There are three types of zoysia grass, and they are most easily differentiated by the texture of grass blades they produce. They grow well in a wide range of soil conditions, from acidic to clay. Zoysia grasses are a very slow-growing species of lawn, but once established, they can withstand excessive wear, which makes them a popular choice for athletic fields and parks. While they are drought tolerant, zoysia grasses are invasive, high-maintenance turfs that are susceptible to thatch.
Coarse-Textured Zoysia Grass
Japanese lawn grass, Zoysia japonica, has a coarse texture similar to that of tall fescue. It is the only zoysia grass that can be established from seed. This species of zoysia is very cold tolerant. It is also commonly known to suffer damage caused by nematodes and hunting billbugs.
Fine-Textured Zoysia Grass
According to the Texas Cooperative Extension, Korean velvet grass, Zoysia tenuifolia, has the finest texture of the three types of zoysia grass. It is also the least cold tolerant. In southern California, it is primarily used as a low-growing ground cover. It must be grown from sod, sprigs or plugs.
Medium-Leaf Textured Zoysia Grass
Manila grass, Zoysia matrella, produces a medium-leaf texture grass and looks similar to Bermuda grass. While it is a high-quality turf, it is also very high-maintenance. Like Zoysia japonica, zoysia matrella is often damaged by nematodes. The dense lawn is also shade tolerant, but not cold tolerant. Like zoysia tenuifolia, it must be propagated from plugs, sod or sprigs.