Have you thought of putting a lawn in your yard? When it comes to choosing grass, how do you decide between Zoysia vs Bermuda? Both types of grass are common lawn grasses in the South and in countries that have tropical or subtropical climates. 

Zoysia Grass Vs Bermuda – Detailed Discussion

Zoysia Grass

zoysia-grass

The grass grown on Zoysia plants is fine to medium in texture and dark green in color. A single leaf blade is 1/10-inch wide, stiffer than Bermuda grass blades, has short hairs, and emerges at a right angle to the leaf stalk. Two seeds form on either side of a spike. 

Over two to four years, Zoysia grass spreads by stolons above ground and underground rhizomes. It grows into an even, dense, and well-drained lawn that tolerates heavy traffic when fully grown.

Bermuda Grass

bermuda Grass

Grass with a greyish-green color, coarse texture, and medium to coarse needles can tolerate heavy traffic. Each leaf blade is 1/4-inch wide and hairless, and the flowers are branched. Unlike other grasses, Bermuda grass grows by sod, plugs, rhizomes, or stolons and spreads rapidly. 

A hybrid Bermuda grass (Cynodon spp. ), which tolerates traffic, has leaf blades with a 1/16-inch girth and makes a denser lawn than a common Bermuda grass. Tifgreen has a fine texture, and Tifway II has a medium texture, and both are bluish-green.

Most hybrids do not produce seeds and must be created by stolons or sod, except Savannah and a few other cultivars.

Light Requirements and Hardiness Zones

Plants of the Zoysia genus perform best within USDA zones 6 through 9, while those of the Bermuda genus do best within USDA zones 7 through 10. They can be found in the South and warmer regions of the United States and are both warm-season grasses. 

In terms of sun tolerance, Zoysia is better suited for moderately shaded lawns than Bermuda.

  • Choosing a seed for a new lawn may seem like a simple task, but it’s not as simple as picking one from the hardware store.
  • These grasses are planted in warm-weather regions throughout the South and the rest of the United States.
  • In terms of sun tolerance, Zoysia is better suited for moderately shaded lawns than Bermuda.

Cultural Dynamics

Although Bermuda grass grows in the sun or shade, zoysia grass grows in partial sun or full sun. Each grass needs one inch of water each week during spring and summer and prefers soil pH levels between 5.5 and 7.0. 

According to North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension, Zoysia grass needs to be fertilized twice a year, twice in the spring and late summer. 

Spring and summer require about one pound of nitrogen a square foot for Bermuda grass. Make sure you don’t scalp Bermuda and Zoysia grass when trimming with a reel mower.

Increase in Growth

Zoysia species often don’t fully cover until their third or fourth season. However, ideal conditions can result in a complete cover within the first season. Even though Zoysia takes longer to build, it forms a thicker sod that looks better and makes it more challenging for weeds to prove themselves. 

By contrast, Bermuda grasses spread through rhizomes and stolons, which can make them likely invasive across your yard. Many weeds are prevented from building on this plant as a result of its quick growth.

Tolerances

Zoysias and Bermudas can both be used as turfs and for a variety of reasons. They are both drought-tolerant, and they go dormant during droughts. As soon as they receive water or rain, both plants revert to their usual color. While inactive, both plants turn straw-brown.

Although Bermuda is usually more traffic-tolerant than warm-season grass, both are also traffic-tolerant. Cultivars or species of fine-bladed Zoysia can be difficult to mow, but regularly trimmed varieties work well. Grass-like Bermuda can be cut short of mimicking the dense soil of a golf course.

In their second or third seasons, Zoysia species do not usually cover. If ideal conditions are met, a plant could cover fully after one season.

Zoysia forms a thicker lawn, making it easier to weed and better looking despite its more gradual emergence.

Insects and Diseases

In bermuda grass vs zoysia, both contain microscopic nematodes, which cause stunting and yellowing, cause problems such as thinning. Keep soil from lawn tools clean and avoid introducing ground from infested areas to control nematodes. 

Grass diseases, including rust, are common among both types of grass. The result is weak, rust-colored patches on lawns low in nitrogen and spring dead spots. 

Under temperatures below 65 degrees F, this produces 12-inch circles of dead grass. Pests and diseases can be controlled in both types of hay with proper fertilization and other cultural practices.

Zoysia Grass – A Perfect Choice

In every case where someone asks, “would you put Zoysia grass vs Bermuda grass in your yard,” I answer Zoysia. Generally, Zoysia is more costly than Bermuda. We have St. Augustine’s at our house, which is less expensive. If none of these is defining factors and not much is guided about what should be included, Zoysia grass wins every time.