Zoysia is a warm season grass commonly planted as sod throughout the southern parts of the U.S. In general, zoysia grass is slow growing, drought tolerant and has a partial tolerance to cold temperatures and shade. Different zoysia varieties provide unique adaptions to local environmental conditions, such as improved cold tolerance or faster growth rates.
Emerald zoysia grass is a popular variety with fine textured, dark green leaves. This zoysia variety is wear resistant, cold temperature tolerant and can grow successfully in partial sunlight. In the absence of proper lawn maintenance this grass is susceptible to thatch build-up and many types of lawn diseases.
Meyer zoysia grass is sometimes known as Amazoy or Z-52 and has a dark green color and medium textured blades. This is the most cold tolerant of all the zoysia varieties but is less shade tolerant than Emerald zoysia. Meyer zoysia sod is the fastest to establish itself in the spring and the first to become dormant in the winter.
Matrella zoysia grass has fine blades and forms a dense turf in warmer climates of the southern United States. This variety has less cold tolerance than other zoysia grasses and is more shade tolerant than Meyer and less shade tolerant than Emerald. Matrella zoysia grass has a similar appearance to bermuda grass and has the characteristic slow growth of zoysia.
El Toro zoysia grass looks similar to Meyer zoysia but retains better color in cooler temperatures. This variety has the unique distinction of having relatively fast growth and producing little thatch. El Toro zoysia is resistant to the turf grass disease known as "rust."