Zoysia grass is a creeping, warm-weather grass. It is native to north China, Japan and Australia, but originated in Southeast Asia, Japan and China. It is aggressive and competes with weeds, so it is good for lawns that are prone to weeding over, such as lawns that once used to be pasture or orange groves (as is common in Florida).
Zoysia grass successfully grows in warm climates, such as Florida, and could be successfully grown in some of the southern areas with cooler climates, such as Georgia. According to Zoysias.com, it has been grown (successfully) as far north as Chicago.
Zoysia grass has a medium- to fine-textured leaf. It is a creeping grass, which means that it has long stems that produce the textured leaves. The zoysia grass is wiry and might be uncomfortable to some bare feet, but, once the grass thickens, the leaves tend to "hide" the wiry stems. Once fully established, the lawn is carpeted with the medium green leaves.
Zoysia goes dormant during the winter and turns brown, but it is one of the earliest warm-season grasses to green up in the spring.
Zoysia is drought resistant, which means it survives during the warm, hot, summers of the south. It is also weed-tolerant and will push weeds out of the yard. If you have a problem with lawn insects in your area, zoysia grass should be used, as insects prefer other more tender grasses. It is also disease-resistant.
Zoysia is good for lawns that have high traffic. It is wear-tolerant and used for golf courses, lawns, parks and athletic fields. The sod is dense but does take some time to repair, so is not used in professional football and soccer fields, where the grass could get torn easily from the cleats on the players' shoes.
Zoysia is also shade-tolerant if planted in the warmer southern states. In the cooler southern states and mid-northern states, it needs more sun and is not apt to be as successful in shaded areas. Zoysia is also salt-tolerant.
Because zoysia grass is slow-growing, it is a lower-maintenance lawn. The frequency between mowing is greater than with other grasses. It does need to be watered, especially before it becomes established, but, once established because of its drought tolerance, it requires less water than other grasses.