How to Maintain Zoysia Grass


Zoysia grass is commonly used in home turfs in the southern United States because it is tolerant to drought and shade and can be grown on almost any type of soil. It also stands up well to heavy traffic and often is used on golf courses or in parks, all the while being easy to maintain. In cooler climates, zoysia grass turns brown after the first frost and will remain so throughout its dormant season. But, it will be one of the first grasses to turn green in spring.

Step 1

Fertilize zoysia grass lawns with 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet three times annually: spring, early summer and fall. Fertilize zoysia grass that doesn't have winter dormancy with 1 lb. of soluble nitrogen per 1,000 square feet between October and March. Do not fertilize dormant zoysia grass. Fertilize newly-installed zoysia grass with 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet immediately after installation and once a year thereafter.

Step 2

Give zoysia grass 1 inch of water weekly during the hottest months of the year or when the blades turn a darker gray-green--a sign of drought stress. Keep the soil under newly-planted zoysia grass moist until the sprigs establish themselves and produce new growth, in roughly 3 weeks.

Step 3

Mow zoysia grass once every five to seven days. Keep the height 1/4 inch to 1 inch in sunny areas and as high as 2 inches in shaded areas. Remove grass clippings after you mow, as zoysia grass is prone to thatch buildup.

Step 4

Remove thatch with a vertical mower or dethatcher when a layer of dead but not decomposed grass persists at the base of the grass or buildup reaches 2 inches in height or more.

Tips and Warnings

  • Zoysia grass is considered a weed in some places and may spread to your garden or a neighbor's lawn and become hard to eradicate. Straw-colored dormant zoysia grass is flammable.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Hose
  • Lawn fertilizer
  • Vertical mower or dethatcher


  • Texas A&M University: Zoysiagrass
  • University of Rhode Island: Zoysiagrass
  • University of California: Zoysiagrass
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About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.