Different Types Of Zoysia Grasses
There are several different varieties within the Zoysia grass family, and each can have different strengths, weaknesses, suitability of climate and appearances. This article takes an general look into the most common Zoysia types used as lawns in Australia.
The Zoysia matrella family is most suitable for the tropical regions, and will not tolerate colder Winters whatsoever. Matrella generally has a medium leaf blade width and can vary its shade of green dependent on the variety.
Zoysia matrella is renowned for its ability to grow in sandy soils, and other poor soils of low nutrient value where many other lawns simply will not grow, or grow poorly. The grass grows more laterally than vertically as opposed to some other Zoysia types.
Most popular varieties of Zoysia matrella include:
Zoysia macrantha is a native Zoysia grass which has its origins on the coasts of Queensland, which also make macrantha an extremely salt hardy Zoysia type. Macrantha has never taken off as a lawn in Australia in the past due to its slowed growth rates and lack of development by plant breeders.
But this has now changed forever.
Zoysia macrantha was specially bred and developed by turf breeders over many years to eventually become a beautiful new lawn type for use as a home lawn.
This new turf named Nara now grows at a faster speed than it had done prior to development and breeding, and produces a lush, green, highly durable and tough lawn which is suitable for many different applications including home lawns, public areas and business frontages.
Nara is suitable for all the warmer regions of Australia, as well as some temperate crossover areas as well.
Zoysia japonica is the most widely used of the Zoysia family, and along with Macrantha is the most suitable Zoysia lawn outside of the tropics. This has been due to its overall greater natural suitability for use as a home lawn, as well as its greater natural tolerance to Winter, and being suitable for a wide array of different growing conditions.
The japonica family can range in colour from a light green to a dark green depending on which type is chosen. Most Zoysia japonicas have a thin to medium blade width.
These natural advantages of climate suitability outside of the tropics over its other Zoysia cousins allowed Zoysia japonica to be most readily adapted for use as a home lawn amongst the other Zoysia types. As well as to then further encourage the ongoing breeding and development of Zoysia japonica into many new and improved strains.
Zoysia japonica is suitable for all the warmer regions and crossover temperate regions of Australia.
Most common varieties include:
Emerald is a cross between Zoysia japonica and Zoysia matrella, it has a thin bladed leaf, and one of the slowest growth rates of the Zoysia family.
Water requirements for this Zoysia hybrid are low to average, and the grass shows a particular dislike to being over-fertilised, which is common with all Zoysia grasses.
Emerald Zoysia is best suited to the tropics and sub tropics only.
Tenuifolia is a very different type of grass altogether. Its extraordinarily slow growth, limited height, and clumping appearance does not make Zoysia tenuifolia suitable for use as a standard home lawn.
Instead, tenuifolia should be used for all those other areas where a more natural appearance or no wear lawn is wanted or required. Tenuifolia is a true no mowing lawn meaning it can be left to grow naturally without ever needing mowing, or it can be mowed once or twice per year for a neater appearance.
Read our Zoysia tenuifolia article here.