Zoysiagrass, according to the University of Texas A & M, is native to China, Japan and Southeast Asia. It is a warm season grass that is sod forming and perennial. It is adapted to a wide array of climates and soil conditions and is extremely dense and slow growing once established. Zoysiagrass does have its problems.
Zoysiagrass is susceptible to a variety of pests. The most common insect pest, says the Alabama Cooperative Extension, is the hunting billbug. Billbug eats the roots of the grass, weakening the turf and setting it up for a host of other disease. Billbug is controlled using insecticides labeled for billbug control. Nematode pests are also a problem. They are microscopic worms born in the soil. They also attack the roots, and if not controlled early may kill an entire lawn.
Thatch, a layer of dead, undecomposed organic material just above the soils surface, is common in zoysiagrass. This prevents water, fertilizer and chemicals from reaching the soil. Proper mowing, removing only 1/3 of the grass leaf at a time, will prevent the buildup of thatch. Thatch removal may be necessary on occasion. Vertical mowers and aeration devices are used to break apart thatch, which is then raked away. Thatch removal is best carried out in the fall, to give the zoysiagrass time to recover.
Rhizoctonia patch is a serious disease of both zoysiagrass and Bermudagrass. Rhizoctonia is caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani says the University of Arkansas. It manifests itself both during the fall and the spring when temperatures are low and the soil is moist. Patches begin to appear over the lawn which are large, brown and look dead in the center. The dead looking center will appear sunken, thin and dry. Sizes vary, but some patches may appear up to 20 feet in diameter. Rhizoctonia is controlled with the use of good cultural practices. There are no known fungicide controls available.