Close-up image of a green grass lawn.

Get to Know the 6 Types of Zoysia Grass in Florida

Jamie Tedder

Zoysia grass, named after the 18th-century Slovenian botanist Karl von Zois, stands out as a preferable grass variety for the warm weather in Florida. There are many types of zoysia grass, which are generally characterized by their durability, heat tolerance, and low maintenance requirements.

What is Zoysia Grass?

A native to southeastern and eastern areas of Asia—Japan, China, and Korea—zoysia grass is a warm-season variety, which means it grows most during spring, summer, or fall. There are at least eight zoysian species, many of which are used in Florida lawns. 

While zoysia grass thrives best in warm weather, it can also tolerate cooler temperatures. It is adaptable to varying sunlight conditions and resilient against traffic, drought, and other external factors. It can establish an extensive root system that adds to its durability, and under desirable conditions, it grows a dense carpet that overgrows weeds.

6 Zoysia Grass Varieties

Continue reading as we look further into the different types of zoysia grass and their distinct features to help you determine the best zoysia grass for your lawn.

1. Emerald Zoysia

Emerald zoysia is known for requiring the most minor upkeep among all zoysia varieties. It is tolerant to shade, drought, extreme heat and cold and is the slowest-growing zoysia grass. It also has minimal fertilizer demands, so you can enjoy a lush, vibrant lawn with less effort. At Bethel Farms, we cultivate Icon Zoysia, an emerald green zoysia grass variety that is quick to establish, drought tolerant, salt tolerant, and chinch bag tolerant. It has a finer texture and better shade tolerance than other grass.

2. Zoysia Japonica

Zoysia japonica is the most used variety of zoysia grass, widely recognized for its versatility and inherent adaptability to diverse growing conditions and high tolerance to extreme weather conditions. It features thin to medium blades ranging from light to dark green color, forming a dense lawn of short perennial grass. Its subspecies—empire, compadre, zenith, zoyboy, and palisades zoysia—share these attributes, making them a preferable turfgrass for lawns.

3. Zeon Zoysia

Zeon Zoysia has a reputation for being a superior grass variety over St. Augustine and Bermuda grass. It is often used in golf courses and other athletic fields because they are incredibly plush and foot-traffic resistant. It thrives under full sun and can survive bouts of drought due to its extensive root system. It is also shade-tolerant and has low water and fertilizer requirements. With its dark green color and fine blades, Zeon Zoysia creates a vibrant and luxurious-looking lawn that can withstand the warm weather in Florida.

4. Zoysia Macrantha

Zoysia macrantha is a creeping perennial plant native to Australia, characterized by its light green broad blades that make for excellent lawn grass. It is highly salt-tolerant and slow-growing, requiring less watering than most other turf varieties available as sod. A new subspecies of Zoysia macrantha produces a lush, green, highly durable grass that can handle various weather conditions and is used for multiple applications such as home lawns, business properties, and public areas.

5. Zoysia Matrella

Zoysia matrella, commonly known as Manila grass, is a mat-forming perennial plant native to Southeast Asia. Hence, it is more adapted to tropical climates and is less cold-tolerant. One of the distinguishing features of this medium-bladed zoysia grass is its ability to thrive in sandy or nutrient-poor soil, making it an alternative for lawns where other grass varieties struggle to grow. Among the known subspecies of zoysia matrella are cavalier, facet, and shade tuff.

This zoysia grass is also unique in its ability to thrive in sandy or nutrient-poor soil, making it an alternative for lawns where other grass varieties struggle to grow. Among the known subspecies of zoysia matrella are cavalier, facet, and shade tuff.

6. Zoysia Tenuifolia

Also called Mascarene grass or Korean grass, Zoysia Tenuifolia is a low-growing grass that looks different from other zoysia varieties. For starters, it grows in small clumps, which makes it less ideal for a standard home lawn. Instead, it is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens. This zoysia grass is less tolerant to cold and needs full sun to maintain its somewhat plush appearance.


How to Pick the Right Type of Zoysia Grass For Your Lawn

Zoysia grass is easily one of the most beautiful turf varieties you can use in a landscape. Although the differences may be subtle, the different zoysia grass varieties offer plenty of color, shape, and texture options.

It is a hardy and forgiving grass—its excellent weather tolerance and adaptability allow it to thrive in various soil conditions. Whether you face challenges like deep shade, total sunlight exposure, drought, or salty soils, you can hardly make a mistake when you opt for zoysia grass for your lawn. As a low-maintenance grass type, using zoysia grass also means less mowing, less watering, less fertilization, and less pest control than many other grass types.

Icon® Zoysia Grass at Bethel 

Investing in premium grass from reputable farms allows you to get the best performance from your grass. At Bethel Farms, we specialize in providing high-quality zoysia grass sod with enhanced tolerance to pests, diseases, and harsh weather that may cause damage to your lawn.

Visit our website to learn more about our range of premium grass sod.