How to Grow Zoysiagrass


Zoysiagrass is a warm-season grass that grows best in full sun but is slightly shade tolerant. This grass can be grown from seed, plugs or sod and is slow to establish. Zoysia is low growing, meaning less mowing, and it fills in thick, which means fewer weeds. It's one of the first warm-season lawns to green up in the spring. This dense, medium-textured grass is used for lawns, golf courses and parks. Zoysia grows best in Zones 6 through 10 and is salt tolerant, making it a good choice near shores.

Step 1

Prepare the seedbed by tilling the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Till in both directions, then rake out weeds and old turf. Plant the seed when daytime temperatures average 75 degrees. The soil needs to be warm for this type of grass seed.

Step 2

Till the ground again. Spread dolomite out and till in one direction, and add a 10-10-10 fertilizer when tilling in the other direction. This will enrich the soil and create optimum conditions for the seed. It will also get out any weeds or turf that survived the first tilling.

Step 3

Rake out the soil. This creates a level seedbed with no bumps or valleys that may cause problems for mowing later.

Step 4

Spread the seed on the yard with a broadcast spreader. Rake over the seed, covering it with about 1/4 inch of soil. Then roll the yard with a lawn roller to ensure good contact between seed and soil. Zoysia seed must contact the soil to germinate.

Step 5

Place a thin layer of straw over the lawn. Straw protects the seed from birds, retains moisture and keeps the seed from floating when watered.

Step 6

Water lightly several times a day. For the first few weeks, keep the soil continuously moist. Once the seeds germinate, cut back watering to three times a week but water deeper, about 1/2 inch each time. This will establish a deep root system. When the lawn turns brown during winter, water once or twice a month, depending on rain.

Step 7

Mow when grass reaches 2 1/2 to 3 inches. Cut it down to 1 to 2 inches. Leave the clippings for nutrition after the first mowing in spring. Zoysia will go dormant when it gets cold and turn brown. There is no need to mow during this period.

Step 8

Apply a general-purpose lawn fertilizer four weeks after planting. Apply 1 1/2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet every month during the growing season for the first year. After that, apply a light application of fertilizer as soon as the lawn turns green and again in late summer.

Tips and Warnings

  • It is normal for zoysia to turn brown when it gets cold. It will recover and turn green in the spring. It is not necessary to overseed with other grass seed during this time, which can ultimately harm the zoysia.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller
  • Iron rake or lawn tractor rake
  • Dolomite (50 lbs. per 1,000 square feet)
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer (15 lbs. per 1,000 square feet)
  • Zoysiagrass seed (1 to 2 lbs. per 1,000 square feet)
  • Broadcast spreader
  • Lawn roller
  • Straw
  • General purpose lawn fertilizer


  • Zoysia Grass Seeds
  • How to Grow Zoysia Grass
  • Zoysia Grass Maintenance
Keywords: growing zoysia grass, caring for a zoysia lawn, Maintaining zoysia turf

About this Author

Dale DeVries has been cooking for over 40 years. First teaching her five daughters to cook, she quickly moved on to teaching at a private High School. Dale has catered parties and weddings throughout her life, from gourmet to the simple family type dinners. She says the fun is in creating new recipes that noone has heard of.