February 05, 2021
Zoysia is a great warm season grass. It is drought and heat tolerant and looks fantastic during the summer. In mid-to-northern states Zoysia turns a nice tan or brown color during the colder months of the year—typically from fall to late spring. If this happens to your grass, do not be alarmed, the grass is not dead, and this is completely normal. The grass is only Dormant.
Warm season grasses, such as Zoysia and Bermuda, go dormant if the air and ground temperature become too cold for an extended period of time. The grass is still healthy, and the roots are still strong. The grass goes into dormancy to keep in moisture and all the nutrients around it. Even though it is dormant, it may still need light watering if there has been no precipitation in a while. Zoysia going dormant can be comparable to how animals hibernate in the winter. The grass will “wake up” when the weather becomes consistently warm.
Although most Zoysia goes dormant, you may still want to check if it is dormant or dead. One way to do this is to feel around the base of the plant. If it is sturdy and strong, then it is dormant. You can also give it a light pull. The dead grass will easily pull out because the roots are no longer intact. Dormant grass still has very healthy roots.