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5 Best Fertilizers for Zoysia Grass

Most recommended
Builder Starter Food
  • Style: Standard
  • 16 x 12 x 3 inches
  • Item Weight 16.1 pounds
A good choice too
Water Soluble Lawn Food
  • Miracle-Gro
  • Size: 5 lb
  • Item Weight 5 pounds
A good choice too
Southern Lawn Food
  • Scotts Turf Builder
  • Style: Standard
  • Item Weight 14.17 pounds
Turf Builder Lawn Food
  • Brand: Scotts
  • Feeds and greens
  • Apply to any
Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer
  • Brand: Jonathan Green
  • Item Weight 45.5 pounds
  • 28 x 15.5 x 3 inches

Choose the Best Fertilizer for Zoysia Grass

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Fertilizers for Zoysia Grass

15 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

33.33% of users selected Turf Builder Starter Food, 26.67% selected Water Soluble Lawn Food, 20% selected Turf Builder Southern, 13.33% selected Bonus S Southern Weed and 6.67% selected Green Up + Crabgrass. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

Zoysia Grass is a type of turfgrass that can be used in many different climates and conditions. It has a beautiful appearance, with green blades and brownish tops. Zoysia Grass has been popular for years because it is durable and does not need to be mowed as often as other types of grass.The best fertilizers for Zoysia Grass are not always the same. It all depends on your lawn’s specific needs! The most important thing to remember is that you should be using a slow-release fertilizer, which will feed your grass throughout the year. To help you find out what might work for your lawn, a few lawn experts have compiled a list of some of the top fertilizers for Zoysia grass – along with their pros and cons.

Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass – the Editor’s choice!

The right fertilizer, combined with a diverse approach to growing new grass, can help you create your own paradise. The Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food is precisely what you need to get started. It contains a combination of superior nutrients that enables new grass to grow quickly and healthily.

The nutrition balance it can provide with the 24-25-4 NPK formulation, which is great for growing lawns, is one of this starter food’s benefits. This turf food for new grass promotes faster root development and improved blade development. This fertilizer’s high NPK ratio makes it perfect for seeding and grass plugs, boosting seedling performance.

  • Helps to grow really thick Zoysia grass lawn;
  • Quick performance;
  • Safe for most grassy lawns;
  • High NPK ratio;
  • Good for fertilizing before reseeding;

  • Not available for sale in Florida;
  • It requires some maintenance;
  • Watering is required;

Add this granular fertilizer to your lawn using a spreader for even application. You don’t have to water it, but keep your freshly planted grass wet as it emerges. If you need to go a long distance, consider buying the product in a tiny bag that covers 1,000 sq. ft. for touch-ups in your yard. However, if you want full 14,000-square-foot coverage, pick the larger model. If you buy in bulk, you may get up to five big bags at once.

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food – the best for different grass types!

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food is perfect for anyone who wants a richer and greener lawn without spending a fortune. This product contains everything your yard needs, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and iron, to help get your lawn looking its best in no time.

In addition, with a fast reaction time of five days, you’ll be able to see the results sooner rather than later.

And because it’s made for all grass types, this fertilizer is perfect for any homeowner. Simply apply Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food using a watering can or the Miracle-Gro Sprayer for quick and easy application.

  • Helps to feed all grass types;
  • Stimulates the growth of a soft and green lawn;
  • Budget-friendly;
  • Compatible with Miracle-Gro Sprayer;
  • Low scorch risk;
  • Quick reaction time;

  • Won’t cope with weed or moss;
  • May stain your fingers or clothes;

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food is the fast, easy, and affordable way to feed and water your lawn at the same time. This product contains all the nutrients your yard needs to stay healthy and green, with a reaction time of just five days. Also, there’s no scorch risk – the dissolved crystals are absorbed easily by your grass.

Scotts Turf Builder Southern Triple Action – the best for Southern lawns!

Warm-season grasses require a weed and feed that can withstand heat and drought. That’s where Scotts Turf Southern Triple Action comes in handy. It’s suitable for lawns of Saint Augustine grass, zoysia grass, centipede grass, and carpet grass because it’s formulated to handle warm-season grasses.

This product also includes an insecticide that targets fire ants, mole crickets, sod webworms, fleas, and more, and it can keep them away for up to 6 months.

  • Recommended for warm-season grass types;
  • Can destroy fire ants;
  • Triple-in-one formula;
  • Granular form;
  • Delivers thick and green formula;
  • The coverage area is 8,000 sq. ft.;

  • Not recommended for Bermuda grass lawns;
  • Needs spreader for even application;

Scotts Turf Builder Southern Triple Action is the perfect solution for anyone with a warm-season lawn. It kills common weeds like chickweed and clover, while also fertilizing your lawn up to 8,000 square feet. Additionally, it also kills fire ants! The unique triple-in-one formulation ensures that your lawn will be thick and green in no time.

Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S Southern Weed & Feed2 – the best for killing weeds!

The Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S Southern Weed & Feed is intended to eliminate undesirable weeds, thicken the grass, and crowd out future weed development. Providing nutritional balance for your green lawns will be aided by regular feeding.

It aids in the growth of robust and long roots, which assist grass to endure heat, drought, and keep its best appearance. Apply when the vegetation is actively developing. It can cover up to 5,000 square feet with one bag.

  • Can kill most weeds;
  • Helps to build deep and strong grassroots;
  • Prevents the effects of heat and drought;
  • Helps to improve the lawn’s color;

  • Recommended only for certain grass types;
  • Not for sale in some American states;
  • Not recommended for new lawns;
  • Can burn grass sections;

This Scotts Turf Builder product also creates a solid root network to protect your home from bouts of extremely hot weather. Bermuda grass, unfortunately, is not the turf feeder for you. It just works on certain grasses like carpet, centipede, and St. Augustine.

Jonathan Green 10456 5M 22-0-3 Green Up – the best for preventing crabgrass!

This prevention product is effective for the 4th week. You can use this fantastic preventative for a month. It’s an excellent package for preventing crabgrass germination and controlling it once it has sprouted. Because there is no schedule for crabgrass to develop, you may utilize this crabgrass controller all year long.

It may also prevent chickweed, bitter creases, and other peaky grasses and broadleaf plants. It comes with a non-staining technique and offers enough nutrients to your thick, green, and beautiful lawns need to thrive.

This fertilizer and crabgrass preventer can effectively release 25% nitrogen over several months, and it is free of any chemicals. This may cover 5,000 sq. ft.

  • Includes a crabgrass preventer product;
  • Includes certain lawn foods and nutrients for thick and green lawn;
  • Can cover up to 5,000 sq. ft.;
  • Can control the development of broadleaf weeds;

  • Toxic formula;
  • Poor packaging;
  • Won’t prevent dandelions (though it claims to do so);

This product not only prevents crabgrass from germinating but also provides the nutrients your lawn needs to stay healthy. It’s clear and non-staining, so you can rest assured knowing that your grass will stay green – no matter what time of year it is.

The Buyer’s Guide

How Does Zoysia Grass Grow?

Zoysia is a beautiful-looking grass with a lovely green hue that changes to golden brown in the spring and summer. It’s the grass of choice for many people across the United States.

Zoysia grass is best grown in a dry, hot region and thrives in the Southern Transition Zone, which runs from Kansas to the Carolinas.
The weather here favors Zoysia grass lawns.

Zoysia grass grows at a slower rate, so most individuals opt to generate it from sods or plugs to get a quicker effect. If you want an established lawn after two years, be patient while growing zoysia grass from seed because it might take up to two years for the plants to grow.

How Does Zoysia Grass Grow?

Zoysia grass is a warm-season grass that thrives in the southern United States. It requires six to eight hours of sunshine per day and prefers bright light. It will still develop in shaded areas but at a slower rate.

Each week, one inch of water is sufficient for the grass. It does not require fertilizer throughout the year, but it will grow faster if some is provided to it in early spring and summer [1].

What Type of Fertilizer Does Zoysia Grass Need?

Zoysia lawns, despite being low-maintenance and resilient, still require some fertilization to keep them in the best form. This will aid in the maintenance of healthy green color and strong root development by keeping the grass vibrant.

Your Zoysia grass will thrive if you apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer and a potassium-rich fertilizer. The ideal fertilizer would be a slow-release granular with a 3-1-2 N-P-K ratio. This means it has three parts nitrogen, one part phosphorus, and two parts potassium. When your new lawn is established, a 15:15:15 N-P-K ratio is optimal.

Use a push spreader to apply a solid fertilizer to your lawn. A drop spreader for little areas or a more efficient rotary or broadcast spreader for big areas are examples of this. Liquid fertilizer may be simply added to your grass by connecting its container to the end of your hose

When you fertilize your lawn, be sure to use a soil test kit to ensure that the pH level is correct. The ideal Zoysia pH range is between 6 and 7. To remedy an overly acid pH imbalance, add grass lime, and sulfur to your soil [2].

Main Features:

Soil Test

Before applying fertilizer to the Zoysia grass, it’s important to mow and test the soil. Testing the soil determines which nutrient is in short supply, such as nitrogen. It also helps you avoid over-fertilization.

Quantity of Fertilizers

Sprinkling or spraying fertilizers on your own is not advised by some professionals. You should follow the directions provided by the product’s manufacturer. The application method, quantity, frequency, and other elements are all listed on the body of the package. If they aren’t visible to you, conduct a test-and-error process in a specific area after conducting a soil analysis [3]

NPK Ratio

The usual components of grass and plant fertilizers are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). The strengthening of roots is aided by nitrogen. Other ingredients help to maintain the overall growth of grass. Some instruments may include additional organic substances other than these three (or NPK) components.

Organic vs Non-Organic

The presence of organic fertilizers in the soil causes an unpleasant odor and makes grass greener recently. They have greater strength and feeding duration, however. Artificial fertilizers may harm grasses by decreasing their longevity. They might also make Zoysia lawns saline or appealing to pests. Organic vs Non-OrganicSoil microorganisms may be reduced in number. As a result, organic lawn fertilizers are preferable.

Grass Growth Rate

If your lawn’s development rate is slowing, you’ll need to give it Nitrogen fertilizers. Grass requires a lot of nitrogen in order to grow quickly. It also controls the formation of leaves, which is crucial for creating thick grass. For garden maintenance, operate your lawnmower at 2 inches in height [4]

Quick Root Development

Phosphorus promotes early root development and seed germination. It aids in the growth of Zoysia grass.  Potassium helps the lawn stay healthy and strong, thus promoting organic life. It also keeps a thick grass with a dark green color.

There are many fertilizers on the market. They vary in price as well as application method and percentage of NPK ratio they contain. The best way to determine which one is right for your Zoysia lawn is by consulting an expert or conducting extensive research online. In most cases, you should choose slow-release granules over liquid ones since applying them evenly takes less time.

Immunity Problem

Zoysia grasses that are weak and fail to resist drought or hot weather may be potassium deficient. Potassium increases the immune potential of lawns.  It also enhances the lawn’s resistance to disease and pests.

If you find that your Zoysia grass is not growing fast enough, check if it has a high level of phosphorous or potassium in its soil. The rate at which soils dissolve may vary depending on their composition.

Weather and Disease Resistance

Some grass may be weak and unable to withstand challenging weather conditions such as heat, drought, or extreme cold. In addition, common nutrient shortages might affect the grass. Purchasing a potassium-rich fertilizer is often beneficial in these situations because it enhances your Zoysia grass’s immunity [5].  

How Much Fertilizer Does a Zoysia Lawn Need:

  • Nitrogen. Zoysia grass, like all grasses, is a nitrogen-fixing plant. It needs 3-4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. each year;
  • Potassium aids in the development of drought and wear resistance in the grass;
  • Phosphorus is essential for root development and seed formation. This should be included in a lawn’s fertilizer to help it reach maturity [6];

When Should My Zoysia Grass Fertilizer be Applied?

At the start of the spring season, give your Zoysia a starter fertilizer application. Throughout the winter, the grass will be dormant and require fertilizer treatment to get started on its growth cycle in the best way possible.

When Should My Zoysia Grass Fertilizer be Applied?

Zoysia grass should be fertilized three times a year, according to the manufacturer. Fertilize your Zoysia lawn every three to four months with an application of lawn fertilizer. Follow up your first spring treatment with a second dose in the middle of summer. Late summer into early fall is the optimum time to apply your third and final treatment.

In the winter, the grass does not need any fertilizer. It is dormant at this time, so the fertilizer may induce it to develop. This will end the grass’s dormancy and make it more vulnerable to chilling in cold weather.

Always check the manufacturer’s recommendations when applying fertilizer. Warm, dry weather is the greatest time to fertilize your grass.

Light rain is beneficial to allow the fertilizer to sink into your soil after application. If no precipitation is expected, water your lawn to wash the fertilizer granules into the ground, which will speed up the activation process.

Zoysia Management Calendar:


As your grass emerges from the dormant season and you notice the first indications of development, it will benefit from a fertilizer treatment. This is the most crucial treatment of the year for Zoysia because it will start its growing season in the best possible way.

The nitrogen and potassium in the first application of fertilizer should have an N-P-K ratio of 15-0-15.
However, if you’re using grass seeds or your lawn is still in the growth stage, you should also add phosphorus to this combination. This will assist with the development of your grassroots.

At the beginning of the season, a pre-emergent herbicide may be beneficial. This will prevent weeds from establishing and becoming a problem later on in the season.


During the summer, as the grass continues to develop, it will need another application of fertilizer. You may observe some weeds pushing through your lawn, so now is an excellent time to use a post-emergent weed killer with your fertilizer. This can prevent weeds from taking hold in your grass by killing the germinating weeds.


When the Zoysia growing season is ending, give your grass a final fertilizer application. Apply a pre-emergent weed killer now to prevent any future growth and prepare your lawn for winter weed control if it’s weed-free.

How To Fertilize Zoysia?

For Granular Fertilizer [7]:

  • Examine the fertilizer package for instructions on how to apply it dry or in a liquid state. You’ll have to combine the granules with water if you’re applying them in a liquid form;
  • Now, using the number of granules specified for your lawn size, sprinkle them over the surface. You may find a statement like “X pounds feeds 1000 square feet” on most goods. And there you have it. Then, using the spreader, distribute the granules or liquid evenly across the grass. It can be a backpack, drop, or rotary spreader that is used to accomplish this task;
  • Look for the spreader’s setting on the product label. Set the proper one and get started. That’s all there is to it;

For Ready-To-Spray Liquid Fertilizer

You’d just have to plug the hose if it weren’t for the fact that you’ll need to purchase some liquid fertilizer. The majority of ready-to-spray fertilizers include an automated dilution system with the water. So it’s simpler to set up. However, keep in mind that liquid fertilizers are more difficult to apply evenly .

For Ready-To-Spray Liquid Fertilizer

Finally, various fertilizers require a distinct condition of lawn for optimal action. Several types of grass, for example, are effective when the grass is dry, while others are only effective after it has been moistened.


Does Zoysia grass need to be fertilized?

Zoysia grass can endure a lot of heat in the summer. Zoysia grass also thrives during droughts since the color of the grass fades. Zoysia grass fertilization is required to maintain its proper growth and root development. It promotes the grass’s brightness and turf greenness, even in unfavorable circumstances. Only dirt cannot feed this grass properly. Fertilizers, on the other hand, are designed to meet specific nutrient requirements. As a result, this grass must be fertilized [8]

Can you over-fertilize Zoysia?

You don’t need to fertilize Zoysia any more than normal; it develops into a healthier plant. Over-fertilization of Zoysia grass may slow down growth and weaken the root. You might have to mow the lawn repeatedly in certain situations. Furthermore, over-fertilization causes an accumulation of thatch to build up faster.

How often should Zoysia Grass be fertilized?

Even in regions with significant wintertime frosts, most zoysia grass goes dormant for the indoor months, drying and turning brown as it awaits the weather. 

Avoid fertilizing during the dormant period. If you fertilize while the grass is sleeping, it might “awaken” and begin to grow, only to be damaged when cooler weather persists. 

In the spring, when zoysia grass has emerged from dormancy and the lawn is about 50% green, apply fertilizer to keep it looking good. This generally happens between March and May in the southern United States.

Summer weather is here, and the lawn should be a vibrant green. In the summer (June through July), apply a round of fertilizer to keep the grass’s deep color. 

Choose a fertilizer with a slow-release formulation to avoid burning out the grass with too much at once, and follow the directions on the product to calculate how much was applied over the ground.

If you fertilize in the late summer or early fall, you may follow up with another dose to help the lawn endure the winter dormancy. At this time, a low-nitrogen fertilizer and as before, a slow-release formula is best. Make careful note of your soil’s qualities so that you can pick an appropriate combination of nutrients to feed it while it goes dormant [9].

How do I make my Zoysia Grass thicker?

Zoysia grasses require a thick and sturdy root to grow. Within the root, there are several sorts of tissues, including chlorophyll, stomata, and chloroplasts. The roots of Zoysia grasses are so thick and deep, that they can reach out to the water in the deepest layer.

Zoysia grass is a drought-tolerant plant; its root system is capable of developing up quickly in dry soil conditions. So you need not overdo watering or fertilize with high amounts. It’s an easy way to achieve thicker and stronger Zoysia grass lawns!

How do you green up Zoysia Grass?

Try a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer, which will last up to six months in the soil. This limits the active nitrogen available to the plant and slowly feeds it consistently as it greening up [10].

How can I make Zoysia Grass spread faster?

Zoysia grass takes a little longer to grow than other types of grass, but it’s well worth the wait. That’s because you’ll get a beautiful dense lawn in the end.

If you want to grow Zoysia grass in your lawn, be prepared for a lengthy procedure when seeding from seed, so experts recommend using a solid starter fertilizer with weed control.

Even if you use established Zoysia grass plugs, you will still have to wait longer for it to establish than with other types of grass. Even though experts advocate this approach, consider starting Zoysia a bit differently.

Of course, the type of Zoysia you select and the climate in which it’s grown [11] will determine the rate at which your Zoysia grass grows and spreads.

Zoysia grass plugs are a cost-effective option for laying sod when Zoysia grass seed takes time to germinate and establish itself.

Sod plugs are tiny (typically 2″ x 2″ or 3″ x 3″ pieces of soil with established Zoysia grass) sod blocks that can be put in bare areas in your yard the same way you would any perennial or annual

After they’ve had time to recover from the transfer, they should begin to spread and fill in within a year. Simply make sure you provide them with enough water and that the surrounding turf is prepared before planting your sod plugs.

If you’re planting Zoysia grass from seed or using Zoysia plugs, don’t be discouraged if it takes a long time for it to spread and fill in.

It generally takes two years for a lawn to completely fill in after planting plugs. You may expect three years from seed planting. However, if you have the patience, Zoysia grass will keep weeds at bay and stay thick, lush, and low-maintenance, so it’s an excellent option if you have it.

Can you use Scotts turf Builder on Zoysia?

Because Zoysia lawns may become discolored after the application of Turf Builder Weed and Feed 1, it should not be used on Zoysia grass. Instead, Ferti-Lome St. Augustine Weed and Feed 15-0-4 is made specifically for Zoysia grass [12].

What is a good starter fertilizer for Zoysia grass?

The best Zoysia start-up fertilizer should be a 15-0-15, 15-0-10, or 15-0-5 combination. The product will contain 15% nitrogen, 0% phosphorus, and 15% potassium if it is a 15-0-15 blend of fertilizer. The primary nutrient required by Zoysia grass is nitrogen [13].

Does Zoysia Grass need lime?

Zoysia needs a more neutral pH of at least 6.5. As a result, granular lime (a calcium-containing material) is often spread across the lawn to raise the soil’s pH toward a more neutral or alkaline level. On warm-season grasses such as Bermuda and Zoysia, garden experts generally do this in the early fall to promote dormancy [14].

Should you scalp Zoysia Grass?

Only Bermuda and Zoysia lawns (only) should be scalped in the spring. Scalping is the process of removing dormant, straw-colored grasses and helps to promote earlier greening and minimize thatch and weed issues throughout the summer. It’s a good idea to scalp your yard between March 15 and April 30 [15]

How do you fix thin Zoysia Grass?

A properly maintained Zoysia grass lawn can often prevent the necessity for dethatching and maintain the turf uniformly lovely and robust. The most significant advantage of Zoysia grass is that it grows best when watered infrequently, deeply. Light, frequent watering promotes a shallow root system and poor drought tolerance.

The ideal mowing height for Zoysia grass is around 1/2 to 1 inch. Never remove more than one-third of a grass blade in a single mowing session, as this scalping can lead to rapid thatch accumulation.

To promote vigor but not excessive development, fertilize Zoysia grass correctly. The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program recommends that from April through October when Zoysia grass is actively developing, it should be fed with a total of 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. [16].

Useful Video: Secret Zoysiagrass Fertilizer

Final thoughts 

You have many options when it comes to fertilizers for Zoysia grass, so the most important thing is finding out what your lawn needs. To help you do that, we’ve compiled some information on how different fertilizing methods work and their pros and cons. Hopefully, this helps!


  1. https://bovees.com/best-fertilizer-for-zoysia-grass/
  2. https://bovees.com/best-fertilizer-for-zoysia-grass/
  3. https://secretgardenhelp.com/best-fertilizer-for-zoysia-grass/
  4. https://yardandgardenguru.com/best-zoysia-grass-fertilizer/
  5. https://homesthetics.net/best-fertilizer-for-zoysia-grass/
  6. https://bovees.com/best-fertilizer-for-zoysia-grass/
  7. https://gardencue.com/best-fertilizer-for-zoysia-grass/
  8. https://secretgardenhelp.com/best-fertilizer-for-zoysia-grass/
  9. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/fertilize-zoysia-grass-starter-fertilizer-69631.html
  10. https://unique-environmental.com/zoysia-grass-problem-greening-spring
  11. https://lawnchick.com/how-fast-does-zoysia-grass-spread/
  12. https://www.domyown.com/is-scotts-turf-builder-weed-and-feed-safe-on-zoysia-grass-qa-43932.html
  13. https://www.lawnandpetal.com/how-to-fertilize-zoysia-grass-the-right-way
  14. https://turfmasterslawncare.com/2017/09/20/8-zoysia-lawn-tips
  15. https://fairwaylawns.com/lawn101/mowing
  16. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/thin-zoysia-lawns-68589.html