Troubleshooting Zoysia Grass: Why Is It Dying?

Quick Answer: If your zoysia grass is dying, it may be due to improper maintenance, lack of water, nutrient deficiency, or pest infestation. To revive your grass, you need to identify the specific issue and take appropriate action.


Have you noticed your once luscious green zoysia grass gradually withering away? It can be disheartening to see your prized lawn losing its vibrancy. However, fear not! In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind the dying of zoysia grass and explore solutions to revive it.

Zoysia grass is known for its resilience and ability to thrive in various climates, making it a popular choice for many homeowners. However, even this tough grass can fall victim to a range of problems that can lead to its decline.

In an effort to help you reclaim a healthy and vibrant zoysia lawn, we will address common issues that could be causing your grass to deteriorate. By identifying the root cause, you can take the necessary steps to nurse your zoysia grass back to life. So, let’s dive in and get your lawn on the road to recovery!

Troubleshooting Zoysia Grass: Why is it Dying?

Zoysia Grass is Dying: Understanding the Causes and Solutions


Zoysia grass, known for its beauty and resilience, is a popular choice among homeowners and landscapers. However, like any other type of grass, it is not immune to certain issues that can cause it to wither and die. In this article, we will explore the various factors that can lead to the demise of zoysia grass and provide practical solutions to help you revive and maintain its lush green appearance.

Understanding Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass is a warm-season grass variety that thrives in regions with hot summers and mild winters. Characterized by its dense growth, fine texture, and drought tolerance, it is a favorite for lawns, golf courses, and parks. However, even this tough grass can succumb to certain challenges, resulting in its decline.

Poor Soil Conditions

One of the primary reasons zoysia grass may be dying is due to poor soil conditions. Here are some common soil-related issues that can impact the health of your zoysia grass:

  • Compacted Soil: Heavy foot traffic or excessive machinery can compact the soil, preventing proper root development and restricting nutrient absorption.
  • Poor Drainage: If the soil retains excessive moisture, it can lead to root rot and fungal diseases that weaken the grass.
  • Imbalanced pH Levels: Zoysia grass prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH (around 6.0-7.0). pH levels outside of this range can hinder nutrient uptake.
  • Insufficient Nutrients: Lack of essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium can weaken the grass and make it more susceptible to diseases.
Read also  Efficient Tips For Successful Zoysia Grass Planting

Invasive Weeds and Pest Infestation

Another significant factor contributing to the demise of zoysia grass is the presence of invasive weeds and pest infestation. Weeds compete with the grass for nutrients and sunlight, while pests feed on the grass blades and roots, weakening the overall health of the turf. Here are some common invaders to watch out for:

  • Crabgrass: This annual weed rapidly spreads, crowding out the zoysia grass and depleting its resources.
  • Dallisgrass: A perennial grassy weed that can quickly overtake a zoysia lawn if left unchecked.
  • Grubs: These beetle larvae feed on the grass roots, causing patches of dead or dying grass.
  • Chinch Bugs: These tiny insects suck out the grass sap, causing yellowing and patches of dead grass.

Environmental Stressors

Zoysia grass is generally resilient, but it can struggle under certain environmental stressors. Here are some factors that can negatively impact the health of your zoysia lawn:

  • Extreme Heat: While zoysia grass is known for its heat tolerance, prolonged periods of scorching temperatures without adequate irrigation can lead to stress and decline.
  • Frost Damage: Zoysia grass can handle mild frost, but severe freezes can cause significant damage or even kill the grass.
  • Insufficient Watering: Inadequate irrigation can result in shallow root growth and increased vulnerability to diseases.
  • Improper Mowing Practices: Mowing too short or too infrequently can weaken the grass and make it more prone to stress and disease.

Solutions to Revive Zoysia Grass

Now that we have identified the potential causes of zoysia grass decline, let’s explore effective solutions to revive and maintain its health:

Soil Improvement

To address soil-related issues, consider the following steps:

  • Aerate the Soil: Regularly aerate the lawn to alleviate soil compaction and promote better root development.
  • Improve Drainage: If the soil has poor drainage, amend it by incorporating organic matter such as compost to enhance its water-holding capacity.
  • Test Soil pH: Conduct a soil test and adjust the pH levels, if necessary, by adding lime to raise pH or sulfur to lower pH.
  • Fertilize Appropriately: Determine the nutrient deficiencies in your soil through soil testing and apply a balanced fertilizer that suits zoysia grass’s needs.
Read also  Zoysia Grass Vs Buffalo: Which Is Best For Your Lawn?

Weed and Pest Control

To combat invasive weeds and pest infestation:

  • Identify the Invaders: Properly identify the weeds and pests troubling your zoysia grass to choose the appropriate control method.
  • Use Herbicides Carefully: Select herbicides that target the specific weeds without harming the zoysia grass. Apply them according to the instructions.
  • Introduce Beneficial Insects: Encourage natural predators like ladybugs or lacewings that feed on pests, helping to control their populations.
  • Implement Preventive Measures: Regularly mow the grass at the recommended height, water deeply and infrequently, and maintain good lawn care practices to discourage weed and pest growth.

Environmental Considerations

To minimize environmental stressors:

  • Provide Adequate Water: Water your zoysia grass deeply and infrequently, ensuring the soil is moistened to a depth of at least six inches.
  • Follow Proper Mowing Techniques: Set your mower to an appropriate height for zoysia grass and avoid removing more than one-third of the grass blade length in a single mowing.
  • Protect from Frost: In colder regions, cover the grass with a frost blanket or straw during winter to shield it from frost damage.
  • Apply a Winter Fertilizer: Before winter arrives, apply a slow-release winterizer fertilizer to strengthen the grass and promote better cold tolerance.

With proper care and attention, you can revive your dying zoysia grass and transform it into a vibrant, healthy lawn. By addressing soil issues, combating invasive weeds and pests, and mitigating environmental stressors, you can ensure the long-term success of your zoysia grass. Remember, prevention and regular maintenance are crucial to keeping your lawn looking its best.

Zoysia – Bringing Zoysiagrass Back To Life – The Grass Factor

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my zoysia grass dying?

There could be several reasons why your zoysia grass is dying:

  • Poor drainage: Zoysia grass requires well-drained soil, and excessive water accumulation can lead to root rot and death of the turf.
  • Insufficient sunlight: Zoysia grass thrives in full sun. If it is growing in shaded areas, it may not receive enough sunlight, leading to weakened growth and eventual decline.
  • Pest infestation: Certain pests, such as grubs or armyworms, can cause significant damage to zoysia grass by feeding on the roots or foliage. If left untreated, this can lead to the grass dying off.
  • Lack of nutrients: Zoysia grass requires regular fertilization to maintain its health and vigor. If it is not receiving adequate nutrients, it may weaken and eventually die.
  • Improper mowing and maintenance: Incorrect mowing practices, such as cutting the grass too short or using dull blades, can stress the zoysia grass and make it more susceptible to diseases or environmental stressors.
Read also  Find Quality Zoysia Grass Seed At Home Depot

How can I revive my dying zoysia grass?

To revive your dying zoysia grass, consider taking the following steps:

  • Improve drainage: Ensure that water is not pooling in your lawn by addressing any drainage issues.
  • Provide adequate sunlight: Trim overhanging branches or objects that may be blocking sunlight from reaching your zoysia grass.
  • Control pests: Identify and treat any pests that are causing damage to your grass. Consult with a professional if necessary.
  • Fertilize appropriately: Determine the nutrient requirements of zoysia grass and apply a suitable fertilizer to promote its recovery.
  • Adjust mowing practices: Follow the recommended mowing height for zoysia grass and maintain sharp mower blades to prevent further stress on the turf.

Is it normal for zoysia grass to go dormant or turn brown?

Yes, zoysia grass has a natural dormancy period during colder months or in response to drought conditions. It will turn brown or become dormant to conserve energy and protect itself from harsh environmental conditions. This is a normal part of the grass’s life cycle and does not necessarily indicate that it is dying. When the growing conditions improve, zoysia grass will usually regain its green color and resume active growth.

Final Thoughts

Zoysia grass is dying. This widespread problem is causing frustration and concern for homeowners and gardeners alike. Despite its reputation for being hardy and resilient, zoysia grass is succumbing to various factors such as pests, disease, lack of proper care, and unfavorable environmental conditions. It is crucial for individuals to take immediate action to address the issue and revive their zoysia grass. Regular monitoring, proper watering, fertilization, addressing pest infestations, and timely lawn maintenance are essential steps in ensuring the health and longevity of zoysia grass. By actively addressing the factors contributing to its decline, we can prevent further damage and promote a lush and vibrant zoysia lawn for years to come.