5 Best Pre Emergent For Zoysia Grass | When To Use

Zoysia grass is said to be one of the Trojan warriors of turf thanks to its remarkable ability to withstand extensive footfall as well as endure hot temperatures and drought conditions.

Unlike other southern lawn turfs, Zoysia grass also tolerates cooler weather. This means that it has not only become a popular choice of turf in Southern regions of the US but is also widely used in cooler climates.

Despite all its pluses and just like all types of turf, it is not immune to weed infestations and will always benefit from the regular application of a preventative treatment. If you want to give your lawn the highest chance of looking its best all season long, check out my comprehensive guide to the best pre-emergent for Zoysia grass.

Top Zoysia Grass Pre-Emergents

If you’re in a hurry then here are my recommendations for both granular and liquid formulas. They have consistently performed well, and both are professional-grade products that will not let you down.

The Andersons Barricade

Best Pre Emergent Spray

Quali-Pro Prodiamine

Very effective water-soluble pre-emergent, designed for use in herbicide sprayers. Covers 48,000 sq.ft

Quali-Pro Prodiamine

Best For Broadcasting

The Andersons Barricade

Professional grade granular pre-emergent. Ready-to-use with any broadcaster or spreader. Covers 5,800sq.ft

By the way, our site is supported by visitors like you. Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support! You can find out more here.

Choosing The Best Pre-Emergent Herbicide For Zoysia Grass

Zoysia prefers full sun and short periods of drought. Over time and once established, this turf forms a deeply bedded underground system of roots and rhizomes.

However, unless you live in a region that offers optimum growing conditions or your Zoysia grass is relatively immature, it can be susceptible to periods of dormancy or patchy growth. This is when weeds will seize the opportunity to establish themselves.

Using a preventative herbicide at the right time of year will prevent weed seeds from germinating in the first place. These weed killers work by creating a barrier below the soil surface where seeds embed themselves. This barrier prevents seeds from sprouting in the first place, thus stopping them establishing roots and being able to grow.

Some pre-emergent herbicides contain post-emergent ingredients that help to combat any pre-existing weeds or seeds that have managed to germinate and grow into weeds.  It really does depend on your circumstances as to what product is best for you.

To combat the weeds in your Zoysia grass lawn, you are first going to need to identify what type of weeds might be lurking and then decide which is the best herbicide to suit your needs and requirements.

Common Weeds In Zoysia Grass

There are a number of reoccurring weed offenders that just love to spoil the aesthetics of a beautiful Zoysia grass lawn. Some are of the broadleaf variety and others are the grassy types.

Each has a distinct appearance but all establish themselves in the same way by releasing their seeds. These seeds are then carried by the breeze, scattered amongst blades of grass, and left to become embedded through germination. Then voila! Up pops a weed.

Here’s a rundown of the most common weeds that are found in Zoysia grass:

Broadleaf Weeds

The most commonly found broadleaf weeds in Zoysia grass are dandelions and clover. This variety of weed is easily identifiable because it usually has leaves and a stalk or central stem. Broadleaf weeds typically produce a flower or a cluster of blooms.

Small, visible patches of dandelion or clover can be relatively easy to manage and eradicate, either by removing with a weed-pulling tool or by spraying with a post-emergent herbicide. Post-emergent broadleaf herbicides work by systematically destroying the weed starting at the leaves , working its way down through the stem, and eventually into the root.

These types of weeds can also be prevented from growing with the use of a pre-emergent herbicide that is administered in either fall or spring (or both) just before the seeds of these weeds have germinated.

Other potential weeds that can make an appearance in Zoysia grass are chickweed, henbit, and spurge. These should be treated in the same way.

Grassy Weeds

By far the most common weeds to show up in Zoysia grass are crabgrass, goosegrass, and nutsedge. These are slightly less easy to spot from the get-go because they appear, well… grass-like. However, they do differ in color and blade thickness as they become more established.

Knowing what weed you are tackling will give you better insight into what product to buy. This is true whether you are dealing with a lawn full of weeds or just a few little patches. Once you know the name of the weed, you will be much better equipped to plow through the various products to find out what works best for you.

Always take time to carefully read the product labels and make sure you are applying the correct herbicide without causing damage to your lawn or garden beds. Also ensure that you are applying it at the correct time of year and in the right conditions.

Zoysia Grass Pre-Emergents Reviewed

In order to give you the best chance at ridding your Zoysia grass of pesky weeds, I scoured the market, tapped into the knowledge bank of my expert friends, and read countless reviews and forums to come up with this list.

I’ve based my top picks on performance, ease of use, and value for money. I’m absolutely confident that you’ll find the best pre-emergent for Zoysia grass right here.

Quali-Pro Prodiamine, Pre-Emergent Herbicide
  • Active ingredients: Prodiamine
  • Target weeds: Chickweed, Crabgrass, Henbit and others
  • Application: Pump sprayer
  • Formulation: Liquid Concentrate
  • Action time: Immediately after applying
  • Rainproof: Yes
  • Coverage area: 9,000 – 44,000 sq. ft.
  • Use: turfgrass, lawns and borders


  • One 5lb bottle good for up to 44,000 sq ft or multiple applications
  • Great value for money
  • Prevents seed germination in a broad range of weeds


  • Not for use on already established weeds

To give your weed-prevention efforts every chance of success, I thoroughly recommend using this water-soluble selective herbicide from Quali-Pro. I just find that using a handheld or pump-action sprayer really helps to penetrate all those hard-to-reach places that can sometimes be missed by granules.

This is perfect for use not only on almost all turf types, including Zoysia grass, but can also be used in borders and ornamental beds. Just have a read through the list of perennials that it can harm to be on the safe side.

The active ingredient here is Prodiamine, which is intended for use and, indeed, only effective if it is used prior to seeds germinating. This means that, depending on your weed type, you’ll need a call to action in either fall or spring when temperatures are below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

I found the instructions on the label to be clear in terms of the number of granules versus water measurements. Be sure to wear protective gear since this is a commercial-grade pre-emergent herbicide that can cause harm if inhaled and skin irritation if you happen to splash it about.

A 5lb bottle covers up to 44,000 sq ft, which should be enough for a few seasons for most folks. It’s an economical and effective option for Zoysia grass lawns. It’s also safe to return to your lawn once the product has fully dried. View prices for Quali-Pro Pre Emergent here.

The Andersons Barricade Pre-Emergent Weed Control
  • Active ingredients: Prodiamine
  • Target weeds: Crabgrass, poa annua, goosegrass, and henbit plus more
  • Application: Spreader
  • Formulation: Ready to Use
  • Action time: Immediately after watering
  • Rainproof: Yes
  • Coverage area: 5,800 sq ft (18 lb)
  • Use: Lawns, ornamental beds


  • Effective on crabgrass, poa annua, goosegrass, and henbit
  • Beneficial on Zoysia grass lawns
  • Suitable for use in and around border plantings


  • Can stain paths if not swept away after application

What you’ll get with Andersons’ Barricade is a weed preventer that cares for your Zoysia grass lawn as well as your garden beds. This professional-grade, selective, granular formula has been proven to stop grassy and broadleaf weeds from growing. It won’t damage most varieties of ornamental plants, either. You will need to read the ‘protected plant list’ that is clearly printed on the bag beforehand, though.

The primary active ingredient in this selective herbicide is Prodiamine and it is formulated to prevent both broadleaf and grassy weed seeds from germinating. If you follow the instructions, you’ll begin to see results in a week. But, of course, you won’t know the full effects until the growing season really gets into full swing. Click here for Andersons’ Barricade Pre-Emergent Weed Control.

I recommend using this following any late frost in spring when the temperature is nearly 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The granular formula makes it easy to scatter around beds and borders by hand and across your lawn with a push spreader. I found the instructions to be in-depth and very clear, with specific details for the rate of application when applied through a spreader.

You’ll need to factor in some time to water this pre-emergent after you’ve applied it to make sure that the formula gets activated and has a chance to penetrate the weeds around where it has fallen.

The only drawback was the stains left behind by stray granules I should’ve swept up prior to watering. It’s also important to note that your lawn will be safe for people and pets once these granules are watered in and allowed to dry.

Hi-Yeild Fertilome Turf & Ornamental Weed And Grass Stopper
  • Active ingredients: Dithiopyr
  • Target weeds:  Poa Annua, crabgrass, oxalis,lespedeza, henbit, chickweed and others
  • Application: Spreader
  • Formulation: Ready to Use
  • Action time:  Immediately after watering in
  • Rainproof: Yes
  • Coverage area: 3,500 to 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Use: Lawns, trees shrubs and borders


  • Can be applied up to 4 weeks later than other pre-emergents
  • Prevents roots from growing and spreading
  • Prevents seeds from germinating


  • May need further applications if applied late in the season

I’ve included this pre-emergent herbicide from Fertilome as my next pick in case there are any later-comers to the weed-stopper party. This one can be used on most turf varieties, including Zoysia grass, and has the added advantage that it can be used up to 4 weeks after soil temperatures rise above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This is great news if you didn’t get a chance earlier in the season.

With Dithiopyr as the primary active ingredient, this product works by stopping weed root growth at germination. Expect to see some discolored patches on the lawn after a few days with the majority of weeds gone for the season. I did find that a repeat application was needed with this pre-emergent given the delay in applying it in the first place. A small price to pay I guess to prevent a lawn and garden beds full of weeds.

Make sure you wear protective gear when using it to avoid skin irritation and be sure to water it in after it has been spread on your Zoysia lawn or borders. I also found that tilling the soil first loosened any embedded weed seeds and helped to bring them to the surface. Again, you’ll want to read the ‘protected plant’ list on the bag.

View more about Fertilome Weed & Grass Stopper here.

Bonide Pre-Emergent Crabgrass & Weed Preventer Control For Lawns
  • Active ingredients: Dithiopyr
  • Target weeds: Crabgrass, Chickweed, Henbit and others
  • Application: Spreader
  • Formulation: Ready to Use
  • Action time: Immediately after watering in
  • Rainproof: Yes
  • Coverage area: Up to 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Use: Lawns and Borders


  • Blocks root growth in crabgrass and can also be used for a broad range of other common weeds
  • One easy application needed for the whole season
  • Doesn’t stain sidewalks or paving stones


  • More than one bag may be needed, depending on infestation severity

If crabgrass is the primary culprit and cause for concern in your Zoysia grass, I recommend you give this weed preventer from Bonide a try. It does boast weed prevention qualities for quite an extensive list of weeds but, in my experience, it is most effective at stopping the spread and growth of crabgrass.

Its primary active ingredient is Dithiopyr, which does a great job of preventing both seedlings and established weeds from growing. It does so from the root level upwards by blocking cell division and growth. I found that just one application in spring was sufficient to prevent the crabgrass that I was tackling and this lasted the entire growing season. Click here for prices of Bonide Crabgrass Pre-Emergent from Amazon.com

This one is best suited for more modest-sized lawns and borders, with one pack covering up to 5,000 sq. ft. The only downside is that, depending on the severity of your weed infestation, more than one bag may be needed. I found that using a spreader ensured an even application across the entire lawn but it does kick up a lot of dust during application. I would advise that you wait at least 24 hours before you start walking on the treated area.

When To Apply Pre-Emergent To Zoysia Grass

The right time to apply preventative weed killers to Zoysia grass will depend on the temperature in your region during the fall and spring seasons. This is because a dip in temperature in fall and a rise in spring will trigger seed production and germination in many common weed species.  

It’s worth buying your pre-emergent in advance so that you can plan for the application date. You will also need to coordinate temperatures with a dry and still day.

Typically, the seeds of weeds germinate once the temperature of the soil increases to 55 F or above. So you will need to apply your spring fertilizer just before this. It’s also best to make sure your fall application is completed at least 6 weeks in advance of any frost.

What Month Should You Apply Pre-Emergent?

The fall and early spring are the optimum times of year for the application of pre-emergent herbicide on Zoysia grass.

Temperatures need to be just below 55F because weed seeds typically germinate at this temperature. The herbicide will have little or no effect on seeds that have already germinated.

How To Apply Herbicide To Zoysia

Pre-emergent weed killer is available to buy either in granular form or as a water-soluble solution. Granules need to be scattered directly onto the turf by hand or with a push spreader. Water-soluble solutions need to be diluted with water and administered with a handheld or backpack sprayer.

The method you choose depends on the size of the weed infestation. Consider: Do you have patches of weeds or a widespread problem? How large is your lawn? Are the weeds aggressive enough that you may need to reapply the product and, therefore, need more?

How To Get Rid Of Weeds In Zoysia Without Killing Grass

Always read the label of your chosen pre-emergent to make sure it is a selective herbicide and suitable for use on Zoysia grass. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions can make all the difference to the health of your lawn, not to mention the cost both in terms of your time and money spent.  

Verdict: Best Zoysia Pre-Emergent

And so, the verdict is in! All of my recommendations have a good track record and have proven effective in preventing weeds from growing in Zoysia grass. The various active ingredients and application methods employed mean that there are various ways to tackle problem weeds in your lawn. Thankfully, this affords you the flexibility to choose one that fits your preferences and desired outcome. 

The Andersons Barricade

Best Pre Emergent Spray

Quali-Pro Prodiamine

Very effective water-soluble pre-emergent, designed for use in herbicide sprayers. Covers 48,000 sq.ft

The main difference between my first and second choices comes down to how you mix it. Both have shown exceptional results as a pre-emergent for Zoysia grass and both are suitable for use on many ornamental perennial plants, too.

For me, Quali-Pro Liquid Concentrate marginally took the lead because it comes as a water-soluble formula making it easier to dilute with water and get on with the job using a backpack sprayer.

Quali-Pro Prodiamine

Best For Broadcasting

The Andersons Barricade

Professional grade granular pre-emergent. Ready-to-use with any broadcaster or spreader. Covers 5,800sq.ft

But I do know that some of you prefer granules and don’t mind the spreading that comes with the pre-application ritual. That’s why The Andersons’ Pre-Emergent Weed Control is my second choice. I’ll leave it up to you to decide the best method of application but both are great products that you can rely on!

Alternatively, for those of you with crabgrass as the main cause for concern in your prized Zoysia grass, I’ve included Bonide | DuraTurf Crab-Grass Pre-Emergent Control for Lawn as my third-place choice. This can also be used in other warmer climate lawns, such as St. Augustine, and is particularly effective at the long-term removal of crabgrass.

So now it’s over to you to choose.

FAQ Zoysia Pre-Emergent Weed Killer