Zoysia Grass

What is Zoysia Grass?

Zoysia grass is a hard wearing grass that was originally grown in areas of Southeast Asia, China and Japan but was later introduced to the Americas and is now finding its way to the United Kingdom. It takes its name from the 18th century Austrian botanist Karl von Zois who discovered it.

Zoysia Grass is a slow to establish grass but once it has bedded itself in it has the unique ability for a grass of being able to fight against weeds and other grasses from taking over its space.

Zoysia grass is also considered to be a creeping grass which means that not only does it grow in the area where it was originally seeded but it can then begin to grow further out around that area, making it sturdy and able to cope with the human and animal traffic.

It is often used on golf courses as the basis for fairways and teeing areas but is becoming increasing popular as a lawn grass again for its ability to withstand traffic.

Species of Zoysia Grass

Zoysia Grass is split into a group of eight sub-species but there three main species which are:

  • Zoysia japonica
  • Zoysia tenuifolia
  • Zoysia matrella

Zoysia Japonica

Sometimes referred to as Japanese Lawn Grass, Zoysia Japonica is a coarse grass but one which fairs better in colder climbs as opposed to Zoysia matrella or Zoysia tenuifolia.

Zoysia Tenuifolia

Also known as Korean Velvet Grass, Zoysia tenuifolia is the least able to withstand cold temperatures but makes an ideal turf because of its soft and fine textured blades.

Zoysia matrella

Again this is quite a hard wearing grass which withstands the cold better than Zoysia Tenuifolia but not as well as Zoysia Japonica. It is quite fine in its texture and is used normally as a low ground cover.

Of course as we have already mentioned there are other species of Zoysia grass but they are not as common and would not fair particularly well if introduced into the climate of the United Kingdom.

The leaf blades of all of these species are very stiff given the high Silica content and this is one of the reasons as to their suitability for use as golf courses grass.

They are also used in public parks and athletics grounds because of their ability to withstand heavy human and animal traffic and as we have already mentioned they are now becoming popular as lawn grasses in the British Isles.

Another reason for their increase popularity is the change in our ambient weather temperature which seems to be increasing and enabling these grasses to flourish whereas previously they could only have been grown in the United Kingdom under specific conditions, normally in nurseries or botanical gardens.

Another factor of Zoysia grass which is an advantage to any gardener wishing to lay a new lawn is that it is highly tolerant of dry weather conditions. It can survive for a long time with little to no water and when rainfall is at a minimum it can sustain itself in almost dry soil.

However the downside to this is that Zoysia Grass does not fair well in poorly irrigated soil – or waterlogged conditions – even though it is none to grow near the sea where there is a high salt content.

Again it is recommended that if you wish to use Zoysia Grass you contact your local nursery or garden centre who will be able to give you the help and advice you need and will also be able to tell you if the area you live in can sustain such a grass.

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