How to Get Rid of Zoysia Grass


Zoysia is a type of grass found throughout the Southern United States. Because zoysia grass is drought resistant, it frequently grows rapidly in patches throughout other types of grasses, such as Bermuda, centipede and St. Augustine grasses. Fortunately, eliminating zoysia grass from your lawn requires only a few inexpensive materials. Try these low-impact solutions before resorting to chemical methods that can harm other plants and are potentially dangerous to pets and wildlife.

Step 1

Hand-pull unwanted zoysia grass from your lawn and place it in a plastic trash bag or compost bin. Zoysia tends to grow in irregular-shaped clumps, which makes it easier to remove. From a distance, soft zoysia may resemble moss more than it does grass.

Step 2

Spread layers of old newspaper over the remaining zoysia grass in your lawn. The layers should be thick enough to block out sunlight, which will help kill the zoysia. For large areas where spreading newspaper is impractical, lay a plastic tarp or dropcloth, such as used to protect floors when painting indoors, over the affected area. Tarps or dropcloths can be placed together to cover a substantial lawn area fairly quickly. Use at least two dropcloths layered on top of each other to block out sunlight more effectively.

Step 3

Weigh down the newspaper, tarp or dropcloth with bricks, cinder blocks or other heavy, weather-resistant objects and leave the ground cover in place for two weeks. Photosynthesis cannot occur in the absence of light, so the zoysia will turn brown and die.

Step 4

Remove the ground cover to determine whether the zoysia grass is dead. Hand pull any new zoysia growth in your lawn. A weed killer product such as Roundup or Ortho Grass-Be-Gone can be used to eradicate persistent spots of zoysia, but is not suitable for spraying on wide areas of the lawn as the chemicals can also kill other grasses.

Step 5

Spot check your lawn on a weekly basis to ensure zoysia grass does not return. Repeat the steps if necessary to eliminate zoysia. Spot-spray the center of a zoysia patch with an herbicide to kill the problem grass, while reducing potential harm to the surround lawn.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use herbicide chemicals according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Most weed-control chemicals will kill desirable grasses as well as problem zoysia, so a regiment of reseeding with new grass may be necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Trash bags (or compost bin)
  • Bricks (or heavy weights)
  • Old newspaper


  • About Zoysia Grass
  • Eliminating Zoysia Grass

Who Can Help

  • Turf Grass Forums: How do I get rid of zoysia?
Keywords: getting rid of zoysia grass, eliminating zoysia grass, killing zoysia grass

About this Author

Evan Burgess is an award-winning writer with 20-plus years' experience covering business, politics and government, the arts, public relations and marketing. He received his bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master's degree from the University of Virgina.