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Why Is My Zoysia Grass Dying? 7 Reasons

Why Is My Zoysia Grass Dying? 7 Reasons

To take care of a lawn successfully, you’ll need both dedication and hard work.

As a result, I can see why people often find that their lawn is dying and this could be due to a variety of different reasons and possibly even a combination of reasons.

Whatever the case may be, it is crucial to figure out what is killing the lawn so that it is possible to get the lawn back to full health as soon as possible.


Why Is My Zoysia Grass Dying?

Brown spot, rust, and chinch bugs are some examples of diseases and pests that can cause your Zoysia grass to die. Another possible answer is that the zoysia grass might have too much shade since some varieties thrive in full sun. A colder climate and a buildup of thatch can also harm the Zoysia grass.


1. Diseases Can Kill Zoysia Grass

One common disease that can kill zoysia grass is known as brown spot. This is a fungal disease and it can harm many different kinds of Zoysia.

The beginning of brown spot can be easy to ignore since you will only see a couple of brown spots on your lawn. However, brown spot can spread quickly across your lawn.

Hence, better take care of it. One tip I will give you is to don’t water in the evenings.

Of course, I also advise a fungicide to get rid of the brown spot, as well. Brown spot’s appearance is a brown ring that includes a green center.


2. Leaf Spot Can Cause Zoysia Grass to Die

Brown spot is a fungal disease but leaf spot is not and I recommend not treating it like a fungal disease. Inadequate fertilizer and water are what causes leaf spot on your lawn.

I advise that you simply water your lawn more and use more fertilizer on it. This should make the leaf spot go away.

Also, when you water your lawn matters, too.


3. Rust Is One Possible Cause

Rust is the name of a fungus that develops during cooler nights. I advise that the first step you take is to use a fungicide on your lawn in order to get rid of it.

I also recommend that you ensure the grass is as dry as it can get during the evening. Once rust is in your lawn’s grass, it’s possible for the infestation to spread.

You can bag lawn clippings in order to prevent rust from spreading across your lawn.


4. Chinch Bugs May Kill Zoysia Grass

Chinch bugs are a common problem for anyone growing a Zoysia lawn since these small red and black insects enjoy eating Zoysia lawns that are located in areas with plenty of sunlight.

I recommend checking to see if your lawn has chinch bugs by pulling up a brown grass clump.

You can then inspect if black and red bugs are in the soil. If so, then I advise that you take proper action in order to eliminate the chinch bugs from your lawn as fast as possible.

One good way to get rid of chinch bugs is to spot treat any areas that are affected by these bugs using some kind of insecticidal soap. You should do this exactly every two weeks.


5. Excessive Shade Can Be Harmful to Zoysia Grass

It is important to note that some kinds of Zoysia grass do just fine in shaded areas. However, other varieties of Zoysia grass really flourish if they get plenty of sunlight regularly.

I mention this because it is one possible cause of your Zoysia grass dying. If your Zoysia grass is in a lot of shade and not doing well, you might want to make some changes to your lawn so it gets more sunlight.


6. A Buildup of Thatch Can Hurt Zoysia Grass

I should mention that a thick stem system is a part of Zoysia grass and this can cause the soil to become compacted. As a result, this can make it so that both nutrients and water have a harder time reaching the grassroots.

Dethatching and aeration are good ideas for all kinds of grass. However, I recommend dethatching and aeration even more strongly when you are dealing with grasses that have thick thatch like Zoysia grass.

Aeration and dethatching will make it easier for water and nutrients to get to the roots of the Zoysia grass.


7. Cooler Climates Are Not Great for Zoysia Grass

I will add that zoysia is a grass that thrives in the warmer seasons. If you live too far north and your area experiences cold weather often, the Zoysia grass in your lawn might attempt to become dormant when it really shouldn’t.

Unfortunately, you can’t do anything for this potential problem. I recommend that you carefully consider the climate you live in before you choose Zoysia grass for your lawn.

That is the best way to hopefully avoid the colder climate killing your Zoysia grass.


Frequently Asked Questions about Zoysia Grass Dying


How often should I water and apply fertilizer to Zoysia grass?

In terms of watering, you can water your Zoysia grass every week to three weeks and this is infrequent by grass standards. However, watering this infrequently is totally normal when you are taking care of warm-season grass such as Zoysia grass. During the Zoysia grass’s growing season, I recommend that you fertilize it between every six weeks and every eight weeks. Fertilizing the grass every seven weeks is a good starting point. If you see your Zoysia grass turning brown because it is going dormant, that is a good sign to apply fertilizer for the last time during that particular year.



There are many possible answers to the question of why is your Zoysia grass dying. Diseases and pests, thatch buildup, and excessive shade are three possible answers.

It is important to keep in mind that Zoysia grass turns brown when it goes dormant, so you should not worry about that.