Zoysia grass, when maintained properly, can provide a lush and beautiful lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood. But those who choose zoysia over other options believing that zoysia is a miracle grass may be disappointed to learn that zoysia comes with its own set of challenges. But proper selection, good establishment and maintenance can help your zoysia lawn perform up to your expectations.
Native to Korea, zoysia grass is named for Austrian botanist Karl von Zois. Heavily promoted as the one turf grass that wouldn't brown under the intense heat of summer, zoysia grew in popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. Zoysia is somewhat invasive and will overtake other grasses when planted side by side.
Zoysia maintains its green color during heat and drought conditions, when cool-season grasses suffer. It also forms a dense, cushiony turf that is attractive and resists the growth of weeds. The dense pile of zoysia withstands close mowing, allowing for a neat, groomed appearance for lawns. It's less thirsty than many cool-season turf grasses.
On the downside, zoysia grass turns brown in mid-autumn, and may not regain its green hue until late spring. Therefore, in lawns where year-round color is a major concern, zoysia may not be the best choice. Additionally, zoysia requires planting in plugs or sod, as seed is not available for most varieties. This means greater expense when planting. Zoysia also takes longer to become fully established. In ideal conditions, one growing season may be enough, but for most zoysia lawns, two to three years are required for the turf to reach optimum density.