Removing Crabgrass From a Zoysia Lawn


Crabgrass is a perennial weed that's prevalent throughout North America, wreacking havoc in lawns and spreading rapidly if not controlled. Though zoysia lawns are relatively low-maintenance and, if cared for appropriately, too dense for crabgrass to creep in, they are sometimes afflicted with this weed. Remove crabgrass immediately to contain the problem before it gets out of hand.

Step 1

Use a handheld spade to remove the crabgrass manually. This is ideal for small bunches of crabgrass. Slide the spade under the crabgrass bunch and pull it upward.

Step 2

Treat your lawn with herbicides for widespread crabgrass removal. Start with a pre-emergent herbicide applied in February before the crabgrass seeds germinate. Chemicals include oryzalin, bensulide and trifluralin. Administer onto your lawn according to the herbicide's label, since toxicity varies by product. These chemicals kill the dormant crabgrass seeds and break the weed's life cycle.

Step 3

Follow with a post-emergent selective herbicide such as clethodim and fluazifop. This kills any crabgrass plants in your lawn that have already germinated without harming your zoysia.

Step 4

Maintain your zoysia lawn to prevent a return of the weed. Mow the lawn at the maximum allowable height of 1 inch to help crowd out any other plants. Fertilize the lawn during the summer months of May through August with a standard lawn fertilizer to boost the lawn's vigor and further reduce the chance of crabgrass invasions. Zoysia is a warm season grass and fertilizing at any other time is detrimental--

Tips and Warnings

  • Non-selective herbicides such as glyphosate are sometimes recommended against crabgrass, but such products are systemic and will kill both the weeds and your zoysia lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Pre-emergent herbicide
  • Post-emergent selective herbicide
  • Lawn mower
  • Lawn fertilizer


  • "The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed and Growing Every Season of the Year"; David Mellor; 2003
  • "Lawns: Your Guide to to a Beautiful Yard"; Nick Christians, et al.; 2007
Keywords: crabgrass in zoysia lawns, weeds in zoysia lawns, kill crabgrass

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.