Zoysia Grass: How to Grow in a Few Easy Steps (2023)


Are you interested in learning How You can Grow Zoysia Grass in the easiest and best way ever possible?

Would you like to have a Step-by-Step Guide that is perfect for beginners?

Here, in this article, we will teach you how to grow and take care of zoysia grass in the easiest way possible.

What is Zoysia Grass?

Zoysia grass is dark green lawn turf grass, fine-textured, suitable for growing during warm seasons. Although the rate of growth of the grass is slow, under ideal conditions, it forms a thick cover over your lawn.


In cold weather, zoysia grass becomes dormant and turns brown. Therefore zoysia grass is mostly suitable only for the areas that stay sunny and warm for the complete year.

Characteristics of Zoysia Grass
Grass colorDark green (tan/brown when dormant)
Grass textureMedium
Sun toleranceExcellent
Shade toleranceModerate ( has poor growth if shade more than 50%)
Wear toleranceExceptional
Drought toleranceGood
Disease resistanceGood
Weed resistanceGood
Traffic toleranceExcellent
Average germination14 to 21 days
Water and nutrition requirementLow

Cost of Planting and Maintaining Zoysia Grass

One pound of zoysia seeds cost around 45 dollars. Whereas the cost for the sod per square foot ranges between $0.40 and $0.50.

One pound of seeds covers nearly 300-400 sq.ft area. Similarly, one pallet of sod will cover nearly around 400-500 sq.ft area. The 2nd option will almost cost you about $150-$200 higher than the former one.

Even though the starting cost is high, all-round maintenance of the grass-grown from sod is more hassle-free and cheaper.

The only thing you need to do is spend some time every week to take care of your garden.

Growing Zoysia Grass

1) Preparing the Soil Bed

Till the soil with the help of a tiller to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Now level the soil in the lawn area. Remove rocks, sticks, stones or any vegetation.


In order to build proper drainage, push the soil downwards from the elevated areas in the lawn. After that water the complete lawn area to moisten the soil.

Fertilizer treatment with fertilizer before planting is essential to adjust the pH of your soil. Check the pH and N-P-K content of your soil. Generally, 15 pounds of any 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 fertilizer per 10,000 square feet should give the best results.

2) Planting Zoysia Grass

Depending on the structure and size of your yard, it can be grown from sod, seed or plug and seeds.

When to Plant: The best period for planting is from mid- to late spring. At this time, the soil temperature ranges from 60° F to 70° F.

Growing from Seed

  • With the help of a spreader, seed the newly prepared bed uniformly. Do this in such a manner that the seeds of zoysia grass are pressed tightly into the soil. Thus leaving no air pockets in the soil.

Growing from Plug

  • Dig holes that are bigger than the grass plugs. At least maintain a gap of 12 inches between the grass plugs.
  • Make the hole in a checkerboard pattern. This will help to cover the entire yard.
  • Put the plugs properly inside the holes. Now, fill the edges around the holes with soil.

Growing from Sod

  • Along the selected lawn area, set the sod pieces end-to-end tightly. This will help to avoid gaps and overlaps.
  • Stagger the pieces of sod in the adjacent rows in order to avoid lining up of seams. Use a hatchet or sharp knife hatchet to trim the corners of the zoysia grass sods. This is necessary for a proper fit.
  • Roll the lawn area so that the sods penetrate into the soil without forming any air gaps.

The best time to transplant zoysia grass plugs and sods is from late spring to early summer.

With the help of a plugger, remove a piece of zoysia sod. Also, you can plug from a healthy lawn area. Now lay it over the ground or site that you have selected for transplanting.

Care and Maintenance of Zoysia Grass

Watering: Water every day the area at least two to three times a day. This is necessary to keep the top two inches of the garden soil damp and moist for the first 10-12 days after planting is done.

Once the grass starts growing, decrease the times you water the area per day. You only have to keep an inch of grass moist afterward.


Depending on the amount of rainfall the planting area receives, adjust the amount of water you supply. Areas that receive 1/2 inch of rain per week only need an extra 1/2 inch of water daily.

Mowing: Trim your zoysia grass at least once per week after it grows nearly about 2 to 4 inches tall. However, during the first year of planting, the minimum mowing height should not be less than 3 inches. Ideally, a single mowing should be enough to reduce the height of grass by only 1/3rd of what it was previously.

Fertilizing:  Try adding about 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen-based good-quality fertilizer like Scotts Turf Builder for every 1000 square feet. You can use it either four times or nearly once every six weeks from late spring through the complete autumn.

Zoysia Grass Growth Problems and Tips to Prevent Them

Zoysia grass faces gardening problems such as early browning, brown crown spots, and spots, rust that hinder its growth.

Regular mowing, watering, and fertilizing as seen earlier are the best ways to prevent these problems. Apart from these issues, there are some other problems that might need some extra care:

Uncontrolled growth: Under conditions favorable for growth, zoysia may invade the space of neighboring plants and also other flower bed areas.

Therefore, install aluminum or plastic barriers nearly about 6 inches deep. Also, they should be and 2 to 3 inches above the ground height surrounding your turf. This will help to restrict its growth within its boundaries.

Growth of thatch: Thatch is the build-up of roots and dead leaves at the base of the grass. This thatch prevents the grass from getting enough water, oxygen, and fertilizer. Thus it affects its growth.

Burning the layer of thatch along with the grass is a very effective method to get rid of it. Zoysia grass is very hardy, therefore it grows back once the conditions are favorable.


Weed growth: Apart from proper maintenance and growth practices, the application of pre-emergent herbicides helps to prevent the growth of weeds like clover, crabgrass, and Bermuda grass.

Worms: When zoysia grass is infested with nematodes, they turn yellow in color and fail to grow properly. To reduce this infestation, properly clean all the lawn equipment before and after use. Also, water the grass on a regular basis.

Pet damage: Restrict the movement of your pets in your garden during the first year of growth. Because constant movement can damage your garden.

Also the constant movent, hole digging and urine discharge may cause further damage. However, once the grass gets established, such risks reduce considerably.

Different Types and Varieties of Zoysia Grass

  • Emerald zoysia grass– Soft-texture with thin-bladed leaf with soft-texture.
  • Empire zoysia grass– Leaf blade of medium width
  • Zenith zoysia grass– Dark green with medium texture blade
  • El toro zoysia grass– Medium-bladed leaf texture
  • Meyer zoysia grass– Dark greenish color with a fine leaf texture
  • Palisades zoysia grass– Dark green-color leaf with medium-coarse texture
  • Zorro zoysia grass– Soft and fine-bladed leaf structure
  • Japonica zoysia grass– Vertical leaf blade with a coarse structure
  • Matrella zoysia grass– Fine-leaf blade structure
  • Tenuifolia zoysia grass– Fine-leaf texture


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