Zoysia grasses are native to South East Asia and Australia and have many advantages for the homeowner. They are a creeping warm season grass and prefer hot, humid conditions. Zoysia grass has a relatively soft fine leafed appearance and tolerates a wide variety of temperatures, water quality and water availability. It is slow to grow but is effective at stopping erosion, can tolerate traffic, is disease and weed resistant and is considered very drought tolerant. It is popular for golf courses and is growing in residential popularity.
There are varieties suitable for nearly all of mainland Australia however Emerald is the most popular commercial variety.
As usual with plants, Zoysia has particular strengths and disadvantages
- Being a warm season grass it can go dormant over cooler months and change to a browner colour, choose the right variety for your area and inspect somebody else’s lawn before deciding
- Being slow growing it needs less mowing, fertiliser and water, but will take longer to repair damage. It should be mowed between 2cm-5cm and never cut by more than 1/3 of the current blade length.
- It grows thickly, so it is weed resistant but prone to thatching, which requires dethatching maintenance every couple of weeks. It can also be invasive and hard to get rid of if you change your mind.
- One particular variety (Zoysia tunuifolia) has a curious habit of forming rolling mounds and is promoted as a species that does not require mowing