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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Zoysiagrass — Zoysia spp.

Photo of Zoysiagrass


Zoysiagrass is a warm-season grass, adapted to warm climates. Although slow to become established, Zoysia spp. is very water efficient with few pest problems. It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade. Zoysiagrass forms a thick turf, prickly to the touch. Two common species of zoysiagrass are Zoysia tenuifolia, a fine-leafed dwarf plant used as ground cover, and Zoysia japonica, a Japanese lawn grass that is very drought tolerant. 'Emerald', 'El Toro', 'Victoria', and 'DeAnza' are new varieties that tend to become established quickly.

Identifying tips

A fine to medium-textured, dark-green grass. The leaf is rolled in the bud, there are no auricles, and the ligule is a fringe of hairs. The leaf blade is stiff, short, narrow, and pointed. Zoysiagrass is a low-growing grass that spreads by stolons and rhizomes. This uniform, dense grass turns brown when it goes dormant during winter.


Low maintenance. It has high tolerance for heat, drought, and heavy traffic. It will tolerate some shade. It requires little nitrogen, however it retains better color during cool weather if fertilized during the fall. It may be difficult to mow evenly.

Illustration of collar region of zoysiagrass
Collar of zoysiagrass
Illustration of overall plant of zoysiagrass
Overall plant structure of zosiagrass

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