We could talk for days about the benefits of Empire Zoysia – this is by far one of our residential customers’ favorite varieties on the market! There are entirely too many good things we could say about it. We’ll try to keep this concise, but it’s difficult not to get too excited given the beauty, soft texture, and overall phenomenal characteristics of this sod!
Empire Zoysia was specifically developed in Brazil to grow in a variety of soil and climate conditions. What makes it perfect for our Floridian climate is its ability to thrive in sandy soil, as well as its tolerance of the heat and drought (once established). While it thrives best in harsh tropical climates thanks to its Brazilian heritage, Empire Zoysia is also able to tolerate some cold-weather as well. Like most sod varieties, Zoysia will grow best in the sun; however, it will tolerate some shade. Zoysia offers a wide blade and a blue-green hue, as well as a soft, lush, texture, which makes it ideal for residential lawns.
The hardiness of Empire Zoysia is due to its deep, thick root system. This system supports its drought tolerance (one established), slower vertical growth (less mowing time!), natural chinch bug, disease, and chemical resistances, which all work together to provide a low-maintenance lawn. Due to its chemical resistance, you are able to use most herbicides to kill weeds in your yard without harming the healthy sod in place.
You may have noticed when we mention that any particular sod is “drought tolerant,” we always follow that up with “once established.” What that means is once the roots have taken to the new location, and the sod is fully and strongly affixed. It can take up to one year for the sod to be completely established. When established Empire lawns experience drought, they may turn brown in color; however, they should not experience permanent damage due to the drought. Once the water supply is available again, its beautiful blue-green color will return! In comparison, some St. Augustine varieties may stay green a little longer through a drought or freeze; however, once those turn brown, they are less likely to turn around and come back to life.
Thanks to its drought tolerance and lower chemical needs, Empire is more eco-friendly and meets “green building” standards.