Why Is My Empire Zoysia Lawn Turning Brown?

We’re currently experiencing mild to moderate drought conditions here in Tampa Bay, so you may have noticed more brown grass on your lawn if you have Empire® Zoysia grass. No need to worry! Empire® Zoysia is a hardy warm-weather grass that is able to survive during drought conditions. In this post, we’ll discuss how to identify drought-stressed grass and what to do next.

Identifying Drought-Stress in Empire® Zoysia

When your Empire® Zoysia grass experiences mild drought conditions, you may not notice any change at all. However, if these conditions persist or worsen, this zoysia grass variety will turn brown and feel very dry to the touch. Many people mistakenly think their grass has died, but it’s really just the grass conserving resources to keep the crown and root of each blade alive. This is called going dormant, and many grass varieties do this as a survival tactic.

Here’s a quick tip to tell if your Empire® Zoysia is dead or just dormant: Head out to your lawn where you’re seeing the most browning and simply pull up on a handful of the brown grass blades with your hand. Do the grass blades, dirt, root, and all pull up easily, or is there resistance? Dead grass will easily pull up from the root, while dormant grass is still anchored strong.

Dealing with Drought-Stress in Empire® Zoysia

Now that you’ve established that your grass has just gone dormant and not died, it’s time to handle the issue. If rain is forecast in the next couple of days, then your best bet is to just wait for Mother Nature to handle the problem for you. If no rain is coming, it’s time for a good watering.

Always pay attention to your local watering day and time restrictions before watering your lawn. Early morning is always the best time to water. Apply an even ¾” layer of clean, fresh water to your entire lawn. This is incredibly difficult to do by hand, so we always recommend using a professionally-installed irrigation system for full coverage. Repeat watering a few days later, then water at least once per week.

Your lawn should green back up after the first or second watering. If it doesn’t, contact a local lawn care company for assistance.

Empire® Zoysia Sod in Tampa Bay

Empire® has the gold standard in Brazilian zoysiagrass. This tried-and-true grass variety stands up to sun, shade, heavy foot traffic, extreme heat, and drought conditions. It is truly a landscaping workhorse! Get the highest-quality Empire® Zoysia sod in Tampa Bay at Council Growers Sod in southern Hillsborough County. We harvest sod fresh to order, then deliver it straight to your door, skipping the middleman. Call us at (813) 633-8665 or contact us online to order your Empire® Zoysia sod today!