Fertilizer for Zoysia Grass: Maintaining a Beautiful Lawn

Do you have a zoysia grass lawn that needs extra care? Fertilizing is essential to maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn, but the type of fertilizer you use matters.

Read this complete guide to learn how to properly fertilize your zoysia grass lawn and keep it vibrant all year round.

Fertilizing zoysia grass is a key part of maintaining a healthy, attractive lawn. Zoysia is a type of lawn grass that is native to tropical and subtropical regions and can be found in many areas of the United States. It is hardy, requiring less water and fertilizer than most grasses, but it does need some special care to reach its full potential.

In this guide, we’ll discuss why fertilizing your zoysia grass is important and how to do it correctly for maximum results. We’ll also go over the type of fertilizer best suited for this type of grass so you can rest assured that you’re making the right choice when choosing a product. With these tips, you’ll be able to maintain a beautiful zoysia lawn all year round.

Understanding Zoysia Grass Fertilizer Requirements

Zoysia grass (zoysia japonica) is a warm-season perennial grass that is coveted for its hardy nature and low maintenance requirements. It requires special care, however, including regular fertilization. To maintain a healthy lawn, it’s important to understand the basics of zoysia grass fertilizer requirements and know what kind of fertilizer you need for your lawn.

When to Fertilize: Generally speaking, it’s best to fertilize zoysia grass in May or June. This encourages strong growth during the summer months when the temperatures are hottest. However, you may need to adjust your schedule depending on your climate and lawn size; if it’s especially hot or dry in the summertime where you live, apply fertilizer at fortnightly intervals instead of monthly.

How Much Fertilizer To Apply: When fertilizing zoysia grass, use a slow-release fertilizer with an NPK ratio between 3:1:2 and 4:1:2 — e.g., 17-4-8 or 27-3-3. It’s important not to overapply; generally speaking, you should not use more than three pounds per 1000 square feet at one time. Also keep an eye on the weather — avoid applying fertilizer when rain is forecasted within 24 hours after application.

These are just some basic guidelines for zoysia grass fertilization — consult with your local nursery professional for specific tips tailored to your climate and soil type!

The basic nutrients needed for Zoysia grass growth

Zoysia grass is an attractive and tough grass suitable for most lawns and will require seasonal fertilization to achieve optimal colors and density of growth. To determine what fertilizer is best for your lawn, it is important to understand the basic nutrients that a Zoysia lawn needs to thrive. Generally, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are necessary for healthy growth; additionally, many zoysia lawns require calcium or magnesium, iron or sulfur.

Nitrogen plays an important role in a plant’s ability to photosynthesize and convert sunlight into energy it can use for growth. Nitrogen also encourages dark green foliage color which can be desirable for aesthetic reasons. Phosphorus helps stimulate root growth as well as flowering and seed production in some plants, but is not essential for Zoysia grass which usually does not flower or go to seed. Potassium helps promote disease resistance, drought tolerance, cold hardiness, overall health of the plant system, carbohydrate metabolism and winter survival; this nutrient helps regulate metabolic processes within the plant system leading to stronger plants with more vigor.

Calcium facilitates good cell wall development while its deficiency results in poor root systems; this nutrient is especially needed in sandy soils where leaching of available calcium occurs quickly. Magnesium increases photosynthesis rates by allowing chlorophyll molecules to absorb more of the sun’s energy. Iron improves chlorophyll formation by providing elemental nutrition so that leaves stay dark green despite higher levels of nitrogen being applied; this nutrient supplies an available source of oxygen that Zoysia turfgrass needs during periods of high heat stress so that respiration rates do not cause injury or yellowing signs on plants. Sulfur strengthens the structure within cells which gives them vigor which allows plants stay greener longer under stressful periods before needing additional nutrition applications during times when environmental factors limit stress levels on these low maintenance turfgrass species.

The ideal pH levels for Zoysia grass growth

For Zoysia grass to reach its full potential for lush, abundant growth, it is important to ensure that it is receiving the best possible maintenance and care. As part of a healthy routine for Zoysia grass, it is important to maintain ideal pH levels in the soil. The ideal pH range for Zoysia grass growth is 6.0 – 7.0; however, most soils that contain limestone tend to be on the alkaline side (pH 7.3 or higher). Therefore, gardeners need to frequently monitor and adjust the pH levels of their soil in order to achieve optimum growth conditions.

The primary method of managing soil pH levels can usually begin with regular testing using a home soil test kit or sending a sample of your soil off for professional analysis; both of which can be purchased at local garden centers or hardware stores. Following analysis results, you may apply materials such as elemental sulfur (super sulfate) which helps lower soil pH while improving nutrient availability by releasing elements such as iron, manganese and zinc from clay complexes that are commonly found in soils with high lime content.

The frequency and timing of fertilizer applications

Fertilizing your Zoysia grass is one of the most important lawn maintenance practices. Proper fertilization will ensure it grows thick and healthy so it can withstand extreme temperatures and heavy use. In general, it is recommended to fertilize your Zoysia grass five to six times during the growing season for optimal results.

Timing is very important when it comes to fertilizer application. During summer months, you should spread pre-emergent fertilizer around the perimeter of your Zoysia lawn immediately after seeding to keep weed seeds from taking root. Both slow-release and fast-release types are available; slow-release formulas are less likely to damage young plants if applied too liberally.

In spring, Zoysia needs nitrogen fertilizer in order for new growth to be developed properly. After this first application there should be two additional applications spaced a few weeks apart throughout the summer — these will help sustain the development of newly emerging blades while keeping mature blades vibrant and healthy. Fall presents an opportunity for an additional round of nitrogen fertilizer (this can also be a balanced form) as well as a high-phosphorus formula that supports root development over winter months when little daylight and low temperatures limit top growth potential of new shoots in spring.

Most types of fertilizers come with recommendations regarding dosage so shoppers should read labels carefully before purchase decision is made and adjust accordingly based on size and age of lawn in question or consult with a local lawn care expert beforehand if needed.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer for Your Zoysia Lawn

Choosing the right fertilizer for your zoysia grass is crucial for maintaining a healthy and beautiful lawn. Different types of fertilizer will give your grass the specific nutrients it needs at different times of year. Fertilization timing and application schedules are important considerations when taking care of your zoysia lawn.

Broadly speaking, there are two major types of fertilizers: organic and synthetic. Organic fertilizers such as compost or manure provide slower-release nutrients that feed the soil as well as the grass, while synthetic fertilizers provide fast-release nutrients that require less frequent applications but can also damage soil microbial life. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies in the long run, which may weaken or damage your zoysia grass over time.

The best way to determine what type of fertilizer should be used for a zoysia lawn is to have a soil test done so you know what nutrients your grass is lacking. This can also help you identify potential pH issues that need to be addressed before any kind of fertilizer is applied. The results will tell you exactly how much nitrogen and other essential minerals must be added to promote healthy growth in your zoysia lawn.

On average, 1-2 pounds of nitrogen should be applied per 1000 square feet per season – however this may vary depending on where you live and the nutrient levels present in your soil, so it’s best to consult with a local gardening expert or university extension office first before adding any type of fertilizer to your lawn – they will have an informed opinion on how much and what kind of fertilizer you need, depending on your specific situation.

Considering the age and condition of the lawn

When choosing a fertilizer for Zoysia grass, it’s important to consider the age and condition of the lawn. A newly planted Zoysia lawn requires different nutrients than a well-developed, long-lived one. Similarly, different fertilizers can be used to promote growth or encourage drought resistance.

If you have newly planted Zoysia grass, it is important to use warmer weather fertilizer in the spring and summer. This type of fertilizer will include more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium; this will help new young root systems to become established quickly and easily.

When maintaining an established lawn of Zoysia grass, any standard 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer may be used; this type of fertilizer has equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (such as a 15:15:15 NPK mix). This light mix helps to encourage water regulation as well as even growth throughout your yard.

If you are seeking a more drought resistant lawn, use a 2-1-2 NPK blend with more potassium than nitrogen or phosphorus; this blend will promote strong root systems that resist heat better than other mixes. Fertilizing your Zoysia grass at least once per calendar year is recommended for best results – the exact timing for fertilization with each specific blend should be provided by its manufacturer according to their individual research conducted on their product’s results.

Analyzing soil composition

The key to a healthy and vibrant lawn, and one of the most important steps in successfully establishing Zoysia grass, is a thorough analysis of the soil composition. This must be done before selecting and applying the appropriate fertilizer for Zoysia grass.

It is vital to understand the soilology, which is a combination of the meteorological conditions, seasonal variation, soil type and physical environment. The soilologist will evaluate the clay content, organic matter, acidity (pH) and nutrient content in order to make any necessary amendments before planting or reseeding with Zoysia grass.

The soilologist will also evaluate water penetration of the current condition in order to recommend any needed drainage solutions that may enhance growth. It is possible to increase bicarbonates naturally so that they can balance pH levels; this balancing action should optimize nutrient availability in rapid-growing cool season turfgrasses such as Zoysia grass.

Fertilizers are typically divided into two types — slow release (SRF) and quick release (QRF). QRF fertilizers such as ammonium sulfate or potassium chloride work faster but need more frequent applications since they are lost more quickly due to leaching or volatilization. SRF fertilizers such as granular products are released gradually over time; these require fewer applications but need specialized equipment for proper application at evenly spaced intervals so that they can last longer while also giving optimum performance.

Most experts recommend using both types of fertilizer in established Zoysia lawns because each has its own advantage depending on certain conditions or stages of growth throughout the season — long-term SRF releasing slowly will provide adequate nutrients without leaching losses while immediate QRF applied lightly can give fast results during peak growth periods when increased photosynthesis requires additional energy sources from an external source, such as fertilizer.

Understanding the nutrient requirements of the grass

Maintaining a beautiful lawn with Zoysia grass requires understanding the nutrient requirements of the grass. Zoysia grass is a low-maintenance type of turf that does not need high levels of fertilizer, but feeding it properly gives you better potential for dense growth and eye-catching color.

Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for Zoysia grass. It provides rich, vibrant green color, encourages thick growth and enhances the ability of the grass to rapidly repair any damage to its blades. Too much nitrogen can cause the plant to devote more energy to foliage at the expense of roots and shoots, resulting in a thin root system and increased susceptibility to disease.

Potassium is another important part of lawn care for Zoysia grass. Too little potassium will result in weak foliage and yellow coloration; too much potassium can injure or affect survival of the turfgrass roots.The best way to avoid problems with potassium is to use fertilizers that are balanced with phosphorous and nitrogen, as well as small amounts potassium, which will ensure your lawn has adequate levels without going overboard on this macronutrient’s concentration level.

When looking for appropriate fertilizer products for Zoysia grass, seek out those designed specifically for this type of turfgrass which will provide precise proportions of all three macronutrients plus trace minerals needed by healthy plants to stay strong in harsh weather conditions like cold winters or intense summer sun exposure. Following package instructions carefully helps you create an optimal growing environment while ensuring your lawn gets enough nutrients without risking overfeeding or burnout from nutrient concentration buildup due to repeated applications in same areas year after year.

Maintenance Tips for Zoysia Grass Lawn

Zoysia grass has excellent self-repairing capabilities, which make it a great low-maintenance lawn grass. However, to maintain lush, beautiful turf and prevent weed infestations, it is important to provide your zoysia with the necessary nutrients and care. Here are several tips for keeping your zoysia grass healthy and looking its best.

Fertilizer: The type of fertilizer used on zoysia does not have to be specifically formulated for this grass type—it just needs to be a balanced formula that contains equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K) Iron may also be useful as an additional nutrient.

Seeding: Seeds of zoysiagrass should be applied at the rate of 1 lb per 1000 feet in cooler areas where growth is slower or 2 lbs per 1000 ft in hotter climates.

Watering: Zoysia grass prefers approximately 1–1 ½ inches of water every week. It is best to spread out the waterings over several days because less frequent but deep watering encourages deeper root development and better drought tolerance than frequent shallow watering sessions. If you are in an area where weather conditions are usually dry between late July through late October, you may need to provide supplemental water when rainfall decreases or stops altogether during those months.

Mowing: Zoysia needs regular mowing—at least once a week—at a height of 2–3 inches or more once established for optimum health (ideal heights vary by variety). If you let the grass grow too high before mowing it may go into dormancy and require more water and fertilizer applications when it awakens from dormancy in early springtime.

Mowing frequency and techniques

Mowing frequency and techniques for zoysia grass is essential for maintaining its health and beauty. This grass tends to grow slowly, so it is not necessary to mow more than once per week. It is also important to note that when it first recovers from dormancy in spring, mowing should take place less frequently. When mowing, a sharp blade should be used as this helps keep the grass healthier by reducing diseases and pests.

To obtain the best appearance possible, alternate the direction in which you mow each time. This helps prevent circulation spots where the grass appears patchy or worn away. Mow at the recommended height of 1 ½-2 inches to ensure that healthy growth is encouraged and weeds are better controlled – any higher than 2 inches can cause matter to build up on top of the turf which can lead to problems like excessive growth/overcrowding. Avoid scalping your zoysia lawn — scalping involves removing too much of a large portion of turf, leading to weakened growth and reduced quality over time. Finally, be sure not to remove more than one-third of the grass leaf with each mow as removing any more can stress out your lawn unnecessarily.

Pest and disease prevention and control

Pest and disease control are essential to maintaining a beautiful Zoysia grass lawn. The good news is that Zoysia grass is naturally resistant to many pests and diseases that commonly affect other grass types. It also has excellent heat and drought tolerance, which helps to protect it from some environmental factors. However, it’s still important to take action when pests or diseases are identified, as they can spread quickly.

The best way to prevent pests and diseases in your Zoysia lawn is with proper maintenance and by selecting the right fertilizers for the job. Avoid using fertilizers that are more than 30% nitrogen as this can lead to an overabundance of Nitrogen which can put your lawn at risk from various diseases such as powdery mildew or rust. Choose safe, natural products instead like compost tea or organic fertilizers containing phosphorus, potassium and trace minerals.

Proper watering practices are also important in maintaining a disease-free lawn. Overwatering encourages shallow rooting of your grass, making it more susceptible to attack from disease-causing organisms like fungus as well as providing ideal conditions for pest infestations including ants, fleas and ticks. Mulching around the base of the plants will help further deter these kinds of invaders by trapping moisture beneath their surfaces helping protect against root rot caused by too much water. Lastly, regularly mow the grass at the required height (1-3 inches) to encourage strong growth while removing any potential habitats or food sources for pests that may otherwise become attracted to your lawns surface.

Proper watering practices

Watering your Zoysia grass correctly is key to keeping it lush and healthy all year long. Over-watering can be detrimental to Zoysia, so it is important to stick to the following practices.

First, water your lawn deeply, but infrequently. Aim for 1 inch of water per week, mostly during the spring and summer weeks when growth is more active. You can use a rain gauge or a kitchen timer set for 15 minutes to check if you are watering enough. If you are not getting an inch over that period of time, increase running time to reach 1 inch desired output. Zoysia needs more water during the summer months and less in the winter months; adjust accordingly.

Also, always water in the early morning or late afternoon/early evening hours when evaporation rates are lower; never during peak sun hours as this will cause excessive evaporation waste and potential burn/drought stress on your lawn. In addition, avoid mowing right after an irrigation event as this can remove soggy clippings and create scalping issues (removing too much leave area of grass stem). For planted areas of Zoysia lawns, avoid foot traffic (weight) immediately after an irrigation or dewing event — allow at least 12-24 hours before walking on softened soil; otherwise ruts and puddling may occur from shoe pressure compaction.


In conclusion, you should use fertilizer to keep your Zoysia grass looking healthy and beautiful. Your soil’s pH balance should be tested to determine the right type and amount of fertilizer for your grass. You should use slow-release fertilizers to ensure that your soil stays balanced throughout the year. Stressful growing conditions can cause iron and magnesium deficiencies in your lawn, so it may be necessary to apply additional treatments, such as chelated iron or Epsom salts, to maintain its health.

With the right care and maintenance, plus regular applications of fertilizer tailored for Zoysia grass, you can have a lush green lawn that will last through many happy seasons of gardening enjoyment.


What is the best lawn Fertiliser for zoysia?

A fertiliser with a high nitrogen content, such as a 16-4-8 blend, is the best choice for Zoysia grass.

What is the best fertilizer for Bermuda and zoysia?

Bermuda and Zoysia grass have similar nutritional requirements and can benefit from a fertiliser with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

How do you rejuvenate zoysia grass?

You can rejuvenate Zoysia grass by dethatching, aerating, fertilising with nitrogen-rich fertilisers, and watering deeply.

Does lime help zoysia?

Applying lime can help to adjust soil pH levels, which can improve Zoysia grass’s ability to absorb nutrients from the soil.

How do I make my zoysia grass thicker and greener?

To make Zoysia grass thicker and greener, you should mow regularly, water deeply but infrequently, fertilise with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser, and address any pest or disease issues.

When should I fertilize my zoysia lawn?

Fertilising Zoysia grass in the spring and summer, when it is actively growing, is recommended.

What makes Zoysia grass grow faster?

Zoysia grass can grow faster when given proper nutrition, water, and sunlight. Additionally, regular mowing and proper maintenance can also help to promote faster growth.

Is Zoysia grass hard to maintain?

Zoysia grass is generally considered to be low maintenance, but it still requires regular mowing, fertilising, watering, and pest control.

Can you overwater Zoysia grass?

Yes, overwatering Zoysia grass can lead to root rot and other issues. It is recommended to water deeply but infrequently to avoid overwatering.

How often should zoysia be fertilized?

Zoysia grass should be fertilised once every 6-8 weeks during the growing season.

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