Americans are crazy about their lawns. For many, the lawn is more than just another chore; it’s a passion. If your love affair with your lawn is a bit more passionate than most, then you probably love reading up on various grass types. Zoysia grass is a super resilient grass with a fun history.
Zoysia is a warm season grass that is native to the Far-East, in countries like China and Japan. Zoysia got its name from a celebrated 18th century Austrian botanist, Karl von Zois. In 1911, Zoysia grass species, Zoysia Matrella, found its way to America with USDA botanist, C.V Piper. For decades it was called Manila grass in the states because of its association with the Philippines.
There are three major species of Zoysia.
From these species a few varieties of Zoysia have been created. The following are some of the most popular Zoysia varieties.
All Zoysia varieties are tenacious and extremely drought tolerant. Under more severe droughts, it may turn a yellowish-brown, however. It manages this by having a deep root system. This allows it to effectively extract water from greater depths in the soil than other varieties.
Nearly as salt tolerant as the famed Bermuda grass, it is widely used along seashores if drainage is adequate. However, if you live near a salty body of water, be sure that your soil is draining properly, especially if the salinity is high. Zoysia does not fare well in areas with poor drainage.
Though Zoysia is tough, one of the most wear tolerant of turf grasses, its slow rate of growth makes it a poor choice if you are looking to use it to quickly recuperate a lawn.
As far as fertilizing goes, you may want to hold off. It is best to wait at least one month before fertilizing newly installed Zoysia grass, as there is little to no root activity as the plant acclimates.
If you live in the southern US, Zoysia grass is a reliable choice for your lawn. Its drought tolerance and preference for warm climates means Zoysia will be healthy, green and lush, from Virginia to Texas. Visit your local nursery, or seek out a landscaper for more information on Zoysia.