Zoysia grass is a warm season turf popular in the southeastern United States for its dense and attractive appearance. It is drought and shade tolerant, but has a tendency to go dormant in the winter months.
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Zoysia grass is native to China, Japan, and other parts of southeast Asia. According to the Texas Cooperative Extension, zoysia was named to honor 18th century Austrian botanist Karl von Zois. In 1911, zoysia was introduced to the United States from Manila by USDA botanist, C. V. Piper.
In the United States, zoysia grass is found along the Atlantic coast from Florida up to the Connecticut, along the Gulf coast to Texas, through the transition zone of the United States and in California.
There are many different varieties of zoysia grass. Meyer, Emerald, Empire, El Toro, Empress and Belair are a few of the many varieties. Each has different cold and shade tolerance, texture and shade of green color.
Zoysia will turn brown in mid-October when temperatures drop below 55 degrees. It will stay brown until March or the beginning of spring when temperatures rise above 55 degrees.
When zoysia grass is brown in the winter months, it can be colored green. Green grass colorant can be purchased at a garden supply store.