How to Care for a Zoysia Lawn


Zoysia is a warm-season grass. It originated in China and other parts of southeast Asia and was introduced into the United States about 1900, according to the University of Missouri Extension. Zoysia is drought tolerant, which makes it a popular choice for lawns in the dry southwestern United States. It grows best in full sun, but in hot climates it can tolerate some shade. Zoysia can be grown in plugs or sod. Although sod is the more expensive method, it is much quicker than planting plugs.

Step 1

Fertilize your zoysia grass each season about three weeks after it turns green. Apply between 1/2 pound and 2 pounds of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet of yard.

Step 2

Mow your grass for the first time of the season when it turns green. Throughout the growing season, it should be mowed when it reaches a height of between 3/4 inch and 2.5 inches.

Step 3

Water the grass two to three times a week during the growing season. Zoysia needs about 1 inch of water each week, but it will grow with less. During drought-like conditions, apply at least a half-inch of water a week to prevent it from dying.

Step 4

Apply a winterizing fertilizer to your lawn at the end of the growing season, which will be in mid- to late October in many parts of the United States. Use a high-nitrogen fertilizer such as a 16-4-8 or any fertilizer with a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 3-1-1 or 4-1-2.

Step 5

Apply a weed-control herbicide to the zoysia in early spring to control crabgrass from taking over your lawn. If winter weeds are a problem, apply an herbicide in the late fall.

Things You'll Need

  • High-nitrogen winter fertilizer
  • Lawn mower
  • Herbicide
  • Lime (optional)


  • Texas A&M University: Zoysia Grass
  • University of Missouri Extension: Establishment and Care of Zoysia Lawns
Keywords: caring for zoysia, growing zoysia, about zoysia grass

About this Author

Meghan McMahon lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she spent six years as a newspaper journalist before becoming a part-time freelance writer and editor and full-time mother. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University in 2000 and has written for "The Daily Southtown" and "The Naperville Sun" in suburban Chicago.