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Turfgrass Tech Sheet

Emerald Zoysiagrass

Zoysia spp.

Shade & Tolerance
6 6 out of 10
Drought & Tolerance
5 5 out of 10
Traffic Wear & Tear Tolerance
7.5 7.5 out of 10
Maintenance Level
(Time + Dollars)
6 6 out of 10


Released in 1955, this tried-and-true, fine-textured zoysia has withstood the test of time. After all these years, Emerald is still one of the most beautiful lawns for the South. Its attractive fine texture and dark green color resulted in it being declared the “Cadillac of lawn grasses.”


Show-piece lawns, near patios, around pool decks, small turf islands in retail and apartment complexes, and larger residential, corporate, or commercial areas where first impressions really matter!


Emerald tolerates the extreme heat and likes the moderate winters of the lower south. It’s well adapted for climates from the southern coast of the US to the lower transition zone. It will establish, survive, and provide a beautiful lawn from North Carolina to Texas and mid to southern California.

Adaptability Zones

Zones 7b to 11a on the 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map or Zones 1-2 on the Turfgrass Hardiness Map.


Emerald is a warm-season grass that grows best in hot climates. In the upper south, it stays green longer into the fall than other varieties, eventually going dormant for the winter.

Shade Tolerance

Emerald performs great from full sun to medium shade.

Drought Tolerance & Water Management

Emerald survives drought conditions by going dormant (leaves roll up and turf turns gray). Try to avoid drought conditions because Emerald recovers slower than other zoysias. Emerald does not like poorly drained soils, especially where water may stand for several days. Optimum water management for Emerald, as with any grass, is dependent on soil physical characteristics and climate. In general, Emerald will require 1” of water per week.

Weed Tolerance

Zoysia’s dense growth can reduce the weed population, but to be sure, use of a pre-emergent herbicide (recommended for use on zoysia lawns on the label) is recommended in the spring and fall. Read and follow label directions.

Insect Tolerance

Emerald is particularly tolerant of common lawn insect pests, especially compared to Meyer. Grubs and bill bugs (plus mole crickets in the Lower South) are turf insects that can cause damage.

Disease Resistance

In Emerald, diseases are not really a problem unless water and/or fertility has been mismanaged. Zoysia Patch disease (Rhizoctonia fungus) can be a problem in over-fertilized lawns. We recommend annual spring compost topdressing with our Soil3 organic compost to minimize disease impact (more info at soil3. com) and help control thatch.

Traffic & Wear Tolerance

Emerald tolerates wear and traffic such as dog and family traffic and has been used in large venues for entertainment and picnics. Because of its slow-growing nature recovery may be slow.


Apply between 2 - 4 lbs. of slow-release nitrogen per 1,000 square feet annually, during the growing season. Select a fertilizer that is labeled for use on zoysia lawns. Too much fertility will result in a thatchy and unhealthy lawn. Always fertilize based on a soil test. Don’t use “winterizers” in the fall. Supplemental applications of Iron will improve grass color. Compost topdressing with Soil3 and aerating in the spring, after spring green up, can supply one of Emerald’s fertilizer applications for the year. The practice of compost topdressing with Soil3 is true organic lawn care.

Soil pH

Neutral to alkaline soil with a pH range of 6 to 7. Do not apply lime without a soil test.

Mowing Height

Maintain cutting height of 1 to 1 1/2 inches. Mowing may be required on a 7 to 10 day interval. Mow no more than 1/3 of the leaf off at one mowing. Use sharp mower blades. Looks best when mowed with a reel mower or Automower robotic lawn mowers.


Via sod during the growing season, and while it can be installed as dormant sod, it is not a recommended best practice for this variety. Complete sod establishment instructions are on our website. Emerald is not available from seed.

Continued Care

Emerald has a somewhat higher maintenance level than other Zoysias. It simply cannot be neglected for long periods of time, but if fertilized once or twice annually, watered as needed, and cut regularly with a reel mower, it makes an absolutely enviable lawn.


Our Emerald is available as both Certified and nonCertified quality and both are always first quality and free of noxious weeds and other pests. Super-Sod is the world’s largest producer of Emerald only from registered and certified stock. This assures the Emerald you buy is the original and TRUE Emerald zoysiagrass.