Zoysia Grass Vs St. Agustine Grass | What Is The Difference?

zoysia vs st augustine grass

What kind of grass is appropriate for my Florida property? Perhaps you’re renewing an existing lawn or selecting grass for brand-new landscaping. Most likely, you’ve encountered fine, thin, dark-green grass that seems smooth to the touch. There are various types of grasses best suited for Florida lawns, among which zoysia and St. Agustine are part of it.

Florida is good for growing St. Agustine grass, with a tough turf and thick blade. Jokes about it growing on concrete have been made before. This grass is extremely hardy and adaptable.

We appreciate that St. Agustine grass is dependable and low care, even though it doesn’t beckon for a barefoot stroll. This grass can also enhance the appearance of a house when kept up nicely. The majority of homeowners favor St. Agustine grass.

Comparison Between Zoysia Grass Vs St Agustine

Grass TypeZoysia grassSt Agustine grass
Popular usesFairways and teeing grounds for golf courses are lawns where it can be effectively contained.Low-traffic Lawns in Climates with Sunshine
AppearanceDeep green with fine, smooth bladesBroad, dark green, thin, coarse blades on a low-growing plant
Water requirementsThe typical weekly water use is one inch.
The typical weekly water use is one inch.
Ideal soil type and pHIdeal Soil is Well-Drained, Moist, and Has a pH of 6 to 6.5.
The ideal soil is sandy, poorly drained, and has a pH between 6 and 7.
DurabilityOutstanding resilience and damage recovery once established
little resilience and damage recovery
Sun / Shades / Temperature needsRequired Full Sun – Dormant at 55FFull sun is preferred, but the part sun is acceptable. Dormant at 55F
Pests and diseasesFungus, Mildew, and Mold – Beetles, Thrips, Grubs, and Webworms (Frequently Exacerbated by Thatch)Beetles, Mole Crickets, Grubs, Nematodes, and Chinch Bugs – Fungal Disease – Brown Patch – Root Rot
Mowing needsIdeally, the grass should be mowed to 1″ of height (as often as 4x per year)Cut to a 2 to 2.5-inch height; grows most quickly in early summer.

Zoysia Grass vs St. Agustine How Do They Differ?

What is Zoysia Grass?

What is Zoysia Grass?

Although it can handle climates as far north as Nebraska, Zoysia grows best in the Southeast of the United States, since it is best suited for warn seasons similarly like centipede grass. Although zoysia is more common in arid climates with salt accumulation from a lack of rainfall than in coastal places, Zoysia can withstand salty soils.

In comparison to St. Agustine, Zoysia is a low-growing grass with a thick root structure that may withstand drought better. When there has been no rain for a week, Zoysia will become dormant until the next downpour, at which point it will swiftly turn green once more.

When there is a drought, Zoysia may seem less hardy than St. Agustine, but Zoysia always recovers from drought with irrigation or rainfall. Still, St. Agustine may not recover once it has become brown.

What is St Agustine Grass?

What is St Agustine Grass?

St. Agustine is a plant that grows in subtropical areas of the United States, and because of its strong salt tolerance, it is most prevalent around the coasts. In dry areas, additional irrigation will be necessary for St. Agustine. This turf stays green for a longer period than Zoysia. And however, once it becomes brown, it is dying rather than going dormant.

It is recommended to mow St. Agustine’s lush, bluish-green turf between 2″ and 4″ tall. Once established, St. Agustine chokes out the majority of weeds, negating the need for herbicides in most lawns. However, a few diseases and pests can spread to St. Agustine.

To avoid slug and pest infestations, you need spray herbicides for grubs, slugs, pests and sod worms every spring. It would help if you also used a fungicide to avoid brown patches and grey leaf spots.

Zoysia Grass vs St. Agustine How Do They Differ?

1. Zoysia vs St Agustine Grass Appearance

Although they appear to have many similarities, zoysia grass and St. Agustine are two comparisons that merit careful consideration. For instance, one of these grass varieties will consume significantly more water than it requires. One of them demands significantly more frequent mowing and dethatching in terms of upkeep. You can find everything you need to know about Zoysia and St. Agustine grass below.

2. Zoysia vs St Agustine Grass Ph Requirement And Soil Type

The pH and soil requirements for zoysia grass and St. Agustine are comparable. They both require well-drained soil to start with. However, Zoysia still needs something with some organic content or “richness” to form swiftly. Sand-based soil is suitable for growing St. Agustine grass. Both of these grass varieties can’t survive on clay or moist soil.

Regarding pH, Zoysia and St. Agustine both prefer somewhat acidic soil. Although a pH of 6 to 6.5 is preferred, a neutral pH of 7 is acceptable.

Both zoysia and St. Agustine lawns begin to appear a little straw-yellow or sickly as you move toward the alkaline side. With little long-term harm to the lawn, this can be resolved by making the soil more acidic.

3. Zoysia vs St Agustine Grass Water Requirement

Again, this illustrates why a detailed comparison between Zoysia and St. Agustine could be necessary as both of these grass kinds appear to have a lot in common. St. Agustine and Zoysia “should” each receive one inch of water each week. While zoysia grass will kindly take what it needs, St. Agustine grass can be a little greedy and take up to 2.5″ from surrounding plants if given a chance.

4. Zoysia vs St Agustine Durability

Any traffic can cause slow-healing damage to St. Agustine grass. Till they are fully grown out and mowed off, damaged blades may develop grey or brown patches, rust, or look burnt since they do not mend smoothly or uniformly.

When it comes to traffic, this grass type is not especially resilient and slow to recover. However, if the soil is a sandy soil type that is compatible, digging and root disturbances won’t do much harm or disruption.

Once established, zoysia grass is incredibly resilient. A zoysia grass lawn will start to resemble a rather impenetrable sheet after the first three years of growth. Even using a dull mower or repeatedly run over by strong traffic won’t leave much of a mark or affect the color.

5. Zoysia vs St Agustine Uses

A lawn with sturdy fences, borders, or walks on both sides would be ideal for planting zoysiagrass. Even while this grass variety is great once it’s established, it has the potential to become “invasive,” especially in warmer areas like the Southern United States.

Although it spreads swiftly in almost any region where it can survive the winter, St. Augustine is also considered invasive grass type in such cases. St. Augustine grass favors a location with little to no shade, like Zoysia, especially in a cooler region. St. Augustine, however, may survive in central Texas with as little as 5 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Additionally, although St. Augustine has minimal watering demands and can readily withstand a brief drought, it uses and distributes significantly more water than is necessary. This might be acceptable if you don’t have any plants growing in or close to your lawn, but if your landscaping options have to fight with one another, you might use more water overall.

6. Zoysia vs St Agustine Sun, Shade, And Temperature Requirement

Zoysia and St. Augustine need full light to grow and will become dormant when the temperature drops below 55F. The issue of St. Augustine vs. Zoysia shade tolerance is different, though.

While zoysiagrass can tolerate very little to no partial shadow in any region, St. Augustine can only tolerate 2 hours of full shade per day in the warmest climes, such as Southern Texas, or a couple of hours of partial shade per day (4 to 6 hours total).

7. Zoysia vs St Agustine Mowing Needs

During the warm season, zoysia grass needs to be cut frequently, and it should only be left at the height of 1″. This will unavoidably result in thatch, which may need to be removed up to four times annually. Cut the St. Augustine grass between 2 and 3 inches high.

8. Zoysia And St. Agustine Grass Common Pests and Diseases

Regarding pests or illnesses, Zoysia grass and St. Augustine grass are virtually equal victims. Thus there is no obvious winner. Both are quite sensitive to fungal infections, as well as all common lawn insects. Zoysia will succumb to mold and root rot if thatch is allowed to accumulate around it. The same will happen to St. Augustine lawns under standing water.

9. Zoysia vs St. Agustine Related Grasses

This common name occasionally calls all three varieties of zoysiagrass. However, every lawn in the United States is likely to contain “Zoysia japonica,” the most prevalent. The two varieties, “Zoysia matrella” and “Zoysia centifolia,” are less resilient to cold temperatures and develop more slowly.

St. Augustine has few related relatives, although it does have some cultivars that address particular problems. For example, “Captiva” makes St. Augustine grass resistant to the chinch bug. Additionally, the variegated variety “Variegatum” has been created.

10. Zoysia Vs St Agustine Cost

St. Augustine grass rarely produces long-lived seeds. Similar to zoysia seeds, they can be difficult to keep alive while transported and may even not germinate if the soil temperature they eventually come into contact with is below 80F. This implies plugs are the sole way to begin a St. Augustine or zoysiagrass lawn.

These tiny grass seedlings are typically spaced every 3, 6, or 12 inches. They take longer to establish themselves the further apart they are, but you need to buy less of them overall.

This is ultimately how the price will be established. It would help if you also considered the cost of transporting numerous little plants. The price should be comparable if you have local cultivators for both grass varieties. However, as Zoysia requires more time to grow, you can discover that Zoysia always costs a little more, no matter where you buy it.

When To Pick Zoysia Grass?

St. Augustine is not as adaptable as Zoysia as turf grass, but in the correct climate, it requires less upkeep. Because it is slightly less salt tolerant than St. Augustine, it is a better option in dry locations where there may be salt buildup and lower annual rainfall.

Zoysia is more tolerant of a variety of poor soils than St. Augustine and doesn’t require as often mowing. If you apply compost as a topdress each year, you might be able to omit fertilizer and watering because it responds well to dethatching and aeration.

When To Pick St. Agustine Grass?

Sod or plugs should be planted in late spring or summer because St. Augustine grass grows best in the heat. Select a time that is at least three months after the winter’s final frost and after the first frost of the following season.

St. Augustine grass will survive the winter in a relatively intact state once the roots have fully grown, but make sure to give your grass plenty of time to establish itself. Frost damage can be particularly damaging to weaker, newly formed roots.


St. Augustine is preferable in some locations, even though Zoysia is a wonderful option for low-maintenance lawns. To properly prepare the soil before planting, conducting a soil test is the first step in creating a new lawn.

The secret to a successful lawn is healthy care procedures, so whatever grass you select, stick to a regular maintenance routine that includes aeration, topdressing, appropriate irrigation schedules, and appropriate mowing heights.

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