Zoysia Grass Vs Bermuda Grass | What Is The Difference?

zoysia vs bermuda grass

The ability of Zoysia and Bermuda grass to withstand the elements is their main distinction. Zoysia may do nicely in cool, shaded areas, but Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that needs heat and lots of sunlight to thrive, which is quiet suitable for south Florida or Florida weather. However, this isn’t the sole distinction between the two. Both may be necessary for your lawn care efforts, depending on where you reside and the environment in your backyard.

Comparison Between Zoysia Grass And Bermuda Grass

Grass TypeZoysia grassBermuda grass
Popular usesGreens That Can Be Well-Contained Fairways and Teeing Areas for Golf CoursesWarm to hot weather with moderate traffic
AppearanceDark green with fine, smooth bladesSmall hairs on the leaf sheath, a coarse, dark green texture, and stolons
Water requirements1″ of water per week – Average Total Water Consumption1″ to 1.5″ of water per week – Average Total Water Consumption
Ideal soil type and pHA well-drained, moist soil with a pH of 6 to 6.5 is ideal.
A well-drained, rich soil with a pH of 6 to 7 is perfect.
DurabilityOutstanding resilience and damage recovery once establishedOrdinary Resilience and Recovery Rate
Sun / Shade / Temperature needsRequired Full Sun – Dormant at 55F
True Dormancy is at 32°F, and growth stops below 55°F. Full Sun Required.
Mowing needsShould Be Mowed to 1″ Height and Frequently Dethatch (as often as 4x per year)The Recommended Mowing Height Is 1.5 to 2.5 Inches – Plants Grow Best in Warm to Hot Weather
Pests and diseasesFungus, Mildew, and Mold – Beetles, Thrips, Grubs, and Webworms (Frequently Made Worse by Thatch)Mold, mildew, moss, and algae if it’s too wet – webworms, thrips, and grubs – Digging Animals

What Is Zoysia Grass?

What Is Zoysia Grass?

This kind of grass is a preferred option for lawns of all sizes because it is thick and highly dense. Zoysia is a preferred grass since it can withstand heavy traffic and is perfect for households with small children or pets. Very little water is needed to maintain it.

Furthermore, heat and sunlight-tolerant, zoysia. Despite being able to tolerate some shade, it grows best in full sun. Since every zoysia variety is perennial, you won’t need to do any upkeep to keep the grass growing each year. The zoysia plant grows very well in the spring and summer and then falls dormant in the fall and winter.

What Is Bermuda Grass?

What Is Bermuda Grass?

Golf courses, parks, and athletic fields frequently employ Bermuda grass. That is due to its well-known resistance to damage and heavy traffic. Bermuda grass will quickly recover from any harm it sustains on its own, without the need for human intervention.

In addition to being very resilient, individuals frequently select Bermuda for its rich, deep green color. Just like Centipede grass, Bermuda grass is particularly heat tolerant because it naturally thrives in tropical and subtropical climates worldwide. Bermuda grows well in various soil types and can tolerate both intense sunlight and heavy shade.

Zoysia Grass vs Bermuda – How They Differ?

1. Appearance

Fine, tightly bunched grass blades are produced by zoysia grass when it is fully established as a lawn. Digging or cutting becomes challenging without recently sharpened equipment as the blades get so close together.

Keeping the lawn healthy and well-fed also implies that there won’t be many weeds to be seen. Each blade has a smooth, refined feel, is extremely thin, and grows straight. The grass will be soft and springy all around.

In comparison to Zoysia, Bermuda grass tends to grow considerably more sparsely. Bermuda produces stolons and rhizomes, which let it spread swiftly and efficiently like St. Augustine grass. Both of these spread to an adjacent piece of soil, whether above or below ground, and create new “core” clumps of grass.

These clusters will initially be spaced 6 to 12 inches apart and progressively grow blades along the stolons or rhizomes, giving the roots a “matted” appearance. The blades themselves will stand up at a small angle. The blades could appear straight or slightly curved. There will be several tiny hairs along the leaf sheath and close to the base of each blade.

Bermuda grass will have a medium to dark green appearance and a gritty texture when in good health. Additionally, the turf will be less flexible than a lawn made of zoysiagrass.

2. Ph Requirement And Soil Type

Bermuda grass prefers sandy soil that drains well. Bermuda grass will struggle to thrive in hard soils or clay-rich soils. Bermuda grass prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH. This means that a Bermuda grass lawn should have a pH of 6 to 7, with a pH of 5.5 being acceptable.

A pH greater than 7 may cause growth to stall or slow. When it comes to pH, zoysiagrass tolerates a narrower range. It will only grow well with a pH of 6.5 to 7. (neutral). When exposed to pests or disease, anything lower than 6 or higher than 7 can cause Zoysia to lose its color or fail to thrive. Zoysia prefers moist, hot soil or sandy soil with regular watering. It performs best in humid environments.

3. Water Requirement

Like most common warm-season grass kinds, zoysia grass requires one inch of water each week. As long as there is no standing water or pooling, Zoysia can withstand wet soil longer and better than Bermuda. Standing water or persistent moisture won’t be tolerated by Bermuda grass.

Bermuda grass is prone to root rot if too much water is left in the soil near its roots for longer than two days. It’s hard to recover from this. Make sure the soil drains properly to counteract this.

If more than 2 inches of rain are forecast, I would also advise not using water the day before a significant downpour. Bermuda grass typically requires 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week.

4. Durability

When comparing the two types of grass, Zoysia easily defeats Bermuda grass in terms of durability. Zoysia requires time and attention to start growing, but once it establishes itself in a yard, it is nearly tough to get rid of. On the other hand, Bermuda can be readily eradicated if it receives excessive rainfall or is regularly overwatered.

Zoysia is a thicker variety of turf above this. It can accommodate more foot traffic than Bermuda and will fill in more quickly if a part is taken out. Additionally, if mowed with dull blades, it is more difficult to “scalp” and is less likely to become sick.

5. Sun, Shade, and Temperature Requirement

Both bermudagrass and Zoysia strongly prefer full sun. Zoysia can withstand a little more shade than Bermuda grass can, although Bermuda grass may start to die back or thin out where the shade starts if it receives more than 5 hours of partial shade per day.

Zoysia requires full light and warm temperatures to thrive. Zoysiagrass will enter a dormant state and cease growing if temperatures fall below 55F for more than a night. Zoysia starts to go extinct as the temperature drops below freezing.

Zoysiagrass should only be utilized in zones 8 and higher because of this. Unlike most grasses, Zoysia is unlikely to become dormant in hot weather (temperatures above 100F), and it grows best in an environment between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Despite being warm-season grass as well, Bermuda grass will go dormant in extremely hot and cold temperatures. However, Bermuda only goes dormant when temperatures drop below freezing; it will maintain its color in temperatures as low as 45F and continue to grow in conditions as low as 55F.

Even if more water is given and the grass is allowed to grow long, Bermuda will thrive best at a temperature of about 80F and may go dormant in extreme heat.

6. Mowing Needs

Zoysiagrass requires far more care than Bermuda grass. Even in the hottest weather, Zoysia should be mown low to a height of 1″. During the summer and fall seasons, it will most likely need to be mowed once a week at the very least. Aside from mowing, Zoysia will produce so much thatch that complete dethatching may be required up to four times per year.

In contrast, Bermuda grass requires far less work. Bermuda should be mowed to an average height of 2″, although, in hot weather (over 90°F), it can be left a bit longer to preserve water. During the summer, it will need to be cut around once a week; in other seasons, this may be less frequent according to your specific climate.

7. Common Pests and Diseases Issues

Bermuda grass has all of the typical lawn issues you’d expect. Digging pets or other animals can easily cause injury and turf damage. Excessive watering causes root rot and mold, mildew, and fungus-related diseases. Bermuda grass is more prone to moisture-related issues than other warm-season grass alternatives, such as Zoysia.

Insects such as grubs, webworms, thrips, and beetles can attack zoysia grass, but the thick sod makes these insects less likely to colonize a zoysia grass lawn—if it’s in good condition. The only diseases to which Zoysia is predisposed are those caused by thatch buildup.

If thatch accumulates to a thickness of one inch or more, it can cause serious mold, mildew, and fungus problems. These issues can then rot the grass from the roots up, leaving an unpleasant odor that is difficult to remove.

Zoysia vs Bermuda Related Grasses

1. Grass Related to Zoysia Grass

The zoysia grass variety discussed here and the most popular kind used in US commercial or residential lawn projects is “Zoysia japonica.” This is one of three cultivated varieties of zoysia grass. Only tropical and coastal environments may grow the other two varieties. They need substantially more water and much hotter average temperatures to survive and grow.

2. Grass Related to Bermuda Grass

Numerous strains of Bermuda grass are available, as well as “natural” or “wild” Bermudagrass, making Bermuda grass unique in its class. Each of these distinct strains or cultivars has unique qualities that are frequently chosen for the location in which they are sold.

Local seed distributors might stock cultivars that are more resilient to root rot, maintain their color better in hot conditions, or are less likely to tear under heavy foot traffic.


Even though both kinds of grass are excellent choices, Zoysia grass may be simpler to plant, care for, and maintain. Bermuda will, however, withstand the harsher conditions if you reside somewhere with constant sunshine, mild temperatures, and frequent outside playtime. Which solution is ideal for each home is difficult to determine. You can choose a better lawn grass by conducting your research and selecting the one that best suits your needs.

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