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Zoysia vs. Fescue: Which is Better?

Zoysia vs. Fescue: Which is Better?

Have you ever wondered which is a better grass – Zoysia or Fescue? It can be tricky to decide which one is the best for your particular situation. You may prefer one over the other, depending on what kind of climate and soil works best in your area. In this blog post, we are going to look at their main differences and why some people might choose one over the other. We’ll also provide some examples of professional cases where either Zoysia or Fescue might be chosen for its specific benefits, making it easier for you to make an educated decision when it comes to deciding which grass type works best in your yard!

What Is Zoysia?

Zoysia is a type of grass native to Asia, introduced in the US during the mid-1900s. It grows well in areas with full sun and is extremely drought tolerant – making it an ideal choice for arid or semi-arid climates. In addition, Zoysia grass has excellent wear tolerance and can handle foot traffic better than most other types of turfgrass. It also requires less fertilization and mowing than other grasses, so it’s a great option for those looking to save time and money on lawn maintenance.

Unfortunately, Zoysia does have some drawbacks as well. For one thing, its slow growth rate means that it takes more time to establish itself than faster-growing varieties. In addition, Zoysia is susceptible to certain diseases, such as root rot and brown patch, so it requires extra care when selecting locations and implementing cultural practices. [1]

What Is Zoysia?

What is Fescue?

Fescue is an evergreen grass that is commonly used for lawns and turf in the United States. It’s a cool-season grass, meaning it grows best in temperatures between 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and will go dormant or die when the temperature rises above 85 degrees. Fescue has a dense growth habit, making it a good choice for shadier areas of your yard with less sun exposure. In addition, its deep roots make it an effective choice for erosion control on slopes or other hilly terrain.

However, due to its high water requirements, Fescue can be difficult to maintain during hot summer months without frequent watering and may require more fertilizer and maintenance than other types of grasses like Zoysia. Additionally, Fescue is prone to a number of fungal diseases that can damage and even kill the grass if not treated in a timely manner.

Comparing Zoysia vs Fescue Grass

Deciding between Zoysia and Fescue Grass for your yard may be a tricky decision, requiring careful consideration. Homeowners in the Southeast United States are well-acquainted with Zoysia grass – renowned for its plush, carpet-like texture that brings a luxurious feel to any lawn. It also requires less maintenance than other types of turf grasses.

Fescue grass, on the other hand, is a cool-season grass that thrives in cooler climates and offers superior heat tolerance compared to Zoysia. Both types of grass are low-maintenance and drought tolerant but each type may perform better under different scenarios or conditions.

When considering which type of grass to use, it’s important to look at factors like climate (warm vs cold), soil type, amount of shade/sunlight exposure, how much foot traffic it will receive, maintenance requirements, and cost. Zoysia grass is more tolerant of heat than Fescue, which makes it better for warmer climates and areas with less shade. It’s also a good choice for those looking for low-maintenance grass that doesn’t require frequent mowing or watering.

However, the dense nature of Zoysia can make it difficult to get rid of weeds and pests, so you may need to use herbicides or pesticides periodically.

Fescue is best suited for cooler climates and requires more frequent mowing and watering than Zoysia but offers superior temperature tolerance as well as better ability to fight off invaders like weeds and insects. It’s slower growing compared to Zoysia but has less problems with invasive species. It’s also less expensive than Zoysia, making it a great option for those on a budget.

Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when determining which type of grass to choose. The best choice will depend on your individual needs and preferences as well as the climate and soil conditions in your area. Consider factors such as maintenance requirements, temperature tolerance, cost, and pests/weeds when deciding between Zoysia vs Fescue Grass. With proper care, both types of grass can provide you with a beautiful lawn that will last for years. [2]

Comparing Zoysia vs Fescue Grass


It is a critical aspect when it comes to choosing the best type of grass for your landscape. Zoysia and Fescue are two very popular types of grass, but which one offers the most aesthetically pleasing look?

Zoysia has a thick texture with a deep green color that is sure to make any lawn stand out in the neighborhood. It’s also more tolerant to cold temperatures than other species of grass, making it ideal for northern climates. The downside is that this type of grass needs more maintenance than fescue because it grows at a slower rate and can have difficulty competing with weeds.

Fescue meanwhile looks quite similar to zoysia but has an even darker green hue. It’s also more drought-resistant, making it a great choice for those living in drier climates. Fescue is less tolerant to cold temperatures than zoysia, so it’s best suited for southern areas. This type of grass also requires regular mowing to keep its lush appearance.

Best Uses

Zoysia and fescue are both popular lawn grasses, but they excel in different applications. Zoysia is suitable for warm climates, as it does not tolerate cold temperatures very well. This makes it a great choice for areas with mild winters, like the southern United States or coastal regions. It also does well in full sun but can handle some shade as well, making it a versatile option for many yards.

Fescue is best used in cooler environments with moderate amounts of rainfall. It thrives in partial sunlight and handles cold temperatures much better than zoysia. Fescue is typically recommended if you live somewhere with hot summers and cold winters since it can withstand the cold much better. Thus, it is a popular choice for many lawns in the Midwest and Northeast United States.

Overall, zoysia is a great option if you are looking for a low maintenance grass that can handle full sunlight while fescue is ideal if you live in a cooler climate with moderate amounts of rain. [3]

Soil Types and pH Needs

When choosing between zoysia and fescue, soil types and pH needs should be included in the evaluation. Zoysia grows best in slightly acidic soils that contain a good level of organic matter and adequate drainage. It is tolerant of drought and salt spray and has a medium pH requirement of 6 to 7.

Fescue prefers soils with a neutral pH (6.5 to 7). Poorly drained soils can cause problems for both grasses, so if you live in an area prone to flooding or standing water, neither type may be suitable for your yard. Fescue does require more irrigation than zoysia due to its shallow root system, but it does not need as much nitrogen fertilizer.

Both grasses are relatively low maintenance, but zoysia requires less mowing than fescue. Zoysia grows slowly and only needs to be mowed every two to three weeks. Fescue requires more frequent mowing, generally once a week or so. When it comes down to choosing between zoysia and fescue, the choice largely depends on your region, soil type and climate conditions. Consider these factors before making your decision as both grasses have their own benefits and drawbacks in different scenarios. Whichever you choose, proper installation is essential for successful establishment of your lawn! [4]

Water Needs

When it comes to water, Zoysia grass needs less compared to Fescue. It also has a deep root system that helps the grass survive periods of drought. On average, you should expect to water your lawn about two times per week. Fescue, on the other hand, needs more water and will require watering up to four times a week in order to stay healthy and green. Because of its shallow root system, Fescue is more susceptible to damage during dry spells or extreme temperatures. This can lead to browning and wilting if not maintained properly with regular irrigation.

Water Needs

Sun, Shade, and Temperature Requirements

Different grass varieties have different requirements for sun, shade, and temperature. Zoysia is a warm-season grass that does best in full sun with no or limited shade. Fescue, on the other hand, is a cool-season grass that prefers partial to full sun with some shade. Zoysia can tolerate temperatures from -5°F (for hardier varieties) all the way up to 110°F. Fescue has different temperature requirements depending on the variety but most types can withstand temperatures as low as 0°F and as high as 90°F.

When it comes to choosing between zoysia and fescue for your lawn, you need to take into consideration how much sunlight your yard receives and the average temperature of your area. For example, if you live in a hot climate with lots of sunshine, zoysia is likely to do better than fescue. But if you live in an area where temperatures are cooler and there’s more shade, then fescue may be the better choice. It’s important to do your research so you can choose the grass variety that will work best in your specific environment.


Durability and longevity are the primary factors to consider when choosing between Zoysia and Fescue. Zoysia, a warm-season grass, is known for its pest resistance, drought tolerance, and deep root system that helps protect against soil erosion. It grows well in sunny areas with moderate water requirements, but can also survive in shady areas with less frequent watering. The thick texture of this grass makes it ideal for high traffic areas like playgrounds or sports fields.

Fescue is a cool-season grass that is highly tolerant to cold temperatures. Its shallow root system and abundance of small fibers make it more resistant to pests than other cool-season varieties. Fescue requires regular watering to maintain growth during hot summer months, but it does not tolerate too much water as this may lead to fungal growth.

Fescue is an excellent choice for areas with dense shade and low exposure to traffic, making it a popular pick for home lawns.

Overall, Zoysia offers more durability and longevity due to its thick texture and deep root system. [5]

Common Pests and Diseases

Both zoysia and fescue grasses are susceptible to various pests and diseases. Zoysia is especially prone to chinch bugs, while both types of grass may be affected by fungal diseases such as brown patch, dollar spot, and summer patch. Proper maintenance practices such as regular mowing, fertilizing, and watering can help prevent or reduce damage from these pests and diseases.

Additionally, using a fungicide in the early stages of an outbreak can also help keep your lawn healthy. Control of weeds that compete with the grass for nutrients is also important for preventing potential damage from pest or disease outbreaks.

Ultimately, having an experienced turfgrass professional inspect your lawn on a regular basis will ensure that any issues are identified quickly so they can be addressed quickly. This will help keep your lawn looking its best and give you peace of mind knowing that it is being taken care of properly.

Mowing Needs

When it comes to lawn mowing needs, the type of grass you choose can make a big difference. Zoysia requires less frequent mowing than fescue does, which is great for busy homeowners who don’t want to spend a lot of time on lawn maintenance. On the other hand, fescue needs more regular mowing as it grows faster, so if you like a freshly-mowed look every week or two, then this might be your choice. Either way, both types of grasses require regular mowing throughout the growing season to keep them looking their best.

Mowing Needs

Types of Grass Related to Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass is a member of the Poaceae family and is often called “carpet grass.” It shares many characteristics with other members of the same family, such as Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass, Kikuyugrass, Seashore Paspalum and St. Augustinegrass. Each type of grass has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your climate and soil conditions when deciding which one is best for you.

Bermudagrass is a warm-season grass that thrives in heat but can’t withstand cold temperatures. It grows quickly during summer months and requires frequent mowing to keep it from spreading too much. If not managed properly, it can become invasive.

Centipedegrass is a slow-growing grass that has better shade tolerance than other warm-season grasses and requires very little fertilizer or mowing. It’s also resistant to common pests, making it a great choice for low-maintenance lawns.

Kikuyugrass is similar to centipedegrass in many ways, but it offers superior drought resistance and thrives in moist soil conditions.

Seashore Paspalum is an excellent option for coastal areas as it’s highly salt-tolerant, but it can be more expensive because of its detailed maintenance needs.

Finally, St. Augustinegrass offers good shade tolerance but doesn’t do well in cold temperatures so it may not be a good choice for cooler climates. All of these grass types offer different advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to research each one thoroughly before making your decision. [6]

Types of Grass Related to Fescue Grass

Fescue grass is a cool-season, clumping grass that is widely used in lawns and turf. Many varieties of fescue are available, each with its own unique characteristics.

One type of fescue is Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). It’s an attractive, dense, medium-to-fine-textured grass with deep green color and good wearability. It needs full sun to thrive but can also tolerate partial shade. Kentucky bluegrass has low drought tolerance and requires regular watering for best results.

Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is another common type of fescue grass. Tall fescue is coarse-textured, dark green, and very resilient. It’s well-suited for sunny areas but can also tolerate some shade. Tall fescue has excellent drought tolerance, making it a popular choice in hotter climates and drier conditions.

Finally, chewings fescue (Festuca rubra) is another type of fescue grass that is commonly used in lawns. Chewings fescue is fine-textured with a light green color and good wearability. It requires full sun to thrive but can tolerate some shade. Chewings fescue has good drought tolerance but may require more water than other types of fescue grasses during hot weather.

Zoysia vs Fescue Cost

The cost of zoysia and fescue are very similar in the short-term, but there is a noticeable difference over time. A typical square foot of sod will cost around $1 for either type, and installation costs for both vary widely depending on geography. Zoysia does require additional maintenance costs, however – it needs regular fertilization as well as occasional mowing.

In the long run, this can add up to more money than you would spend on a fescue lawn. Fescue does not require any special treatments or added fertilizer and only needs to be mowed about once per month. This makes it a much less expensive option over the long haul if you want a beautiful looking lawn without spending too much money.

The cost-effectiveness of zoysia and fescue will depend on how much time you are willing to spend tending to your lawn, as well as the amount you’re willing to invest in the initial installation. If you want a low-maintenance lawn that looks great with minimal effort, then fescue may be the better option for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a luxurious, dense lawn that stays green year-round and is suited to high foot traffic, then zoysia may be worth the extra expense. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and budget: both types of grass have their advantages and drawbacks depending on what works best for your particular needs. [7]

Zoysia vs Fescue Cost


Is fescue the same as zoysia?

No, fescue and zoysia are two different types of grass. Fescue is a cool-season grass while zoysia is a warm-season grass. Which one is better for my lawn?The best choice depends on your climate, soil type, and personal preference. Generally speaking, fescue does well in cooler areas with more consistent rainfall, while zoysia does better in warmer areas that receive less rain.

What are the advantages of each type?

Fescue has a deep root system which helps to prevent erosion and conserve water. It also requires less maintenance due to its slower growth rate. Zoysia spreads quickly and provides strong weed resistance but requires more frequent mowing and fertilizing. How much sun does each type need? Fescue requires at least 4 hours of direct sunlight per day, while zoysia needs 5-6 hours of direct sunlight daily in order to thrive.

Which one is more drought tolerant?

Zoysia is more drought tolerant than fescue, as it has better water conservation capabilities due to its deep root system. It also requires less frequent watering and can survive on minimal rainfall.

Which one is more drought tolerant?

Do I need to use specialized equipment for either type?

No special equipment is needed for either type; however, a rotary mower with sharp blades will help you keep your lawn looking neat and healthy no matter which type of grass you choose. Additionally, if you have a small lawn, it may be easier to use an electric mower instead of a gasoline-powered one.

Are there any special maintenance considerations for either type?

Yes, both fescue and zoysia require regular fertilization and weed control in order to keep them thriving. Also, since fescue is slow growing it needs to be mowed less frequently than zoysia. Proper watering is essential as well; make sure not to overwater either type or they will become waterlogged and start to die off.

Useful Video: late summer zoysia and fescue lawn update


Ultimately, the choice between Zoysia and Fescue largely depends on what you’re looking for in a lawn. Zoysia is an excellent option for those who favor warm season grasses and want low-maintenance turf that looks great year-round. On the other hand, Fescue provides cooler weather grass with superior durability and great heat tolerance. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and which characteristics are most important to create your perfect lawn. Whichever type of grass you choose, make sure to give your lawn plenty of TLC – regular maintenance, proper fertilization, and correct mowing will go a long way towards ensuring optimal results!

No matter which type you choose, both Zoysia and Fescue offer a variety of benefits that can help create your dream lawn. Consider your climate, budget, maintenance needs, and desired look before making a decision to get the best possible outcome!

Good luck! Have fun creating the lawn of your dreams.


  1. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/zoysia-vs-fescue-grass-77040.html
  2. https://www.landscapeinn.com/fescue-vs-zoysia/
  3. https://weedkillerguide.com/zoysia-vs-fescue/
  4. https://lawnmowerguru.com/zoysia-vs-fescue-grass/
  5. https://www.gfloutdoors.com/zoysia-grass-vs-fescue-which-is-right-for-your-lawn/
  6. https://yardthyme.com/lawn-care/grass/zoysia-vs-fescue/
  7. https://www.absolutelawnpros.com/bermuda-vs-zoysia-vs-fescue/