How to Kill Zoysia Grass


Zoysiagrass is a popular turfgrass species but has distinct disadvantages. For example, it is more susceptible to annual weeds than cool-season grass species, and can be very invasive, according to the University of Rhode Island (URI). Watering a zoysiagrass lawn can also take up to 50 percent of a household's water usage, according to Colorado State University (CSU). Gardeners who want the fastest possible elimination of zoysiagrass should spray a glyphosate herbicide. A safer and more organic method is to use newsprint, though it takes longer.


Step 1

Wait for a day when no rain is forecasted for at least eight hours after you apply the herbicide. This is necessary for proper herbicide absorption.

Step 2

Put on protective gear, including waterproof gloves, eye goggles, shoes, pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Wear such gear at all times when handling and applying any type of herbicide.

Step 3

Mix the glyphosate herbicide product in your garden sprayer according to the herbicide's labeled guidelines. Toxicity varies by product; some require mixing with water and others can be applied as-is from the bottle.

Step 4

Spray the herbicide onto the zoysiagrass. Apply a thin and even layer of the chemical so that the grass is moist but not dripping. Start at one end of the lawn and walk backwards to avoid treading over the freshly poisoned grass.

Step 5

Wait for seven to 10 days before replanting the area with new vegetation. After this time, the grass will be dead and the chemical toxins have dissipated, according to CSU.


Step 1

Mow the lawn as short as possible using your lawn mower.

Step 2

Layer black-and-white newsprint onto the grass. Overlap the sheets so no grass pokes through, and place enough newsprint to form a layer that's a minimum of 10 sheets thick.

Step 3

Pour 4 inches of any-sized wood chips onto the newsprint and sprinkle the entire area with water to slightly moisten the underlying paper.

Step 4

Wait four to six weeks. After this time, the grass underneath will have been smothered to death. A positive side benefit is that the dead grass, newspaper and wood chips will have started to decompose, adding valuable nutrients to the dirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective gear (e.g. eye goggles and gloves)
  • Backyard garden sprayer
  • Glyphosate-based herbicide
  • Lawn mower
  • Black-and-white newsprint
  • Wood chips
  • Water


  • "The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed, and Growing Every Season of the Year"; David Mellor; 2003
  • University of Rhode Island: Zoysiagrass
  • Colordao State University: Retrofit Your Yard
Keywords: kill zoysiaggrass, remove zoysiagrass, erradicate zoysiagrass

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.