What is Emerald Zoysia?

Sara Schmidt

Emerald Zoysia is a popular grass used in creating oriental landscapes. It features thin, tightly-packed blades of grass that yield a thick carpet of grass. A drought and shade resistant grass, it is a favorite among homeowners due to its softness and simple maintenance needs.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

These types of grasses are very dense and resistant to frequent wear, making them ideal for homes or businesses that receive heavy foot traffic. Emerald Zoysia is a hybrid type of Zoysia grass. The grasses are coastal plants native to Asia and Australia. The grass is also considered resistant to most plant diseases, making it a typically healthy plant year-round.

Though the grass is generally easy to care for, it has specific sunlight and watering needs. The grass grows best when grown in full sunlight, though some shade is tolerable. The thick, lush carpets of grass that are typical of Emerald Zoysia are usually a result of plenty of sun. While shade will usually not kill the Zoysia, it will likely yield thinner grass.

Zoysia grasses should not be over-fertilized. Fertilizing the grass two to three times annually will suffice. Watering should occur daily during initial planting. After the grass is well-established within the yard, weekly watering often keeps grass thick and healthy. Many growers can water their lawns once every two weeks and still maintain a lush landscape.

Grass can be mowed weekly to maintain the golf course appearance that so many people associate with Emerald Zoysia. Failing to mow Zoysia grass regularly can result in the development of thatch. Too much thatch, or organic buildup, can create an environment that attracts pests and disease in the grass, as well as in surrounding plants.

Planting Emerald Zoysia can be done throughout the year. To ensure a full, dense carpet of grass, however, planting in the early to late summer is advisable. Usually the grass is so thick that invasive weeds cannot grow within it. If needed, crabgrass preventatives or weed killers can be applied to this grass.

This type of grass is considered to be a slow grower. Sod is often recommended to establish this grass in one's lawn, as seeds and plugs can take up to a year to grow. Once grown, Emerald Zoysia requires annual aeration to fully nurture the grass, as well as to keep pests and disease at bay. A topdressing of compost can then be applied to ensure that the grass remains healthy.

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