When Does Zoysia Grass Turn Brown: A Complete Guide

Quick Answer: Zoysia grass typically turns brown during the winter months when it goes dormant due to colder temperatures.


If you’re a proud owner of zoysia grass in your lawn, you may have noticed that it turns brown at a certain time of the year. While this transition can be concerning for some, it’s important to understand that it is a natural occurrence. Zoysia grass, known for its lush green appearance, undergoes a dormancy period during the winter months, resulting in its temporary brown coloration.

Unlike other grass types that may remain green throughout the year, zoysia grass is a warm-season grass. It thrives in warm climates and goes dormant when exposed to colder temperatures. This dormancy period is a survival mechanism for the grass, protecting it from the stress of winter conditions. While it may seem lifeless and dull during this time, rest assured that your zoysia grass will regain its vibrant green color once the warmer spring temperatures arrive.

Understanding this natural cycle of zoysia grass will help you better care for your lawn and alleviate any concerns you may have when you see it turn brown. Let’s explore more about the dormancy period and some tips to ensure your zoysia grass remains healthy and beautiful throughout the year.

When Does Zoysia Grass Turn Brown: A Complete Guide

When Does Zoysia Grass Turn Brown?

Zoysia grass is a popular warm-season grass known for its durability and dense growth. Its vibrant green color and ability to withstand drought and heavy foot traffic make it a desirable choice for lawns and sports fields. However, like any other grass, zoysia can turn brown under certain circumstances. In this article, we will explore the various factors that can cause zoysia grass to turn brown and provide tips on how to maintain its green appearance.

1. Seasonal Changes

One of the most common reasons why zoysia grass may turn brown is due to seasonal changes. Zoysia grass is a warm-season grass, meaning it thrives in hot temperatures and goes dormant during the cooler months. As the temperatures drop in the fall and winter, zoysia grass naturally turns brown. This is a normal part of its growth cycle and should not be a cause for concern. It will regain its green hue once the warmer temperatures of spring and summer arrive.

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2. Cold Weather

While zoysia grass is known for its ability to tolerate heat, it is not as cold-tolerant as some other grass varieties. When exposed to prolonged periods of freezing temperatures, zoysia grass can suffer damage and turn brown. This is especially true for regions with harsh winters or unexpected cold snaps. To protect your zoysia grass from turning brown due to cold weather, consider covering it with a frost blanket or straw during the winter months.

3. Insufficient Watering

Another common reason why zoysia grass may turn brown is inadequate watering. Although zoysia is known for its drought tolerance, it still requires regular watering to maintain its green color. If your zoysia grass is not receiving enough water, it can become stressed and turn brown. To prevent this, make sure to water your zoysia lawn deeply and infrequently, allowing the water to penetrate the soil and reach the roots. Avoid frequent shallow watering, as this can promote shallow root growth and make the grass more susceptible to browning.

4. Overwatering

On the other hand, overwatering can also cause zoysia grass to turn brown. Overwatering can lead to shallow root growth and create a favorable environment for diseases like root rot. If you notice that your zoysia grass is consistently damp or has standing water, it may be a sign of overwatering. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly and ensure proper drainage to avoid browning caused by excessive moisture.

5. Lack of Nutrients

Zoysia grass requires essential nutrients to maintain its green color and overall health. A lack of nutrients, particularly nitrogen, can cause zoysia grass to turn brown. To ensure your zoysia grass receives the necessary nutrients, regularly fertilize it with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Follow the recommended application rates for your specific grass type and avoid over-fertilization, as this can lead to excessive growth and increase the risk of browning.

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6. Disease and Pest Infestation

Disease and pest infestations can also contribute to zoysia grass browning. Common diseases that affect zoysia grass include brown patch, large patch, and dollar spot. These diseases can cause the grass to turn brown and develop patches of dead or dying turf. Similarly, pests such as grubs and chinch bugs can damage the roots and foliage of zoysia grass, leading to browning. Regularly inspect your lawn for signs of disease or pest infestation and take appropriate measures to prevent or treat them.

7. Traffic and Wear

Zoysia grass is known for its ability to withstand heavy foot traffic, but excessive wear and tear can still cause it to turn brown. If your lawn experiences constant heavy use, such as from children playing or pets running, the grass may become compacted and stressed, resulting in browning. Limiting traffic on your lawn and implementing measures like designated walkways or play areas can help prevent browning caused by excessive wear.

In conclusion, there are several factors that can cause zoysia grass to turn brown, including seasonal changes, cold weather, insufficient or excessive watering, nutrient deficiencies, disease and pest infestations, and traffic. Understanding these factors and taking proactive measures can help you maintain a green and healthy zoysia lawn throughout the year. Remember to adjust your lawn care practices according to the specific needs of your grass and consult with a professional if you encounter persistent browning issues. With proper care, your zoysia grass can showcase its beautiful green color and enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.

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At What Temperature Does Zoysia Grass Turn Brown?

Frequently Asked Questions

When does zoysia grass turn brown?

Zoysia grass typically turns brown during the winter months when temperatures drop below its tolerance level.

At what temperature does zoysia grass turn brown?

Zoysia grass starts to turn brown when temperatures consistently stay below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Does zoysia grass turn brown in the fall?

Yes, zoysia grass can begin to turn brown in the fall as temperatures start to cool down.

Does zoysia grass turn brown in the summer?

No, zoysia grass usually remains green during the summer when temperatures are optimal for its growth.

How long does zoysia grass stay brown?

Zoysia grass can remain brown for several weeks to a few months, depending on the duration of the winter season.

Will zoysia grass recover from turning brown?

Yes, zoysia grass is known for its dormant capability, and it typically recovers its green color once temperatures rise and conditions become favorable again.

Final Thoughts

Zoysia grass typically turns brown in the colder months when temperatures drop below its optimal range. This warm-season grass thrives in temperatures between 80-95°F, but when the environment becomes cooler, it enters a dormant phase that causes it to lose its vibrant green color. The exact timing can vary depending on the climate and location, but generally, zoysia grass starts to turn brown in the fall and remains so until spring when warmer temperatures return. So, if you’re wondering, “When does zoysia grass turn brown?”—look no further! Expect this natural color change during the winter months as your zoysia grass prepares for the upcoming season.