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The Ultimate Guide to Zoysia Grass in Texas: Is It the Right Choice for Your Lawn?

Jack Moore
Mar 8, 2024 9:20:01 AM

There are three primary grass types here in North Texas that we see most often. These include Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia. 

Zoysia grass in Texas can be an excellent choice for many reasons. It tends to perform well in full sun (but can still handle some shade) and it is relatively drought-tolerant. We’ve also recently seen Zoysia grass in North Texas survive some harsh winter conditions, including temperatures in the single digits for extended periods. For this reason, we think it’s also an adaptable choice.

In this guide, we’ll dive into some of your common questions about Zoysia grass including Zoysia grass maintenance recommendations and other facts you ought to know about it. 

As with any grass type, a key to success is knowing how to properly care for it.

To make it easy on you, we’ve set this article up “FAQ style.” We’ve set out to answer some of the most common questions about Zoysia grass in Texas.

What are the Types of Zoysia Grass in Texas?

There are four main varieties of Zoysia that we like to recommend and for different reasons. It is always important to consider your own expectations when making a decision about what grass type is right for you.

home with healthy green grass

The four types of Zoysia grass in North Texas that we recommend are:

  1. Emerald: This grass type has a fine texture and is dark green when cared for properly. It is often called the “Cadillac of Grasses” and for good reason. It looks great when maintained. For that reason, it’s typically our #1 recommendation. But proper care is key!

  2. Palisades: This dense, medium-blade variety is a little more tolerant of foot traffic and sports use. If you and your family use your lawn frequently, this grass type might be a better choice. It does have a soft texture (like Emerald) but is not as dark green as Emerald.

  3. Cavalier: This grass grows in a dense pattern and has long and narrow blades. It resists many of the turf diseases that can impact other Zoysia varieties and is a pretty hardy option. 

  4. Zeon: Zeon Zoysia grows quickly and is better at filling in patchy spots or bare areas than other varieties. But it also tends to create a lot of thatch, which can mean extra maintenance. Even so, we have a lot of very satisfied Zeon lawn clients.

What Does Zoysia Grass in Texas Look Like?

As you can tell from our answer above, there are different types of Zoysia and each has some differences in color and growth. But generally speaking, Zoysia grass is typically a fine to medium-textured grass that grows relatively dark green. 

There are variations in color based on the exact type.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia is relatively low growing and while it establishes itself a bit slower than other grass types, it does form a thick, carpet-like lawn when it fills in. Many people comment that they love their Zoysia lawn for its “feel” (softer texture) as much as its look.

What Are Common Zoysia Grass Problems?

As with any grass type, there are pros and cons. In general, Zoysia grass is sometimes a bit more prone to thatch than other grass types. As we mentioned, this is particularly true of Zeon Zoysia. 

Thatch is naturally occurring, dead organic material that can build atop the soil. It can be a problem in our region whether you have Zoysia or not. 

Zoysia Grass

Thatch build-up of more than a half inch can start to prevent water, oxygen, and nutrients from penetrating the soil and reaching the root zone. Excessive thatch can also make your lawn more susceptible to disease and pest problems. 

Zoysia grass in North Texas also happens to be intolerant to standing water and could die out if you have a low spot in your yard or an area of poor drainage. We always recommend correcting drainage issues as this is not healthy for any lawn.

How to Care for Zoysia Grass in Texas?

Proper Zoysia grass maintenance involves keeping up with important lawn services like fertilization, weed control, watering, and mowing.

People don’t always know that the height at which you mow your grass depends on the turf variety. For Zoysia grass, the recommended cut height is 1.5 to 3 inches. If you mow the lawn too short, it can really put unnecessary stress on it.

landscape expert mows grass with push mower

Also, aim to mow no more than one-third of the grass blade at a time as any more than that puts a lot of stress on the lawn. If you let too much time go between mowings, you might need to mow two separate times to attain the proper cut height without cutting too much at once.

How to Choose Between Zoysia Grass vs Bermuda Grass in Texas?

Both of these grass types thrive here in North Texas so this is another common question that people face. In fact, we wrote an entire article on Zoysia vs. Bermuda as we know it’s a hot topic.

healthy grass near home

At Grassperson, we care for both lawn types and have seen both perform well. It’s all about making sure you’re approaching it with realistic expectations and then providing the proper care that your grass type needs.

Some of the key points that were addressed in the Zoysia vs. Bermuda article were:

  • Zoysia Grass tends to be less drought tolerant that Bermuda Grass
  • Zoysia can be a little more high-maintenance than Bermuda, due to its propensity toward thatch
  • Bermuda Grass will not tolerate the shade as well as Zoysia
  • Zoysia tends to cost a little bit more

How to Choose Between Zoysia Grass vs St. Augustine in Texas?

If you’re not deciding between Bermuda and Zoysia, then you’re probably deciding between Zoysia and St. Augustine. Again, this is another topic we have already covered in depth.

st. augustine grass

These grasses have two different looks. Whereas Zoysia tends to be fine and thin, St. Augustine has a thicker blade. Zoysia is said to have a more carpet-like feel in terms of texture. But St. Augustine looks quite beautiful.

While we successfully care for both grass types, we tend to recommend Zoysia more often. But both grass types can make good choices for your North Texas lawn.

Does Zoysia Grass Grow in Shade?

While Zoysia definitely prefers the sun (and can also perform well in full sun), it can tolerate some shade. We do like Zoysia as a pretty versatile grass type. It will most definitely tolerate shade better than Bermuda Grass, a sun-loving grass.

landscape with shade and plantings

All grass types (even shade-tolerant varieties) need some sun so making sure that your lawn receives enough will be critical to its success. Growing grass under trees can mean dealing with thin or care areas…or even discoloration.

We wrote an article on growing grass in shade if you want to learn more.

What Weeds in Zoysia Grass in Texas Tend to be a Concern?

Some of the common weeds growing in Zoysia grass include dandelions, clover, henbit, and spurge. In general, lawn weeds in North Texas never stop growing so you’ll need a comprehensive and ongoing weed control program.

lawn with weeds

It’s frustrating when you spend time, energy, and resources trying to fight weeds yourself which is why weed control is often best left in the hands of a pro.

The best defense is a year-round lawn care program that not only prevents many weeds from appearing (pre-emergent control) but also addresses weeds after they appear in the lawn (post-emergent control). Along with that, fertilization helps stoke healthy turf growth, and proper mowing and watering will promote a vital, strong lawn that does a better job standing up against weeds.

Choosing Lawn Care Services Near Flower Mound, TX

At the end of the day, no matter what grass type you have, you want to choose a lawn care service that knows what it needs. Getting the most out of any lawn boils down to the proper care.

At Grassperson, we have a lot of experience working with all of the popular grass types here in North Texas. 

If you have any further questions about Zoysia grass in North Texas, we’re always here to help.

Ready for a gorgeous lawn at your Flower Mound, Highland Village, or Lewisville, TX home? Get a free quote and then enjoy the best lawn on the block without the worries!

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Image Source: St. AugustineZoysia Grass

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