How to Plant Zoysia


Zoysia is a type of warm season turf grass native to Southeast Asia and areas of the South Pacific. Named after 18th-century Austrian botanist Karl von Zois, zoysia grass was first introduced to the United States in 1911 from the Philippines and is often referred to as Manila grass. Zoysia grass can be planted in a wide variety of soil conditions, and is suitable for growing in many areas of the southern United States. Once established, zoysia grass creates a thick, green turf resistant to drought and weed establishment.

Step 1

Remove all unwanted debris or vegetation from area. Proper preparation of soil is essential for the successful establishment of zoysia grass. Eliminate rocks, brush, tree stumps and rake the soil area as level as possible. Removing low-hanging tree branches will help provide more sunlight and make the area easier to mow.

Step 2

Water the soil until it is moist. If planting zoysia grass seed, distribute seed with a broadcast spreader. Only one species of zoysia grass, zoysia japonica, can be grown from seed. Once the seed has been distributed, apply a thin layer of dry wheat straw to prevent the seed from being washed away from rain before it's established.

Step 3

To plant zoysia with sprigs, shake grass sprigs to separate and apply to the area. Plant the sprigs 6 inches apart per row, and cover with top soil at a depth of 1 to 2 inches leaving the top of the sprig exposed. A roller can be used to press down the grass and ensure roots have optimum contact with the soil for growing.

Step 4

Planting zoysia with plugs is the most common way to establish the turf. Place round or square plugs of zoysia grass into holes of the same size in the soil. Space them every 6 inches per row and 6 inches apart. Step on, or tamp in, plugs to ensure they have good contract with the soil.

Step 5

Using sod is the fastest way to establish a zoysia grass lawn. Alternate the seams while laying the fresh sod, and apply horizontally to sloped areas. Pull out any weeds that exist in sod patches. Roll sod after planting to level the area and provide contact with the roots to the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Planting zoysia grass with sprigs is tedious and difficult, and mechanical spriggers may not be widely available.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose or sprinkler
  • Zoysia grass seed, sprigs, plugs, or sod
  • Broadcast spreader
  • Wheat straw
  • Rake
  • Top soil
  • Lawn roller
  • Shovel


  • Zoysiagrass; Richard L. Duble; Texas Cooperative Extension
  • Zoysiagrass Lawns; Jeff Higgins; Alabama Cooperative Extension System; September 1998

Who Can Help

  • Zoysia Grass
Keywords: zoysia, zoysia grass, plant

About this Author

Barbara Biehler is a freelance writer who has written articles for various websites, as well as online specialty courses for She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida and over 15 years experience in business development, sales and marketing. An avid gardener, cook and voracious reader, Biehler resides with her family near Nashville, Tennessee.