Care of Zoysia Grass


Zoysia grass is a slow growing, thick turf grass that is commonly used on golf courses and home lawns. Zoysia is a warm season grass and does not grow well in the cold northern areas of the United States. The lawn grass is low growing which means less mowing and greater resistance to wear. The grass tends to grow so thick that weeds cannot survive in it, making for even less maintenance. Because of the slower growth, repairing a bald spot make take more time than with other grasses. Overall, caring for zoysia is not difficult and takes less time than most lawns.

Step 1

Mow the lawn as soon as it turns green in the spring. Cut to a height of 1 inch with sharp blades. Leave the clippings in the lawn to produce nitrogen. Mow each time the lawn reaches 1 1/2 to 2 inches high.

Step 2

Take a soil test to the local extension center or agricultural center to find out what nutrients are required for your lawn. Apply lime if suggested in the amount determined by the soil test. Apply 4 lbs. of 12-4-8 fertilizer per 1000 square feet of lawn three weeks after the lawn turns green. The soil test may show more or less of one of these nutrients is needed.

Step 3

Fertilize with ½ lb. of nitrogen per 1000 square feet in late June and another 4 lbs. of 12-4-8 fertilizer per 1000 square feet in August. Apply 1 lb. of potash per 1000 square feet in September.

Step 4

Water the lawn for 12 to 16 hours the first time you water. If the water starts to pool, stop for a half hour or so to allow the water to absorb and continue until the soil is damp 4 to 6 inches deep. Afterward, water the lawn about three hours every third day. If the leaves start to wilt or curl, this is a sign the grass needs to be watered. Water occasionally when the grass is dormant.

Step 5

Apply pre-emergence herbicides in late March or at least three weeks after the lawn turns green, and only if weeds are present. Apply post-emergence herbicide in May if weeds are present. Follow manufacturer's directions as to how much to apply. Reapply in summer and fall if weeds are still present.

Step 6

Aerate the lawn to remove thatch. Be careful not to cause too much damage to the existing lawn as it is slow to recover. It is better to remove a little of the thatch each season, rather than to do it all at once.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Soil test kit
  • 12-4-8 fertilizer
  • Spreader
  • Lime (if needed)
  • Hose sprayer or sprinkler
  • Pre-emergence and post-emergence herbicides (if needed)
  • Aerator
  • Nitrogen
  • Potash


  • NC State University: Zoysiagrass
  • Seedland: Zoysia Grass Maintenance
  • University of Arkansas: Zoysiagrass
Keywords: Zoysia grass, lawn turf, lawn care

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.