Zoysia and Bermuda Grass - The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly - Grass Pad (2024)

Zoysia and Bermuda grass are both warm-season grasses and require similar maintenance. Around the Midwest, zoysia grass is popular at golf courses but not so much for homeowners. However, there are most definitely pros and cons of warm-season grasses. The final decision ultimately comes down to what you personally value and strive for from your home lawn.

The Good: The one major appeal is its low maintenance. Zoysia grass also makes for a durable lawn as it is resistant to weeds, insects, and diseases that would be bad news for other types of grass. Zoysia is an extremely aggressive spreading grass that can literally choke out weeds. Zoysia is pleasant on the eyes and feet. It tends to have a soft, fine texture and is naturally low-growing.

The Bad: While zoysia grass boasts a few attributes, there are many downsides. One drawback is that zoysia will not stay green year-round in our climate. Zoysia grass will look its best for about three months of the year, and zoysia lawns lose the desired green hue around mid-autumn. Often, the lawn will stay brown well into Spring, which is a deal breaker for some. So, if year-round color is necessary for you, you may want to think twice before choosing zoysia grass. Zoysia will not tolerate heavy traffic during these dormant periods. Another negative is the very poor shade tolerance under trees. Yards with sun and shade areas would require shade beds under trees or choosing a different type of grass seed to grow in shade.

See Related: Controlling Large Patch in Zoysia

The Ugly: The aggressive nature of zoysia can also be labeled invasive. Be prepared to deal with picky neighbors should your zoysia lawn spread into their property. Zoysia grass is also prone to thatch problems; therefore, routine annual de-thatching and aerification are required. Here in the Midwest, zoysia seed is difficult to establish because of our cool soil temperatures. Thus, most people who choose zoysia grass must plant it in plugs or sod during summer. This can get pricey. And lastly, zoysia grass sometimes takes two to three years to fill out and reach the desired density. It may be low maintenance, but if immediate results are what you want, zoysia grass may not be for you.

See Related: How to Kill Zoysia and Bermuda Grass

Zoysia and Bermuda Grass - The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly - Grass Pad (2024)


What is the downside of zoysia grass? ›

Often, the lawn will stay brown well into Spring, which is a deal breaker for some. So, if year-round color is necessary for you, you may want to think twice before choosing zoysia grass. Zoysia will not tolerate heavy traffic during these dormant periods. Another negative is the very poor shade tolerance under trees.

Which grass is better, bermuda or zoysia? ›

Zoysia grass is an excellent choice if you live in an area with hot, dry summers and want a low-maintenance lawn. Bermuda grass, on the other hand, is ideal if you want a durable, high-traffic lawn that establishes quickly.

What is the best fertilizer to put on zoysia grass? ›

4. Simple Lawn Solutions 15-0-15 Liquid Fertilizer – Best for summer. Potassium-rich fertilizer applied in mid to late summer protects Zoysiagrass from winter damage. Simple Lawn Solutions 15-0-15 Liquid Fertilizer gives Zoysia the potassium it needs to withstand winter dormancy and resume healthy growth in the spring.

Will zoysia grass choke out weeds? ›

Chokes Out Weeds

Once established, the dense turf created by zoysia significantly reduces summer weeds. Amazoy will choke out all existing cultivated and wild grasses, including Bermuda (often called wire grass) and St. Augustine. For best results keep these grasses away from newly planted zoysia plugs.

What killed my Zoysia grass? ›

Zoysia grass is intolerant of standing water and may die out in low areas where water can collect. Although root rots may be obvious, many other problems may not be as obvious. Shallow rooting, increased susceptibility to disease, and attractiveness to grubs are a few of the other problems improper watering can cause.

What kills bermuda but not Zoysia? ›

Recognition makes it possible to control bermudagrass with excellent safety to zoysiagrass. Recognition alone does not control bermudagrass, but when tank mixed with Fusilade II at rates up to 24 fl. oz./A, the combination controls bermudagrass without injuring zoysiagrass.

Does Zoysia grass overtake other grass? ›

Will Zoysia Grass Take Over Other Grasses? Zoysia is considered invasive and is known to take over lawns, when given enough time. That includes crowding out other grasses that exist in your lawn or newly seeded grasses that you plant.

What are the cons of Bermuda grass? ›

Cons of Bermuda Grass

Shade intolerance: Bermuda grass may not be the right choice for your lawn if you have several trees in your yard. This grass type needs direct sunlight, so you might find thin spots in heavily shaded areas. Rapid growth rate: You may find yourself mowing more often with this type of grass.

What is the most aggressive grass? ›

You are going to find these two warm-season types of grass mostly throughout the south and they require a bit of “grooming” that other grass types don't. Bermuda and Zoysia are what I call “alpha grasses” meaning they are very aggressive and work hard to take new ground.

How to make Zoysia grass dark green? ›

How do I make Zoysia dark green? To achieve a dark green color in Zoysia grass, ensure it receives adequate nutrients, especially nitrogen. Apply a balanced fertilizer with a slightly higher nitrogen content in the recommended ratio for Zoysia grass.

What will make Zoysia grass spread faster? ›

"If I buy more plugs for a small area will it establish quicker?"
  1. The biggest factor in determining the speed at which your Zenith Zoysia plugs will establish and spread is your area's climate. ...
  2. Another key factor in spread rate is the time of year. ...
  3. Zoysia likes slow-release nitrogen based fertilizers.
Nov 2, 2021

How to thicken Zoysia grass? ›

Your grass will grow thicker and healthier with regular fertilization during the growing season. The need for fertilizer varies based on the square footage and climate. Typically, Zoysia grass requires only minimal nitrogen, about 1 pound per 1,000 square feet during the growing season.

What is the disadvantage of zoysia grass? ›

One downside to Zoysia grass is that it can be invasive, so it may not be the best choice if you are looking for a low-maintenance lawn. What are Zoysia grass images HD? Zoysia grass is a warm-season grass known for its dense, carpet-like growth and excellent drought tolerance.

Will bermuda choke out Zoysia? ›

As bermuda is a much more aggressive fast growing creeper it will take over from the slow growing zoysia. Getting rid of the bermuda is next to impossible as the small seeds remain,even after eradication, for years. In addition, the bermuda spreads both above and below ground by shoots and rhizomes respectively.

Should you leave grass clippings on Zoysia grass? ›

If those clumps are left to sit on the lawn, then it can cause the live grass beneath it to be subject to disease, rot and ultimately death. Bagging your zoysia grass clippings will allow the grass that is left after a mowing to grow and thrive in a healthy manner.

Which grass is better, Zoysia or st augustine? ›

St. Augustines only spread through the above-the-ground runners, stolons. They are usually better than zoysias at choking out weeds for this reason. Since zoysias grow with both methods, they usually rank higher in wear tolerance, injury recovery and drought tolerance.

Which is better Zoysia or Fescue? ›

Zoysia is a much more dense turf, far fewer problems with fungus, loves the heat and sunshine, never needs re-seeding, can grow in poor soils much better, and weed control is MUCH easier on the rare occasion that weeds are able to make a stand. As Sod, they are both about the same price if Fescue isn't a bit higher.

What is the lowest maintenance Zoysia grass? ›

EMPIRE Zoysia, a Brazilian Zoysia japonica variety, is suited for a wide range of applications, particularly in the southern U.S., thanks to its improved disease resistance and ability to thrive in tropical climates. It's a low maintenance grass that features a blue-green color, and has a wider blade than many zoysias.

Is Zoysia hard to maintain? ›

For many homeowners, Zoysia grass is their warm-season grass of choice. That's especially true where a drought-resistant, low-maintenance, traffic-tolerant lawn is the goal.

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