How Fast Does Zoysia Grass Spread? | Spreading Rate, Species

Are you looking for the perfect grass to adorn your lawn and elevate your landscaping game? Zoysia Grass might just be the answer! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Zoysia Grass, from its benefits and characteristics to its growth and maintenance. So let’s dive in and explore the world of Zoysia Grass.

What is Zoysia Grass?

This is a warm-season grass that originated in Southeast Asia. It was named after an Austrian botanist, Karl von Zois, and is known for its lush, thick carpet-like appearance and feel. This perennial grass is remarkably versatile, as it can adapt to various soil types and weather conditions, making it a popular choice for homeowners and landscapers.


  • Warm-season grass with improved cold tolerance.
  • It prefers the sun and tolerates some light shade.
  • Suitable for southern and transition zones.
  • Tolerant of heat and drought.
  • Low water and maintenance requirements.
  • Dense, traffic-tolerant growth.

Benefits of Zoysia Grass

There are several reasons why Zoysia Grass has become a popular option for lawns and other landscaping projects. The following are some of its key benefits:

1. Drought Tolerance: Zoysia Grass is well-known for its ability to withstand long periods of drought. Its deep root system allows it to retain water and nutrients efficiently, making it a low-maintenance option for areas with limited rainfall.

2. Wear Resistance: Zoysia Grass is an excellent choice if you have kids or pets that love playing in the yard. It can sustain heavy foot traffic without showing signs of wear and tear.

3. Weed and Pest Resistance: As a dense, thick grass, Zoysia Grass makes it difficult for weeds to penetrate and establish themselves. Its natural pest resistance also reduces the need for chemical treatments.

4. Aesthetics: With its rich green hue and fine-bladed texture, Zoysia Grass offers an attractive appearance that adds to the overall curb appeal of your house.

Growing Zoysia Grass

Planting Zoysia Grass is relatively easy and can be done through seeds, plugs, or sod.

1. Seeds: Sow Zoysia seeds during late spring or early summer when soil temperatures reach between 70°F to 80°F. Spread the seeds evenly across the area, followed by a light layer of soil to cover them.

2. Plugs: Space them about 12 inches apart in a checkerboard pattern when using plugs. Water them thoroughly and ensure they are well rooted in the ground.

3. Sod: You can opt for Zoysia sod for an instant lawn. Lay the sod pieces staggered, ensuring the edges are snugly connected.

There Main Species of Zoysia Grass:

There are 3 primary species of Zoysia grass available:

  • Z. Matrella: Originally from the Philippines, this variety thrives in humid, hot weather year-round. It is mainly used in southern states within the United States.
  • Z. japonica: This common variety of Zoysia grass was first introduced to the United States. It performs well in colder regions and can be started from seed. However, it is not suitable for southern states.
  • Z. Tenuifolia: This variety of Zoysia grass features delicate blades. It is less tolerant of cold weather compared to other varieties. However, a hardier variant called Z. emerald, a mixture of Z. Tenuifolia and Japonica, is available and commonly chosen by homeowners.

Some of the most popular Zoysia grass types are hybrids combining two of the three primary species. One such hybrid is Meyer Zoysia (Z-52), an enhanced variant of Z. japonica. Meyer Zoysia thrives in colder environments, exhibits a medium green color, and can tolerate partial shade. It is important to note that Meyer Zoysia must be initiated vegetatively.

Does Zoysia Grass Spread?

Zoysia grass, a warm-season grass, is a popular choice for homeowners and landscapers alike due to its lush green color and ability to withstand drought and traffic. One question people often have about Zoysia grass is: does it spread?

The answer is a definitive yes! Zoysia grass is known for its aggressive growth habit and can spread horizontally by rhizomes and stolons. This means that once established, Zoysia grass can quickly take over a lawn or landscape, filling in bare spots and creating a dense carpet of green.

So, Zoysia grass is an excellent choice if you’re looking for grass that spreads and will fill in your lawn.

How does zoysia grass spread?

Zoysia grass spreads through both rhizomes and stolons. Rhizomes are underground stems that spread horizontally, forming a dense mat of roots beneath the soil surface. Stolons are above-ground stems spread horizontally, sending offshoots that eventually grow roots and form new plants. This is how Zoysia grass can spread and fill in bare spots, creating a lush carpet of green.

It’s important to note that Zoysia grass spreads slowly and can take up to five years before it reaches its full potential. You’ll need regular maintenance and mowing to keep it healthy and looking its best. But once established, it’s a relatively low-maintenance grass that doesn’t require much attention.

How Fast Does Zoysia Grass Spread? Plugs Spreading Rate

To ensure effective establishment and growth, consider incorporating Zoysia grass plugs as a cost-effective alternative to sod.

These small blocks of soil, typically measuring 2″ x 2″ or 3″ x 3″, contain established Zoysia grass and can be planted in bare spots within your yard, similar to perennial or annual plants.

Once they recover from transplantation, these plugs should gradually spread and fill in within the first year. It is important to provide adequate water and prepare the surrounding turf before planting the plugs.

While it may take time for Zoysia grass to fully spread and fill in, whether planted from seed or via plugs, the results are worth the wait. When planting plugs, expect a two-year timeframe for your lawn to fill in, while producing from seed may take around three years.

Once established, your Zoysia lawn will effectively suppress weeds and maintain a thick, lush, and low-maintenance appearance. If you have the patience, Zoysia grass is an excellent choice.

Maintaining Zoysia Grass

To keep your Zoysia Grass looking its best, follow these maintenance tips:

1. Mowing: Mow the grass when it reaches a height of 2-2.5 inches. Utilize a sharp mower blade to prevent tearing, and never remove more than one-third of the grass height at once.

2. Fertilizing: Fertilize Zoysia Grass in late spring or early summer with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer. A second application can be made in late summer.

3. Watering: Though drought-tolerant, Zoysia Grass will still need occasional watering. Aim for one inch of water per week during dry spells.

4. Dethatching: Zoysia Grass can develop a thatch layer over time. Address this issue by dethatching the grass at least once a year.

Troubleshooting Zoysia Grass Problems

Are you having trouble getting your Zoysia Grass to thrive? Common problems include brown patches, damage from pests or diseases, and yellowing. If any of these issues arise, don’t fret — we’ve got some tips on resolving them.

  1. Brown Patches: These patches can be caused by several factors, including drought stress, too much nitrogen in the soil, and excessive foot traffic. Water your lawn deeply and aerate heavily compacted areas to fix this issue.
  2. Pest Damage: Chinch bugs and sod webworms are common pests that feed on Zoysia Grassroots. Treat the affected area with an insecticide if you spot any damage from these pesky critters.
  3. Disease Damage: Common diseases affecting Zoysia Grass are Brown Patches, Gray Leaf Spots, and Melting Out. To combat them, use a fungicide specially formulated for Zoysia Grass.
  4. Yellowing: Yellow spots on your lawn indicate poor nutrient uptake or fungal diseases. To fix the issue, check the pH level of your soil and apply fertilizer or fungicide as needed.

Frequently Asked Question

How long does zoysia grass take to grow?

Zoysia Grass is a slow-growing grass, so it may take 3-5 years before your lawn reaches its full potential. You’ll need regular maintenance and mowing to keep it healthy and looking its best. Once established, Zoysia grass requires less work than other warm-season grasses. Therefore, while reaching its full potential may take a while, the result is worth the wait.

Will Zoysia take over other grasses?

Yes, Zoysia grass is known for its aggressive growth habit and can spread horizontally by rhizomes and stolons. Once established, it can quickly take over a lawn or landscape. So if you want to replace your existing grass with Zoysia grass, remove all of the old turf first to prevent it from being overrun. Additionally, it’s essential to provide regular maintenance and mowing to keep your Zoysia grass healthy and looking its best. You’ll have a lush green lawn that will last for years with proper care.

Does Zoysia grass need fertilizer?

Yes, like most grasses, Zoysia Grass needs regular fertilization. For optimal results, fertilize your lawn in late spring or early summer with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer. A second application can be made in late summer if needed. Make sure to follow the instructions on the package for the best results. Additionally, perform soil tests regularly and adjust the type of fertilizer you use accordingly.


When it comes to choosing a grass for your lawn or landscape, Zoysia Grass is an excellent choice. While it may take several years to spread and fill in fully, the long-term results — a thick, lush green carpet resistant to pests and weeds — make this slow-growing grass worth the wait. With proper maintenance and fertilizing, you’ll have a low-maintenance lawn that will impress. So if you have the patience, go ahead and give Zoysia Grass a try! You won’t be disappointed.

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