How to Grow Zoysia


Zoysia grass is also called Japanese or Korean lawn grass. This plant is native to China, Japan and Southeast Asia. In the United States, zoysia grows as far north as Maryland. This warm-season grass does not tolerate cold temperatures and turns brown at the first frost. Zoysia is a perennial grass that grows slowly and spreads only 6 inches per year. Zoysia grass is used as ground covers, golf course turf, park grass and athletic field covers. This grass forms dense sod that adapts to many different types of soil.

Step 1

In the late spring or early summer, remove the weeds from your planting site. If you are planting zoysia in a hot climate, then choose a site in the shade; otherwise choose some place with full sun. Loosen the soil with a shovel and break up any large dirt clods. Work the soil until it has a fine, smooth texture.

Step 2

With a hand trowel, dig holes just large enough for the root ball of the zoysia plugs. Plant 6-inch grass plugs every 6 inches. Step on the zoysia plug to ensure soil contact with all the roots.

Step 3

Sprinkle the planting area with water until the soil is wet. Zoysia grass benefits from at least 1 inch of water per week. Water the grass two or three times a week if it does not rain. This grass is extremely drought tolerant, but it does turn a straw color when it does not receive enough water.

Step 4

Feed the zoysia with 1-2-1 fertilizer at the rate of 1 pound per 1,000 square feet. Fertilize the grass every month throughout the growing season. This will satisfy the zoysia’s need for high fertility. Stop feeding the grass while it is dormant in the winter.

Step 5

Mow the zoysia grass every five to seven days to the height of 1 to 2 inches. Remove the clippings to prevent thatch buildup. Pull any weeds that appear to eliminate competition for soil nutrients and moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Zoysia grass can survive on 1/2 inch of water per week. Lack of water, however, causes the grass blades to roll up in an attempt to conserve moisture. Zoysia also has a deep root system used to tap into water sources under the surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel Hand trowel Zoysia grass plugs Water Fertilizer Mower


  • Texas Cooperative Extension: Zoysiagrass
  • Missouri State University Extension: Growing Zoysia
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: Zoysiagrass Lawns
Keywords: growing zoysia grass, planting zoysia lawn, zoysia lawn care

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.