cover that resists weed invasion, but certain pests can be problematic. Zoysiagrasses spread through rhizomes and stolons.

Proper lawn maintenance practices are the best means for avoiding pest problems and maintaining a healthy lawn. Zoysiagrass requires proper fertility to maintain good cover and healthy growth characteristics. During certain times of the year, it may need supplemental irrigation, especially during periods of extended drought, to remain green. Pesticides may be needed periodically, but their use can be minimized if other cultural practices (mowing, irrigation, fertilization) are done correctly.

Zoysiagrass maintenance is different from that of other Florida lawn grasses. When improper maintenance practices are followed, undesirable results generally occur. Table 1 provides a quick comparison of zoysiagrass to other lawn grasses.

Species and Cultivars

Several species and varieties of zoysiagrass are used for residential and commercial landscapes, athletic fields, and golf course greens, tees, fairways, and roughs. They vary widely in leaf color, texture, and establishment rate (Patton et al. 2017).

Species

Zoysia japonica Steud.

This species was introduced into the United States in 1894 and is commonly called Japanese lawngrass or Korean lawngrass. Cultivars of this species are generally coarse-textured. Of all the zoysiagrasses, this species has a faster growth rate and exhibits excellent cold tolerance. It is easily mown using a rotary mower. Zoysia japonica is the only zoysiagrass for which seed is commercially available; however, the seeded varieties generally do not produce as high-quality turf as do the vegetatively propagated (sodded or plugged) varieties. Seeded cultivars should be limited to use where convenience of establishment by seed is more important than quality.

Zoysia matrella (L.) Merr.

Also called Manilagrass, this species was introduced into the United States in 1892 from Japan. It produces a finer and denser turf than Zoysia japonica but is generally less winter hardy and slower growing. Manilagrass resembles bermudagrass in texture, color, and quality and is recommended for a high-quality, high-maintenance turf where a slow rate of establishment is not a disadvantage. Cultivars of Z. matrella typically have good to excellent shade tolerance and salt tolerance.

Zoysia pacifica (Goudsw.) M. Hotta & S. Kuroki

Also called Mascarenegrass or Korean velvetgrass, this species is the finest-textured and densest zoysiagrass available. It has good wear tolerance but poor cold tolerance and is only adapted to the central and southern areas of the state. It also produces an excessive thatch, giving it a puffy appearance. This species is often used for low-growing, ornamental specimen plants, especially in Asian-themed gardens, and not for lawns.

Cultivars

Although information is available on the internet about many zoysiagrass varieties, not all information is pertinent to Florida’s climate and environmental conditions. Based on research information and anecdotal observations, following is a summary of what to expect.

Zoysia japonica Cultivars

El Toro

‘El Toro’ is an improved coarse-textured Zoysia japonica released in 1986 from California. It has a faster establishment rate, improved cool-season color, better drought resistance, and less thatch buildup than Meyer zoysiagrass. El Toro is also reported to have early spring green-up, more shade tolerance, and improved resistance to rust disease. It is susceptible to large patch disease.

Empire Turf

‘Empire’ (‘SS-500’) is a popular coarse-textured cultivar. It has a very dense growth habit, maintains a nice green color, and has a good rate of establishment. Empire has performed well in sandy and clay soil types. Its shade tolerance is like El Toro’s and better than Meyer’s. Empire is the most common zoysiagrass in Florida and does well throughout the state; however, it is susceptible to large patch disease.

JaMur

‘JaMur’ is a medium-coarse-textured cultivar that has performed well in many areas and is available in Florida. It has a very attractive color and does well in moderate shade. JaMur has an excellent rate of establishment and performs well at the recommended height of cut using rotary mowers. It is susceptible to large patch disease.

(Video) Central Florida Gardening-Zoysiagrass

Meyer

‘Meyer’ (‘Z-52’, ‘Amazoy®’) is a medium-coarse-textured cultivar that has been in use since the 1950s and is often seen in ads as the "miracle grass." It has excellent winter hardiness; however, it is very slow to establish, and hunting billbugs and nematodes pose serious problems. It is susceptible to large patch disease. It is not produced in Florida and is not recommended for use.

Palisades

‘Palisades’ is a coarse-textured zoysiagrass developed by Texas A&M University in 1996. It has more upright leaves compared to Empire and JaMur and is known for its excellent drought tolerance. It has a fast rate of establishment, and its shade tolerance is like JaMur’s. Overall, it has good disease resistance but is susceptible to large patch disease.

Zenith

‘Zenith’ zoysiagrass is a coarse-textured, seeded cultivar. Generally, the seeded cultivars do not perform as well as the vegetative cultivars. Zenith zoysiagrass is dark green but exhibits poor persistence in Florida due to its susceptibility to disease. Seed of Zenith is commercially available in Florida, but it is not recommended for use in Florida lawns.

Zoysia matrella Cultivars

Cashmere, Diamond, Taccoa Green™, and Trinity

These four cultivars are very similar in appearance, have a very fine texture, and perform well at mowing heights that range from golf course putting green heights to 0.5”. Their optimum height of cut is 0.25”. These four grasses have limited availability in Florida and are recommended for use on golf courses or very high-end landscapes. They are extremely shade tolerant. ‘Cashmere’ was selected from a naturalized stand in Florida and entered the market in 1988. ‘Diamond’ was released from Texas A&M University in 1996 and is known for its high salt tolerance. It is used on putting greens on several golf courses in Florida. ‘Toccoa Green™’ (‘BA-305’) was released by the University of Florida in 2004. (‘BA-305’ was formerly marketed under the brand PristineFlora™.) It has a faster rate of growth and recovers more quickly from scalp damage. ‘Trinity is a more recently available cultivar that has exhibited good adaptability through Florida.

Geo, Zeon, and Zorro

These three cultivars are fine-textured, dark green, and very similar in appearance. All three have limited availability in Florida. ‘Zorro’ was developed by Texas A&M University. ‘Zeon’ is a popular zoysiagrass in many regions but is not as well adapted to Florida. All three have good shade tolerance and are good choices to replace bermudagrasses on golf courses where shade is a concern. They perform well at mowing heights ranging from 0.5” to 2.0”. Disease issues include dollar spot and large patch.

Thrive

‘Thrive’ is a new fine-textured Z. matrella with limited availability in Florida. Its appearance resembles Geo, Zeon, and Zorro. Other than anecdotal evidence of good drought tolerance, very little information is available about its origins and suitability for use in Florida.

Hybrid Cultivars

CitraZoy™

‘CitraZoy™’ zoysiagrass was developed and released by the University of Florida in 2019. It is a hybrid between a well-adapted Z. matrella and Z. japonica with a medium-fine leaf texture between Meyer and the Z. matrella cultivars. It has slightly better shade tolerance than the Z. japonica cultivars and is less shade tolerant than the Z. matrella cultivars. It has good establishment, good sod strength, good wear tolerance, and the best winter color retention of any zoysiagrass on the market. Large patch has never been observed to occur on CitraZoy; however, it will get leaf spot. It is expanding in production with a few Florida producers at the time of publication.

Emerald

(Video) Top 5 Reasons Why I Love Zoysia Grass

‘Emerald’ zoysiagrass is a selected hybrid between Zoysia japonica and Zoysia pacifica developed in Tifton, Georgia, and released in 1955. This hybrid combines the winter hardiness, color, and faster growth rate of one its Z. japonica parent with the fine texture and density of its Z. pacifica parent. Emerald resembles Manilagrass (particularly Geo, Zeon, Zorro, and Thrive) in color, texture, density, and disease issues, but has better winter hardiness and wider adaptation.

Icon™

‘Icon™’ zoysiagrass was developed in Australia and is a hybrid between Z. macrantha and Z. japonica. It is coarse textured and similar in appearance and uses to Empire, El Toro, Palisades, and JaMur. It has excellent sod strength, very high salt tolerance, and produces very little thatch in comparison to other zoysiagrasses. It has good availability in Florida, and large patch has not been observed in Icon.

Innovation™

‘Innovation™’ zoysiagrass was jointly developed and released in 2017 by Texas A&M University and Kansas State University. It is a hybrid between a Z. matrella and a cold-tolerant Z. japonica. Innovation is proven to have excellence winter hardiness with a finer leaf texture compared to Meyer. Its leaf texture is between Meyer and the Z. matrella cultivars. Currently, very little is known about its performance in Florida or disease responses, and it has limited availability.

Establishment of Zoysiagrass

With one exception, zoysiagrasses must be planted vegetatively by sod, plugs, or sprigs. Zoysia japonica is the only species for which seed is commercially available. Proper site preparation before planting is critical to ensure successful establishment. Refer to ENH02, Preparing to Plant a Florida Lawn (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh012), for complete information.

Seeding

Establishing zoysiagrass from seed is increasing in popularity. The seed, however, requires light for germination and cannot be covered with soil, as is normally recommended. Consequently, areas to be established by seed need to be covered with some type of erosion cloth to reduce any surface disruption caused by rain or irrigation. The best time to seed is during the period from April to July, because this permits a full growing season before winter weather. In north Florida, fall seeding is undesirable because the young seedlings may not become sufficiently established to withstand cold injury during the winter. It may take up to 2–3 weeks to germinate and an additional 6–8 weeks to establish. During this time, irrigation management is extremely important. After seeding, frequent, light irrigations are necessary to keep the soil moist and encourage germination. Maintain this moisture regime until the planted area is completely covered.

Plugging

Because of the slow establishment rate of zoysiagrass (compared to St. Augustinegrass), plugs are usually planted on 8- to 12-inch centers. This means that plugs are planted every 8–12 inches in a row and rows are spaced 8–12 inches apart. Depending on the level of maintenance given, at least one full season (and longer for some varieties) is required for complete coverage and a uniform height. Plugs should be tamped firmly into the soil and watered in. During grow-in, the soil should be kept moist until the grass is well rooted. Weeds will dominate the bare areas between the plugs, and they should be scouted on a regular basis and weeds removed before they have a chance to gain hold.

Sprigging

Planting zoysiagrasses by sprigs is a laborious but effective method of establishment. Fresh sprigs with at least 2 or 4 nodes should be planted in rows that are 6 inches apart. Plant the sprigs end-to-end or no more than 6 inches apart in the row and cover them with soil about 1–2 inches deep, leaving part of each sprig exposed to light. A roller can be used to press sprigs into the soil. Soil must be kept moist until plants initiate new growth and the area is completely covered.

Sodding

Sodding produces an instant turf as the entire area to be planted with grass material is covered. Sodding can also reduce potential weed competition that can occur when using other planting methods that leave bare ground. However, it is important to remember that the grass is still vulnerable at this stage, and it is not yet safe for play, traffic, or other activities. It is quite dependent until the roots have developed and extended down into the soil. Sod should only be laid over bare, moist soil, with pieces laid in a staggered brick-like pattern and the edges fitted tightly together to avoid any open cracks (Figure 1). Rolling and watering thoroughly ensures good contact with the soil for fast rooting. Sodded areas should be watered at least twice per day with ¼ inch of water until the sod is held fast to the soil by new roots (usually 2–3 weeks), after which watering should be reduced to an as-needed basis.

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Maintenance of Zoysiagrass

Nutrient Management

Proper turfgrass nutrition is very important for sustaining a healthy lawn. Nutrients needed by plants come from many sources, including soil organic matter, trace amounts in rainfall, and fertilizers. Fertilization and other cultural practices influence the overall health and quality of the lawn and reduce its vulnerability to numerous stresses, including weeds, insects, and disease. It is very important that anyone fertilizing their lawn be familiar with and follow the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Best Management Practices (BMPs). These practices are designed to maintain healthy lawns and reduce potential nonpoint source pollution of water resources that might result from lawn and landscape fertilization and other cultural practices. There are state and local regulations that cover lawn fertilization, so be aware of city and county guidelines and always follow the directions on the fertilizer bag. For more information on BMPs, please refer to ENH979, Homeowner Best Management Practices for the Home Lawn (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep236).

A soil test is used to determine soil pH and what nutrients are available in the soil. The local Extension office has instructions and supplies for taking soil samples and submitting them to the UF/IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory for analysis. Refer to SL281, Soil Sampling and Testing for the Home Landscape or Vegetable Garden (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss494), for more information. In particular, phosphorus levels are best determined by soil testing. Because many Florida soils are high in phosphorus, it is often not necessary to add phosphorus fertilizer to a lawn once it is established.

Florida Rule (5E-1.003) mandates that the fertilizer application rates cannot exceed 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 square feet for any application. Based on the percentage of nitrogen that is in a slowly available or slow-release form in a fertilizer, UF/IFAS recommendations call for applying ½ pound (water-soluble nitrogen source) to 1 lb (slow-release nitrogen source) of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of turfgrass.

As a general rule, the first fertilizer application of the year should be early April in central Florida and mid-April in north Florida. In south Florida, fertilizer applications may be made throughout the year because growth is year-round. UF/IFAS guidelines for lawn grass fertilization offer a range of fertilizer rates over which a particular species may be successfully maintained in the various regions of the state. These ranges account for individual homeowner preferences for low-, medium-, or higher-input grass. Additionally, localized microclimatic effects can have a tremendous impact on turfgrass growth. A range of rates allows for these environmental variations. An example of this would be a typical home lawn that is partially shaded and partially sunny. The grass growing in the shade needs less fertilizer than that growing in full sun. Fertilization is also affected by soil type, organic matter in soils, and practices such as clipping management. Recycled clippings return some nutrients back to the soil and are accounted for in UF/IFAS nutrient recommendations. Additionally, a newly sodded lawn on a sand soil with no organic matter may need more fertilizer than a lawn that has been fertilized for years. In Florida, new homes and new developments may be next to much older, developed landscapes, and a one-size-fits-all approach to fertilization is not reasonable. Thus, the guidelines provide a base range from which the end user can begin a fertilization program. The homeowner is encouraged to initiate a program based on these guidelines and to adjust it over time based on how the turfgrass responds.

(Video) Zoysia Grass Lawn Pros, Cons, and Tips

Zoysiagrass responds better to a "spoon-feeding" fertilizer regimen (smaller quantities applied more frequently) rather than supplying larger quantities infrequently. It is best to take the annual fertilizer guidelines (Table 2) and divide the annual quantity into three applications (north Florida) to six applications (south Florida) per year in most situations. Avoid applying nitrogen fertilizer simply to promote green color. Instead, monitor growth and apply only when the growth rate has declined. Potassium nutrition also is important and should be applied at rates equal to nitrogen. During excessively rainy periods, potassium may need to be applied more frequently due to its leaching ability.

Because zoysiagrass is slow to green-up in the spring, avoid applying fertilizer until after the turf has become fully green to avoid premature green-up, which is prone to frost injury. This is especially important in north Florida, where late spring frosts may damage the grass. Delaying spring fertilization until the turf is actively growing and can use the fertilizer also reduces the potential for nitrogen leaching from fertilizer. Likewise, do not fertilize too late in the year, because this can slow regrowth the following spring. Applying nitrogen on zoysiagrass in early spring and late fall significantly increases the risk of large patch disease.

On high-pH (>7.0) soils or where high-pH water is applied, yellow leaf blades may be an indication of iron (Fe) or manganese (Mn) deficiency. Foliar applications of soluble or chelated sources of these micronutrients can provide a green-up due to elevated pH.

For iron deficiency, spray ferrous sulfate (2 ounces in 3–5 gallons of water per 1000 square feet) or a chelated iron source (refer to the label for rates) to temporarily enhance color. Iron applications every 6 weeks help maintain green color and, unlike nitrogen, do not promote excessive top growth. Granular iron sources should be limited to chelated sources (i.e., EDTA, DTPA, or EDDHA), whereas foliar applications can include soluble Fe sulfate or chelates. For information on using iron on Florida turfgrasses, please refer to ENH1287, Iron for Florida Turfgrasses (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/EP551).

Note that iron is not a substitute for nitrogen, which provides the building blocks for turfgrass growth and is required for turf health. While both iron and nitrogen deficiencies result in yellowing of turfgrass, they are distinctly different deficiencies in plants. Applying iron does not cure yellowing due to nitrogen deficiency, and iron fertilizer is not a substitute for nitrogen fertilizer. Foliar iron fertilizers, such as iron sulfate or chelated iron solutions, help correct iron deficiencies, and nitrogen fertilizers applied according to BMPs correct nitrogen deficiencies.

Mowing

With proper fertility, zoysiagrasses require regular mowing during the summer to look their best. Medium- to coarse-textured zoysiagrasses should be mowed weekly, or when they reach a height of 3–4 inches. They should be mowed at a height of 1.75–2.5 inches with a rotary mower. Fine-textured zoysiagrasses maintained at heights below 1 inch require more frequent mowing. Because zoysiagrass leaves contain more lignin and silica than other turfgrasses, they can be quite difficult to mow. Clippings should be left on the ground after mowing unless they become excessive and clump on the turf surface. A sharp, well-adjusted rotary or reel mower should be used.

Watering

Zoysiagrass responds to drought by turning brown and going dormant in a short period of time (within a week under typical drought conditions). In the absence of rain or irrigation, zoysiagrass stays dormant for extended periods of time. Once irrigation or rainfall resumes, zoysiagrass will regain its green color.

Irrigating on an "as-needed" basis is the best way to water any established, mature grass if the proper amount of water is applied when needed. Allowing the zoysiagrass to go off-color is an acceptable water-conserving measure. However, when green grass is desired, irrigation is needed when leaf blades begin to fold up, wilt, or turn a blue-gray color, or when footprints remain visible after walking on the grass. Apply ½–¾ inch of water per application. This applies water to roughly the top 8 inches of soil, where most of the roots are. Be sure to follow any local watering restrictions. Refer to the EDIS publication LH025, Watering Your Florida Lawn (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh025), for additional information on proper watering techniques.

To determine application rates of a sprinkler system, place several straight-sided cans (e.g., tuna fish or cat food) throughout each irrigation zone. Run each zone to determine how long it takes to fill the cans to the ¾- or 1-inch level, then record the time. Each zone will likely take different amounts of time to give the same quantity of water. The recorded run times for each zone should then be programmed into the irrigation clock for automated systems. If the variation in the catch cans is great, a more thorough audit of the irrigation system is needed. Irrigation frequency should change seasonally, with less water needed in the fall and winter. Do not adjust the amount applied per irrigation event, just the frequency.

Thatch Management

Zoysiagrasses typically develop a thick thatch layer in the years after establishment—especially when overfertilized with nitrogen. Thatch is an intermingled layer of living and dead turfgrass shoots, stems, and roots between the green vegetation and the soil. This thatch must be controlled or removed mechanically to maintain a uniform grass appearance. This is most often done using a vertical mower or power rake every year or two (Figure 2). Some have noted that scalping, during or shortly after spring green-up, helps reduce thatch buildup, but this can be injurious to the lawn. One of the most important methods of reducing thatch buildup is to keep nitrogen fertility at the recommended levels. Proper mowing heights also help prevent thatch buildup.

Zoysiagrass for Florida Lawns (2)

Pest Management

Like other lawn grasses grown in Florida, zoysiagrass lawns encounter pest problems. Periodic control of one or more of these problems may be necessary to grow a healthy turf. The local county Extension office can help identify pest problems and provide current control recommendations (http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/find-your-local-office/).

Weeds

One of the best attributes of zoysiagrass is its ability to resist weed invasion due to its thick, dense growth habit. Insect and disease problems can damage zoysiagrass, creating voids in this dense mat where weeds can invade. Fortunately, unlike St. Augustinegrass and centipedegrass, zoysiagrass is very tolerant to many effective pre- and postemergence herbicides, giving a wide range of options to the turf manager (Table 1). Refer to ENH884, Weed Management in Home Lawns (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep141), for more information.

Insects

Hunting billbug can be a serious insect on zoysiagrass. Billbugs feed on roots, causing the turf to die in irregular-shaped patches. The damage most often occurs in the fall and spring when populations are high and when damage may be misdiagnosed as dormancy. Stems and rhizomes break easily and have irregular feeding marks, and the turf will not hold together if cut. Most damage occurs on infertile or dry soil. If 10–12 billbugs are seen per square foot, control may be necessary.

Mole crickets and white grubs can also negatively impact zoysiagrass. Mole crickets feed on grass roots and leaf blades, and their tunneling activity dislodges plants from the soil, causing the plants to dry out. White grubs, like billbugs, feed on roots, causing the turf to turn yellow, wilt, and eventually die. Both of these insect pests often attract raccoons, skunks, armadillos, and birds, which may actually cause more damage than the insect itself.

(Video) Zoysia Lawn | Electric mower vs Gas mower | Minors blend fertilizer

Sod webworms can cause periodic injury to zoysiagrass. Injury from these insects can range from a mining of the green tissue (Figure 3) from the leaf tips to leaves completely chewed off.

Zoysiagrass for Florida Lawns (3)

For more information, refer to Insect Management in Your Florida Lawn (https://journals.flvc.org/edis/article/view/116061).

Nematodes

Many turf managers state that nematodes are serious pests on zoysiagrasses; however, this is not well documented in scientific literature. UF/IFAS researchers and turfgrass breeders are working to identify the extent of zoysiagrass susceptibility, and they are identifying superior cultivars that can withstand nematodes. The UF/IFAS Extension Service Florida Nematode Assay Laboratory in Gainesville (https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/nematology-assay-lab/) can diagnose whether nematodes are a problem by looking at a soil sample taken from the margin of the affected area. Proper cultural factors to encourage zoysiagrass root growth lessen nematode stress. These include applying less nitrogen, providing less frequent (but deep) watering, and ensuring adequate soil potassium and phosphorus.

Diseases

The most troubling disease for zoysiagrass is large patch (Figure 4). This disease becomes active when soil temperatures (4-inch depth) are between 65°F and 75°F each fall and can be a problem through the following spring. Although zoysiagrass is probably not more susceptible to this disease than St. Augustinegrass, recovery can be slow due to zoysiagrass' prolonged dormant to semidormant condition. Zoysiagrass is the first turf species to go off-color in the fall and the last to green-up in the spring. Therefore, if a large patch disease outbreak occurs, damage will be visible well into the next summer. With this in mind, if damage cannot be tolerated, it is important to treat preventively to ward off any likelihood of this disease. Refer to PP-233, Homeowner's Guide to Fungicides for Lawn and Landscape Disease Management (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pp154), for more information on fungicides. Additionally, avoid excessive applications of soluble nitrogen, keep thatch levels to a minimum, and avoid irrigating at a time that will not allow the turf to dry prior to nightfall. Refer to https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_turf_diseases for additional information on turfgrass diseases.

Zoysiagrass for Florida Lawns (4)

Other diseases that impact zoysiagrass include dollar spot and rust. Dollar spot typically occurs when nitrogen is below optimal levels. This can easily be corrected with a light application of nitrogen. Rusts occur during mild, humid weather and appear as small yellow to orange to reddish-brown pustules on the leaves. Fungicides are effective, but most often, frequent mowing with clipping removal will keep this under control.

Other Problems

Other factors can also decrease the quality of a lawn. Excessive shade, compacted soils, over- or underwatering, improper mowing, traffic, and high or low pH can all cause a lawn to perform poorly. It is important to recognize what the source of the problem is and to correct it if possible. For more information on these types of stresses, refer to ENH153, Environmental Stresses and Your Florida Lawn (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep070).

Table 1. A generalized comparison of zoysiagrass to common lawn grasses grown in Florida.

Literature Cited

Patton, A. J., B. M. Schwartz, and K. E. Kenworthy. 2017. “Zoysiagrass (Zoysia spp.) History, Utilization, and Improvement in the United States: A Review.” Crop Science 57 (S1): S-37–S-72. https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2017.02.0074

FAQs

What kind of fertilizer should I use for Zoysia grass? ›

What Type of Fertilizer Does Zoysia Need? You should use up to four pounds of a nitrogen-based fertilizer per year per 1,000 sq feet of grass. The ideal zoysia grass fertilizer will be a 15-0-15, 15-0-10, or 15-0-5 fertilizer mix.

Does Zoysia grass do well in Florida? ›

Zoysia is a suitable lawngrass for all areas of Florida, and it's typically planted using sod or plugs. There are a few disadvantages, including a slow growth rate and a tendency to produce thatch.

How often should you water Zoysia grass in Florida? ›

Sodded areas should be watered at least twice per day with ¼ inch of water until the sod is held fast to the soil by new roots (usually 2–3 weeks), after which watering should be reduced to an as-needed basis.

Is Scotts fertilizer good for zoysia grass? ›

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 1 should not be applied to Zoysia lawns as it could cause discoloration.

What Scotts fertilizer is best for zoysia grass? ›

Best Fertilizer For Zoysia Grass | How And When To Use It
  • Simple Lawn Solutions Liquid Feed 15-0-15.
  • Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S 29-0-10.
  • The Andersons PGF Fertilizer with Humic 16-4-8.
  • Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food 32-0-4.
  • Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass 24-25-4.
  • Scotts Turf Builder Ready-Spray 7-12-15.

Can you over fertilize zoysia? ›

Over application of nitrogen can cause zoysia grass to turn yellow, especially if it's applied at the wrong time of year – such as mid-summer. The 16 4 8 fertilizer is too high in nitrogen for zoysia grass, which means that it will cause damage to the grass. You should, therefore, not use too much 16 4 8 on zoysia.

How often should zoysia grass be fertilized? ›

Fertilize on a schedule (May to August) to favor the zoysiagrass. Apply light applications of nitrogen fertilizer (about 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet) every four weeks during the active growing season. It will take two to five years for the zoysiagrass to take over under normal circumstances.

How do I make my zoysia grass thicker? ›

How to Make Zoysia Grass Spread and Grow Thicker
  1. Remove Thatch Build Up.
  2. Aerating the Soil.
  3. Deep Watering.
  4. High Phosphorus Fertilizing.
  5. Mowing.
  6. Weed Management.

Is St. Augustine or Zoysia better? ›

With mowing, fertilization and disease control in mind, St. Augustine grass generally comes out as the winner because of its lower-maintenance profile compared to Zoysia grass.

What's the best grass to grow in Florida? ›

The Top 4 Types of Grass You Need to Consider ASAP For Your Florida Lawn
  • St. Augustine Grass. Otherwise Known As: Stenotaphrum Secundatum. ...
  • Zoysia Grass. Otherwise Known As: Zoysia. Why We Love This Grass: ...
  • Bermuda Grass. Otherwise Known As: Cynodon Dactylon. ...
  • Bahiagrass. Otherwise Known As: Paspalum Notatum.
16 Jan 2020

Is Zoysia grass hard to maintain in Florida? ›

Moderate Maintenance – The irrigation and fertilization needs of Zoysia grass are lower than those of other types. It requires just one pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet during the growing season. It is also water-efficient and only needs approximately half an inch of water per week.

Will Zoysia fill in bare spots? ›

Because zoysia grows from both stolons and rhizomes, smaller bare spots in a lawn will fill in over time.

Can you overwater Zoysia sod? ›

Take care never to overwater the sod while it is in the rooting stage. Soggy sod can lead to root rot and eventually new sod failure.

Should I bag my zoysia grass clippings? ›

If those clumps are left to sit on the lawn, then it can cause the live grass beneath it to be subject to disease, rot and ultimately death. Bagging your zoysia grass clippings will allow the grass that is left after a mowing to grow and thrive in a healthy manner.

How often should you water zoysia grass? ›

Though drought tolerant, Zoysia best performs when it receives approximately 1" of water per week. If one or more inches of rainfall occurs in a week, additional irrigation is not necessary. Example: if 1/2" of rain occurs within a growing week, apply 1/2" by irrigation.

Should you scalp zoysia grass? ›

All Bermuda and zoysia lawns (only) should be scalped each spring. Scalping is the removal of dormant, straw-colored turf, and it promotes earlier green-up and helps prevent thatch and weed problems throughout the summer. March 15 through April 30 is a good time to scalp your yard.

Does zoysia grass need lime? ›

Zoysia requires a more neutral pH of at least 6.5. For this reason, it is recommended that granular lime (a calcium-containing material) be spread evenly across the turf to raise the soil pH toward a more neutral or alkaline level. (We typically do this on warm-season grasses like bermuda and zoysia in the early fall.)

Can I use Scotts green Max on zoysia grass? ›

This product is safe for use on all grass types and should be applied when turf is actively growing.

When should you aerate zoysia lawn? ›

For Zoysia, the best time to aerate is in the late spring. This way, the grass will be able to heal and take over the parts that you removed from the lawn. You should also make sure that the ground is soft and moist before aerating. It is normally efficient to aerate the day after a nice rain.

Why is my zoysia grass still brown? ›

Zoysia is a warm-season grass that goes dormant as soon as cooler temperatures set in. If your entire lawn turns brown in mid fall, this is most likely due to a normal response to quit active growth during the winter. You may notice some parts of your lawn going dormant before others.

Does sand help zoysia spread? ›

Spread out no more than about 1/2 inch of sand over low spots in mid to late spring when the zoysia grass is actively growing and it will quickly grow through the added material. Use a push broom to sweep the sand mixture off of grass blades and down the the soil's surface.

What causes dead spots in zoysia grass? ›

What Causes it? Areas of your lawn that are most susceptible to Large Patch fungus are caused by environmental conditions. Excessive thatch, compaction, and poor drainage conditions encourage fungus. Additionally, excessive watering in the fall, either through rainfall or irrigation, will promote the disease.

Should I burn my zoysia grass? ›

Answer: If you have experience with burning the dormant turf, then it can be very good for a zoysia lawn to be top-burned about every 5 years. This process will release nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients into the soil and create a very green lawn when it grows back.

How do you make zoysia grass spread faster? ›

HOW TO GET YOUR ZOYSIA GRASS SPREADING FASTER|| Garden Tips

How do you green up zoysia? ›

How to Make Zoysia Grass Look Incredible
  1. Mow your zoysiagrass the first time in the spring before it turns green -- around mid-April -- to clean out the old blades of grass, leaves and other debris. ...
  2. Cut the grass to keep it shorter than other turf grasses. ...
  3. Irrigate the zoysiagrass as needed to keep it looking green.
29 Jul 2013

What length should zoysia grass be cut? ›

Mowing. You will not need to mow nearly as often because zoysia doesn't grow tall quickly. A healthy zoysia lawn should be mowed to a height of 1 1/2" to 3". A golden rule when mowing any turf is "never cut more than 1/3 of the leaf height."

How long does it take for zoysia grass to fill in? ›

Consistent soil moisture is one of the best things you can do to ensure successful germination. Under ideal growing conditions, you'll start to see growth in 14 to 21 days.

Does frequent mowing thicken grass? ›

Mowing actually helps make your grass grow thicker because the tip of each blade contains hormones that suppress horizontal growth. When you cut the lawn, you remove these tips allowing the grass to spread and grow thicker near the roots.

How long does it take for zoysia to spread? ›

According to Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, installing zoysia plugs is a painstaking process with very slow results. Once plugs are planted on a 1-foot center, it can take between 3 to 5 years from them to spread and cover a surface area. To achieve faster results, plant the plugs closer together.

Can I mix St. Augustine and Zoysia? ›

Being warm-seasoned, both types of grasses also do not mind relishing hot weather and warm soil. Thus, many lawn owners wonder and ask – can you mix Zoysia and St Augustine grass? These two grass types do not go well together if you want to grow them on the same lawn.

What grass will overtake St. Augustine? ›

St. Augustine will not grow as quickly as Bermuda but can grow such a large mat of grass that it will potentially choke out all weeds in your lawn.
...
Will Bermuda grass take over St. Augustine?
BermudaSt. Augustine
Mow to a height of 1”–2”Mow to a height of 2.5”–4”
3 more rows

Will Zoysia take over other grasses? ›

Zoysia is considered invasive and is known to take over lawns, when given enough time. That includes crowding out other grasses that exist in your lawn or newly seeded grasses that you plant.

What's the easiest grass to maintain in Florida? ›

Centipede grass is a popular choice for Florida homeowners who want a low-maintenance lawn. Because it is a low-growing grass, it doesn't require a lot of mowing. And unlike other types of Florida grass, Centipede grass doesn't just thrive in the sun. It also grows in cooler temperatures and shade.

What's the easiest grass to grow in Florida? ›

The easiest grass to grow from seed in Florida is Bahia grass. It can be grown in any type of soil and it helps prevent erosion from the sand. Bahia grass is an extremely hardy plant, which is why it's the perfect choice for Florida. It thrives in warm, moist soil and needs little maintenance.

What is the easiest grass seed to grow in Florida? ›

Bermuda. Like Bahia grass, Bermuda grass is an excellent choice for Florida lawns because it can thrive in high heat environments and is tolerant of drought-like conditions.

What grass stays green all year in Florida? ›

Buffalo grass has a blue-green hue and thrives in high temperatures. Since truly cold weather is a rarity in South Florida, a Buffalo grass lawn will likely stay green year-round without any intervention on your part. Mow your Buffalo grass lawn regularly, and keep its height between one-and-a-half and three inches.

What are the pros and cons of Zoysia grass? ›

An Overview of Zoysia Grass Pros and Cons
ProsCons
Drought resistantGreen is light and not vibrant
Tolerant of trafficDifficult to get established from seed
Low maintenanceDulls mower blades quickly
Remains green during droughtBrowns in winter
1 more row

What grass is better Zoysia or Bermuda? ›

While both Zoysia and Bermuda are known to be traffic tolerant, Bermuda grass is particularly more sturdy and can tolerate heavier traffic including children regularly playing on the lawn. Zoysia on the other hand, although resilient, may not be able to tolerate regular foot traffic.

When should you fertilize zoysia? ›

Fertilize on a schedule (May to August) to favor the zoysiagrass. Apply light applications of nitrogen fertilizer (about 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet) every four weeks during the active growing season. It will take two to five years for the zoysiagrass to take over under normal circumstances.

How do you thicken zoysia grass? ›

How to Make Zoysia Grass Spread and Grow Thicker
  1. Remove Thatch Build Up.
  2. Aerating the Soil.
  3. Deep Watering.
  4. High Phosphorus Fertilizing.
  5. Mowing.
  6. Weed Management.

How do you make zoysia grass green? ›

How to Make Zoysia Grass Look Incredible
  1. Mow your zoysiagrass the first time in the spring before it turns green -- around mid-April -- to clean out the old blades of grass, leaves and other debris. ...
  2. Cut the grass to keep it shorter than other turf grasses. ...
  3. Irrigate the zoysiagrass as needed to keep it looking green.
29 Jul 2013

How can I make zoysia grass grow faster? ›

HOW TO GET YOUR ZOYSIA GRASS SPREADING FASTER|| Garden Tips

Should zoysia grass be aerated? ›

It is recommended that the lawn be core aerated once a year, Zoysia can be aerated anytime during the growing season but it is recommended that it be done during early summer when growth is at it's peak. Following aeration with fertilization and Lime for Optimal results.

How often should zoysia grass be watered? ›

Zoysia lawns typically need 1 inch of rainfall or irrigation per week. Deep, infrequent watering encourages deep, drought-resistant roots.

How do you wake up zoysia grass? ›

There's no need to fertilize dormant Zoysia to give it a jump-start, although keeping it well watered helps the greening process. Drought-stressed Zoysia turns brown even during the growing season, so when it's time to wake up for the summer, getting plenty of water helps reduce the stress.

Should I bag my zoysia grass clippings? ›

If those clumps are left to sit on the lawn, then it can cause the live grass beneath it to be subject to disease, rot and ultimately death. Bagging your zoysia grass clippings will allow the grass that is left after a mowing to grow and thrive in a healthy manner.

What height should you cut zoysia grass? ›

Mowing. You will not need to mow nearly as often because zoysia doesn't grow tall quickly. A healthy zoysia lawn should be mowed to a height of 1 1/2" to 3". A golden rule when mowing any turf is "never cut more than 1/3 of the leaf height."

Does sand help zoysia spread? ›

Spread out no more than about 1/2 inch of sand over low spots in mid to late spring when the zoysia grass is actively growing and it will quickly grow through the added material. Use a push broom to sweep the sand mixture off of grass blades and down the the soil's surface.

Does zoysia grass need lime? ›

Zoysia requires a more neutral pH of at least 6.5. For this reason, it is recommended that granular lime (a calcium-containing material) be spread evenly across the turf to raise the soil pH toward a more neutral or alkaline level. (We typically do this on warm-season grasses like bermuda and zoysia in the early fall.)

Will dead zoysia come back? ›

Zoysia is able to repair itself with enough time and proper maintenance. If winter kill is an annual problem, consider planting a different, more cold-hardy variety of grass.

Will zoysia fill in bare spots? ›

Because zoysia grows from both stolons and rhizomes, smaller bare spots in a lawn will fill in over time.

How long does it take for zoysia to spread? ›

According to Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, installing zoysia plugs is a painstaking process with very slow results. Once plugs are planted on a 1-foot center, it can take between 3 to 5 years from them to spread and cover a surface area. To achieve faster results, plant the plugs closer together.

Can you put zoysia seed in existing lawn? ›

If you are looking for a fast and easy way to make your Zoysia grass lawn thicker and greener, overseeding may be the option for you. Overseeding a yard involves planting new Zoysia grass seeds over existing turf. Planting new Zoysia seeds will yield a lush and healthier lawn that will make neighbors green with envy.

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