Zoysia Grass Pros & Cons

Zoysia grass is a warm season perennial that is native to Asia. It was introduced into the US from Korea in the early 1900s. Since it is a warm season grass, it only grows during warm to hot weather, and will brown once the weather cools.

Pro: Handles Multiple Soil Types Well

Zoysia grass grows well in a variety of soil types, from sandy to loamy. It has a high tolerance to salt, so it can be planted in soil with high concentrations of it, according to the University of Florida. While the grass will grow in compact soils, it grows more thickly in lighter soils.

Con: Water Consumption

While Zoysia grass is somewhat drought tolerant during the cooler months of the year while it is dormant, it needs more water during the hot months of the year than the cold months. Zoysia grass needs 1 inch to 1-1/4 inches of water every week in hot conditions. Sandy soil needs more frequent watering--at least 1/2 inch of water every three days.

Con: Slow Establishment

Zoysia grass establishes itself slowly. It may take up to two growing seasons to fill out into a lawn. Once established, zoysia grass forms a thick thatch that needs to be thinned every few years. Thinning the thatch can cause the grass to reestablish itself more slowly.

Pro: Grows in Full Sun

Zoysia grass grows well in full sun, and needs between six and eight hours of sun a day to thrive. It handles foot traffic well, and grows best in places with long, hot summers and short, mild winters.

Pro: Seldom Needs Mowing

Since Zoysia grass is a slow grower, it does not need to be mowed very often. Once it fills out it slowly but thickly, weeds are usually not a problem in zoysia grass lawns.

Con: Does Not Grow Well in Shade

Zoysia grass does not grow well in shaded areas. It will grow to some extent, but the grass with never fill in properly.

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About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.