Buffalo and Zoysia

Buffalo and Zoysia lawns

16 November 2021

With so many different types of grass available it can be difficult to know which one is right for you, your home, and your family. In this blog, we take a close look at both buffalo and zoysia grasses to help you find your perfect lawn.

Buffalo Grass

Buffalo grass is a warm-season grass, native to North and South America, parts of Africa, and the Caribbean. Most buffalo varieties on the market in Australia are soft leaf buffalo.

Buffalo grasses have a broadleaf, and only have above-ground stems known as solons to establish from.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia is a warm-season grass native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific region. There are 3 main types of zoysia’s, Zoysia Macrantha, Zoysia Japonica and Zoysia Matrella.

Zoysia grasses have a relatively fine lead of up to 5mm wide and are spread by both above and below ground rhizomes and stolons.

Our top pick for buffalo grass

Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo has been born and bred right here in Australia and has stood the test in time. Sir Walter DNA Certified will grow in full sun, in shade, is low maintenance, and has a high wear tolerance, great with pets and kids. This grass is soft to touch, feels great underfoot while looking fantastic!

Sir Walter Buffalo kid friendly grass

Our top pick for zoysia grass

Sir Grange Zoysia is a Zoysia Matrella that has a stunning fine leaf that has a beautiful dark green colour. It has a slow growth habit, can be mown short or left unmown, loves full sun and when once established has an excellent shade tolerance. Sir Grange has a densely matted leaf, great for that bowling green look and show garden.

Zoysia turf in Australia - Sir Grange

Shade Tolerance

Buffalo grasses have a broader leaf that can absorb more sunlight than other varieties. This helps make buffalo one of the most shade tolerant turf types, needing a minimum of 3-4 hours of direct light to thrive.

Zoysia grasses have a much finer leaf and do need more sunlight than other varieties like buffalo. Most zoysia varieties need around 5 hours of direct sun. Sir Grange Zoysia does have a higher shade tolerance than other varieties once established, needing a minimum of 3-4 hours of direct light.

Wear Tolerance

Buffalo grasses can handle a good amount of traffic as they have very robust and hardy above-ground runners (stolons). However, they will be a bit slower to repair than other varieties like couch and kikuyu as the grass needs to spread back over the area with its above-ground stolons.

Zoysia grasses do also have a good wear tolerance. But as zoysia grasses stolons and rhizomes both do grow slower than other grasses they can take longer to repair once damaged.

dog lawn


When mowing both couch and buffalo it is best to never remove more than one-third of the leaf blade with each mow unless dethatching. This will help avoid causing any extra stress to the lawn.

Buffalo grasses are best mown between 20 to 60mm, a bit higher throughout winter and shorter throughout the warmer months. As buffalo is a warm-season variety it will need more frequent mows during the warmer months. In the cooler months, it will slow down in growth and may only need a mow once every few weeks.

Zoysia grasses, Zoysia Matrella have a leaf blade that contains a high silicon content, making the leaf very strong. When mowing it is best to ensure your mower blades are sharp to help prevent tearing of the leaf. Zoysia’s are best mown between 5-50mm but can also be left unmown. As zoysia grasses are warm-season grasses, they will need to be mown more frequently throughout the warmer months.

cylinder mowers


When installing both buffalo and zoysia, you will need to keep the water up to the lawn, so its roots stay damp while avoiding the turf from becoming waterlogged and drying out. Once established you should only need to water the lawn as it needs. You should be able to tell if the lawn does need water if the leaves begin to wilt or dry out. Once established less frequent watering’s for longer is usually best. This will help encourage your lawn to grow its roots deeper into the soil, improving its drought tolerance.

As always, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for free expert advice on 1800ALLTURF (1800255873) or 07 5543 8304.


Contact us for expert advice, or come & say hi at our office in Tamborine!

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