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Empire Zoysia

Empire Zoysia

The “Dream Grass” that’s not so dreamy

You have probably heard the advertisements and read the glowing reviews about using Empire Zoysia in Florida landscapes. As a professional landscape company, we have a lot of experience with Empire Zoysia in Florida climates and we understand the advertised benefits. Empire Zoysia is made up of soft thin blades of grass with a dark green color. When properly established and maintained, Empire Zoysia has the look of a soft, lush carpet. You may find yourself taking your shoes off to feel it when you see that perfectly maintained Empire Zoysia turf. Of course, you might want to be ready to run when the homeowner comes out and finds you prancing barefoot on their lawn! Empire Zoysia in Florida is often advertised with attractive buzzwords such as “drought tolerant”, “weed resistant and “disease resistant”. You may even hear claims that it grows well in the shade and that it stands up to heavy foot traffic. Empire Zoysia has even been referred to as the “EZ lawn” and “dream grass”. Have you heard the expression, “if it’s too good to be true…”? Well…

The not-so-dreamy side of Empire Zoysia in Florida

Florida, especially Central Florida, is a harsh climate for plant material and landscapes. The summers can reach into the high 90’s with winter temperatures dropping into the teens. Our Florida sun is hot and our rain is unpredictable. If you don’t like the weather in Florida, wait 6 minutes! Growing Empire Zoysia in Florida requires just as much care and attention as its oft criticized cousin, St. Augustine turf grass. Here are a few facts about Empire Zoysia in Florida landscapes that you should consider when installing or maintaining your turf

  • Empire Zoysia is a durable turf grass IF it is properly established. Empire Zoysia in Florida climates will take approximately on full season (year) of proper maintenance, watering and pest/fertilization service to become established. It is recommended that this vigilance be maintained for 2 to 3 years to ensure the success of your Empire Zoysia turf grass

  • Empire Zoysia must be maintained regularly with cut heights strictly monitored. Only 1/3 of the grass height can be cut at any given time to minimize shock. Empire Zoysia will brown quickly and can be stubborn in regaining its color.

  • Empire Zoysia Despite the “drought tolerant” claims, Empire Zoysia in Florida is very sensitive to over/under watering. Too much water will create shallow, needy root systems while promoting weed growth. Too little will encourage thatch (layer of dead grass which restricts nutrients to root systems) and a thinning of turf density (which is difficult to recover)

  • Empire Zoysia requires nearly as much weed, pest, disease and fungus control as St. Augustine Turf. Empire Zoysia in Florida is susceptible to diseases such as Brown Patch (Rhizoctonia, solani) and Grey Leaf Spot. It is also common to find pests such as lawn grubs, bill bugs and beetles. These problems can thin out an Empire Zoysia turf allowing weeds to flourish

  • Empire Zoysia turf grass, like St. Augustine, does not do well in full shade. Some sun is necessary although we have found that aggressive chemical treatments and proper irrigation can minimize these issues

  • As with any plant material, Empire Zoysia cannot handle excessive foot traffic. We often recommend carving out walkways to minimize turf damage in repetitive traffic areas.

  • Empire Zoysia in Florida thrives in our warm climate. However, it struggles in the cooler months and can become dormant and will brown over completely during extended cold periods.

The Dreamy Side of Empire Zoysia in Florida

Now that you know the truth about Empire Zoysia, you can make an educated choice about whether this turf is right for you. Our experts here at Prestige Pro Lawn Services understand what it takes to install and maintain a gorgeous Empire Zoysia turf. If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. But set aside the rosy advertising fluff and Empire Zoysia is a fantastic choice for your Central Florida lawn. When maintained correctly, this turf will be as full and soft as the carpet in your home. It’s time you stop running around in your bare feet on someone else’s Empire Zoysia and get your own! It is a great turf option and a wonderful alternative to St. Augustine. Once you know and understand the facts, using Empire Zoysia in Florida landscapes can be a tremendously satisfying experience!

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