Why Is My Zoysia Grass Turning Brown? Tips To Revive Your Lawn

Quick Answer: If your Zoysia grass is turning brown, it may be due to various factors such as lack of water, nutrient deficiencies, improper mowing, or pest infestation. Taking proper care of your lawn and addressing these issues can help restore its health and vibrancy.

Hey there! Are you feeling disappointed because your once lush and green Zoysia grass has suddenly taken on a brown hue? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many homeowners face this issue, and the good news is that it’s not necessarily a death sentence for your lawn. The key is to identify the underlying causes and take appropriate actions to revive it.

There could be several reasons why your Zoysia grass is turning brown, ranging from basic maintenance issues to pests wreaking havoc on your beloved turf. In this article, we’ll explore the possible factors contributing to your grass’s decline and provide simple solutions to help bring it back to life. So, grab a cup of coffee, put your gardening gloves on, and let’s dive into the world of rejuvenating your brown Zoysia grass.

Why is My Zoysia Grass Turning Brown? Tips to Revive Your Lawn

My Zoysia Grass is Turning Brown: Understanding the Causes and Solutions


Zoysia grass is known for its attractive appearance and low maintenance requirements, making it a popular choice for lawns and landscapes. However, it can be disheartening to see your once lush, green zoysia grass turning brown. In this article, we will explore the various factors that can contribute to the browning of zoysia grass and provide you with practical solutions to help restore its health and vibrancy.

Understanding Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass is a warm-season grass that thrives in areas with hot and humid climates. It is known for its dense growth pattern, drought tolerance, and ability to withstand heavy foot traffic. However, despite its resilience, zoysia grass can still face challenges that result in browning and discoloration.

Common Causes of Zoysia Grass Browning

1. Environmental Factors

Zoysia grass can turn brown due to a variety of environmental factors, including:

  • Drought: Zoysia grass is relatively drought-tolerant but can still suffer when deprived of water for extended periods. Lack of sufficient irrigation during dry spells can lead to the browning of the grass.
  • Frost and Freezing Temperatures: Zoysia grass can go dormant and turn brown during the winter months in regions with cold climates. However, it should regain its green color once warm weather returns.
  • Temperature Extremes: Extreme heat or cold can stress zoysia grass, causing it to brown. Shade issues can also contribute to browning, as zoysia grass prefers full sun exposure.
  • Soil pH Levels: Zoysia grass thrives in neutral to slightly acidic soil. If the pH level of your soil is too high or too low, it can affect the grass’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, leading to browning.
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2. Pest and Disease Issues

Zoysia grass can be susceptible to certain pests and diseases, which can cause it to turn brown. Common culprits include:

  • Chinch Bugs: These tiny insects can feed on zoysia grass, causing it to turn brown and die in patches. Look for indicators like irregular brown spots surrounded by a halo of yellowing grass.
  • Fungal Diseases: Fungal infections like brown patch or large patch can cause zoysia grass to develop brown patches or rings. These diseases thrive in warm and humid conditions.
  • Grubs: Larvae of various beetles, such as Japanese beetles, can feed on the roots of zoysia grass, causing it to brown and weaken.

3. Cultural Practices and Maintenance

Even with proper care, zoysia grass can still turn brown due to incorrect cultural practices. Common factors to consider include:

  • Mowing Heights: Zoysia grass should be mowed at the appropriate height to ensure healthy growth. Cutting the grass too short can stress it and lead to browning.
  • Thatch Build-up: Thatch, a layer of dead organic matter, can accumulate on the surface of the soil. Excessive thatch can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the grass roots, resulting in browning.
  • Improper Fertilization: Over-fertilization or using the wrong type of fertilizer can harm zoysia grass, causing it to turn brown. It is essential to follow a proper fertilization schedule and use the appropriate nutrients for zoysia grass.
  • Compacted Soil: Soil compaction can restrict root growth and prevent adequate water and nutrient absorption. This can lead to browning and overall stress on the grass.

Solutions to Revive Brown Zoysia Grass

1. Adequate Watering

To combat drought-induced browning, ensure your zoysia grass receives sufficient water. Follow these watering tips:

  • Water deeply and infrequently, encouraging deep root growth.
  • Irrigate in the early morning to minimize water evaporation.
  • Adjust watering frequency based on rainfall and weather conditions.
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2. Soil Testing and Amendments

To address soil pH imbalances and nutrient deficiencies, consider the following steps:

  • Conduct a soil test to determine the pH level and nutrient composition of your soil.
  • Amend the soil with lime to raise pH or elemental sulfur to lower pH as recommended by the soil test results.
  • Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for zoysia grass.

3. Pest and Disease Control

To combat pests and diseases that contribute to browning, utilize these strategies:

  • Monitor your lawn regularly for signs of pests or diseases.
  • Apply appropriate insecticides or fungicides if necessary, following the instructions provided.
  • Promote good lawn hygiene by avoiding excessive thatch build-up through regular dethatching.

4. Proper Cultural Practices

Implement these cultural practices to maintain healthy zoysia grass:

  • Mow at the recommended height for zoysia grass, typically between 1.5 to 2.5 inches.
  • Regularly remove thatch buildup through dethatching or core aeration.
  • Fertilize at the appropriate times using a slow-release fertilizer with the correct nutrient balance for zoysia grass.
  • Ensure proper soil aeration to alleviate compaction issues.

Zoysia grass turning brown can be a result of various factors, including environmental conditions, pests, diseases, and improper lawn care practices. By identifying the specific cause and implementing the appropriate solutions, you can revive your brown zoysia grass and restore its lush green appearance. Remember to monitor your lawn regularly and provide it with the necessary care to keep it healthy and vibrant for years to come.

Why is my Zoysia lawn brown after the frost?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my zoysia grass turning brown?

There can be several reasons why your zoysia grass is turning brown. Here are some possible causes:

Does zoysia grass naturally turn brown in winter?

Yes, it is normal for zoysia grass to turn brown during the winter months. This is known as winter dormancy, and it helps the grass survive the colder temperatures. The grass should start to turn green again when the weather warms up in spring.

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Could lack of water cause my zoysia grass to turn brown?

Absolutely. Zoysia grass requires regular watering to maintain its lush green color. If the grass is not receiving enough water, it can start to turn brown. Make sure you are watering your lawn adequately, especially during hot and dry periods.

Can over-fertilization lead to zoysia grass turning brown?

Over-fertilization can indeed cause zoysia grass to turn brown. Too much fertilizer can burn the grass, leading to discoloration and browning. It is important to follow the recommended fertilization schedule and use the appropriate amount of fertilizer for your zoysia grass.

Is it possible that a disease is causing my zoysia grass to turn brown?

Yes, certain diseases can cause zoysia grass to turn brown. Common diseases affecting zoysia grass include brown patch and dollar spot. These diseases can be identified by the presence of discolored patches and irregularly shaped lesions on the grass blades. Treating the affected areas with appropriate fungicides can help control the diseases and restore the grass’s health.

Can excessive foot traffic result in zoysia grass turning brown?

Yes, excessive foot traffic can lead to the browning of zoysia grass. Constant trampling can damage the grass blades and restrict their ability to receive sunlight, causing them to turn brown. To prevent this, consider installing walkways or redirecting foot traffic to protect your zoysia grass and allow it to recover.

Final Thoughts

My zoysia grass is turning brown, and this can be caused by several factors. One possible reason is inadequate watering. Zoysia grass requires deep and infrequent watering to encourage deep root growth. Make sure to water your lawn thoroughly, allowing the water to penetrate the soil. Another common issue is over-fertilization. Excessive amounts of nitrogen can cause the grass to turn brown. Be sure to follow the recommended guidelines when applying fertilizer. Lastly, improper mowing practices can also contribute to the browning of zoysia grass. To avoid damaging the lawn, mow at the appropriate height and frequency. By addressing these factors, you can prevent or reverse the browning of your zoysia grass.